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How to Live With Type 2 Diabetes

written by: Lisa Lambson • edited by: lrohner • updated: 1/14/2011

Learning how to live with type 2 diabetes is not as difficult as it may seem. By making a few lifestyle changes, it is very possible to live a fairly normal life without medications or many of the complications that can come with the disease.

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    What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

    550152 diabetes Type 2 diabetes is a disease that occurs when either the pancreas does not create enough insulin or your body becomes unable to utilize the insulin properly. Either way, there is no cure for type 2 diabetes and it is one of the leading causes of death in America.

    According to the American Diabetes Association, as of the most current National Diabetes Fact Sheet from 2007, 17.9 million people in the United States were diagnosed with diabetes. The number is estimated to be even higher now and that doesn't even include the 5.7 million people that were un-diagnosed or the 57 million that were expected to become diabetics if their lifestyles did not change.

    Although these seem to be some pretty scary statistics, there is good news. Type 2 diabetes may not have a cure, but it can be controlled by learning as much as you can about how to live with type 2 diabetes and applying what you learn. One of the first things that you need to learn and accept is that the time to change is now, not ten years from now when your diabetes is out of control and causing other serious medical conditions in your life. Type 2 diabetes has a number of very serious, even fatal, complications that result from not making the necessary changes in your health such as heart disease, blindness and kidney disease.

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    How To Live With Type 2 Diabetes

    If you learn nothing else about how to live with type 2 diabetes, you must learn that everything is centered on your blood sugar levels. The key to staying healthy and preventing long-term complications of type 2 diabetes is maintaining your blood sugar levels as evenly as possible at all times. The less control you have of your levels, the higher chance you will have of needing medications and causing further health complications. The question is how do you do that.

    First, you need to learn how to test and keep track of your blood sugar levels. As you begin to monitor your blood sugar levels, you will be able to see how the things that you eat and the activities that you do throughout the day will effect your blood sugar.

    At this point, you can begin to adjust your diet and exercise to accommodate your blood sugar levels. For example, if you are regularly testing your blood sugar and you find that your blood sugar is running too high at certain times, you can lower it by simply adding some exercise to your day.

    On occasion, you may find that your blood sugar is too low and at those times you will need to eat something to raise it. By learning how to live with type 2 diabetes with a nutritious diet and regular exercise, you can keep your blood sugar under control and prevent further long term complications.

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    References

    American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-2/

    WebMD http://diabetes.webmd.com/tc/type-2-diabetes-living-with-the-disease-topic-overview

    Photo provided by http://www.sxc.hu/photo/550152

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information contained within this article.