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What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic (lifelong) condition. With diabetes, the sugar level in your blood is too high. Diabetes keeps your body from turning food into energy. That’s why you may feel tired and rundown, especially after eating. Controlling your diabetes means making some changes that may be hard at first. Your health care team will help you.

Check Your Blood SugarMan using lancet on finger. Glucometer and test strips are on table.

You will most likely need to check your blood sugar each day. This tells you whether your blood sugar is within your target range:

  • Your health care team will tell you how often and when you need to test.

  • When your blood sugar is within your target range, your meal plan, activity plan, and medication are working to keep you healthy.

  • If your blood sugar is too high or too low, your health care team may make changes in your meal plan, activity plan, or adjust your medication.

Follow Your Meal Plan

Following your meal plan helps control the amount of sugar in your blood. It also helps you control your weight. Excess weight keeps your body from using its own insulin to turn food into energy:

  • Your health care team will help you create a meal plan that works for you.

  • You don’t have to give up all the foods you like. But you may need to eat smaller amounts of some foods. Eating balanced meals with vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains will help control your blood sugar.

  • You need to eat the right amount of food. Eat your meals and snacks at about the same time each day. Do not skip meals.

Be Physically Active

Being active helps lower your blood sugar. It does this by helping your body use insulin to turn food into energy. Activity also helps you manage your weight:

  • Your health care team will work with you to create an activity program that’s right for you.

  • Your activity program will be based on your age, general health, and what type of activity you like to do. For many people, walking after meals is a great start.

Take Care of Yourself

When you have diabetes, you may be more likely to develop other health problems. These include foot, eye, heart, and kidney problems:

  • Your health care team will tell you how to care for yourself to help prevent these problems.

  • You also need to have frequent checkups, including eye and foot exams, and blood tests. At least 2 times a year, ask your health care provider to give you an A1C test. This blood test helps show how well you have been controlling your blood sugar in the past 2 to 3 months.

  • If you smoke, quit! Smoking makes your diabetes and the problems you can have from it even worse. Ask your health care provider about ways to quit.


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