Living well with Type 2 Diabetes
There are over quarter of a million people in Aotearoa diagnosed with diabetes (mostly type 2 diabetes) and perhaps another 100,000 with diabetes who don’t know it yet (Ministry of Health, NZ). Diabetes is about 3 x more prevalent in Maaori and Pasifika people and is also strong in South Asian populations.
You can still live a great life with diabetes if you take control of the things you can control.
How do I start treating and managing my type 2 diabetes?
Your doctor will advise you on what treatment is best for you, but whatever this may be, healthy food choices and staying active is important. The goal is to lower your blood glucose and improve your body’s use of insulin. This is achieved through:
- A healthy diet
- Weight loss
The focus of your food choices and regular exercise is to achieve and maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Losing weight helps your body use insulin better. There are some things you just cannot control which contribute to Type 2 Diabetes such as age, genes and ethnicity but there is a lot you can!
In a nutshell: some people with type 2 diabetes may be able to manage their diabetes through diet and exercise, or by taking tablet medication. However, eventually many people with type 2 will manage their diabetes with insulin as well.
You may also have to take medication. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition. This means that over time you will gradually produce less and less insulin. Although you may be able to manage your blood glucose levels in the healthy range by eating healthy food and having regular exercise for a number of years, most people come to need tablets or insulin as well as their food and exercise plan.
Medical jargon can be confusing but a new kiwi App called Type 2 Diabetes Xplained takes away that confusion with story-telling http://type2diabetesexplained.co.nz/
Clients can learn about diabetes and the importance of trying to keep it under control through this engaging, informative and entertaining story. Written by doctors for patients, there are Maaori, English and Samoan versions.
Psychologists can have an important role to play in helping clients manage diabetes and come to terms with the changes in their life. If you or anyone you know, needs help managing the emotional and mental aspects of diabetes, working with a psychologist along with their doctor can be a great idea. You can contact us at Psychology Associates on 03 4777120 or try our website contact page.
Good websites include Diabetes NZ https://www.diabetes.org.nz/your-stories and the Ministry of Health https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/diabetes/about-diabetes