Are You in Diabetes Denial?
Denying you have type 2 diabetes won't make it go away. Here's how to accept your diagnosis, manage your disease, and get on with your life.
Tackling Type 2 Diabetes
"Once you recognize that you have a problem that can be managed, you're
off to a good start," says Breen.
What's next? Well, if you've been living with symptoms that you suspect
might be linked to diabetes, your next stop should be the office of your health
"Because the symptoms of diabetes can go unnoticed -- or ignored -- it's
important that people have regular checkups, which include measuring blood
sugar levels to screen for diabetes," says Rubin.
Armed with the news that you have type 2 diabetes, it's time to start
managing your health. Here are practical tips to getting over your fear of your
newly diagnosed disease:
Make it a group effort. "Use your family for support when you're
first diagnosed," says Rubin. "Help them understand what diabetes is
about and what changes you need to make -- together -- so you can manage the
Moderation is key. "Moderation in all things is one of the rules
I live by," says White, who is living well with type 2 diabetes after 20
years. Instead of asking for a 16-ounce steak at dinner or a pound of
macaroni and wolfing it down in 15 minutes, get a smaller portion and make it
last at least a half-hour. Turn dinner into an experience, he suggests.
Treat yourself to a healthy snack. Instead of three huge meals
throughout the day, which means peaks and valleys for blood sugar levels, White
follows an easy and healthy schedule to keep steady all day long: breakfast,
snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and then a light snack before bed. What's
important when you're making food choices, he says, is to keep it lean and
nutritious. Have a half a turkey sandwich on wheat bread for a snack in the
afternoon, or an apple before bed.
Watch what you eat. "When I was first diagnosed, I was eating
peanut butter cups by the handful," says White. Now, knowing the health
consequences of sugar-loading, he might have one sweet snack but certainly not
a handful, and he balances his treats with a smart diet throughout the rest of