Understanding type 2 diabetes

Even though the most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes, there’s a lot that may be misunderstood about this disease. These misconceptions may lead people to feeling guilty about a diagnosis. Developing type 2 diabetes doesn't mean you should feel bad about yourself; it means your body may not be functioning correctly. Through healthy lifestyle changes — and sometimes with the help of medication — you may decrease complications and live a long and fulfilling life. 1

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about type 2 diabetes

Let's learn more details about diabetes type 2 and answer some questions you may have. 

How do I manage type 2 diabetes?

Hearing that you have type 2 diabetes doesn’t mean you are powerless to protect your health. The magic lies in what you do next. It may be the beginning of an awakening and awareness, the start of adopting positive lifestyle changes that may benefit you long into the future. Here are some things you can do to help manage your health. 
  • Know your numbers. Keep a record.  
  • Schedule a yearly dilated eye exam to check for eye disease.
  • Schedule a yearly urine test to check for kidney disease.
  • Get help to quit smoking.16
  • Keep your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg (or whatever your doctor recommends).17
  • Schedule a yearly foot exam, particularly if you have neuropathy, or nerve damage (numbness, burning, tingling or pain). Throughout the rest of the year, pay close attention to your feet. Having nerve damage may prevent you from feeling if your feet are cut or hurt, which may lead to an infection that may not heal properly. Check your feet for cuts or sores (wash them every day), keep blood flowing by putting your feet up when you’re sitting and try not to go barefoot during the warm months.18
  • Make regular dental appointments to prevent serious problems. (Dry mouth can put you at a higher risk of cavities; mismanaged blood sugar can lead to gum disease.)19
  • Go to your doctor at least twice a year for an A1C test. Aim to stay in your target range.20
  • Learn about type 2 diabetes so you can be your own best advocate.   

 

And remember to work with your doctor to keep up with regular health maintenance —  it's important with type 2 diabetes:15