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Have Type 2 Diabetes? Here are 6 Ways to Help Manage Your Condition

November 17, 2016

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By Partner Tom Giordano, Jr.


Since I began practicing Social Security Disability law over a decade ago, the single most common medical condition my disability clients have shared is type 2 diabetes.  I have seen firsthand how dangerous and debilitating  this condition can be if uncontrolled.  If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your lifestyle will likely change as a result. Understanding the facts for this disease is crucial in order to appropriately manage symptoms.  About 29 million Americans have diabetes, and many are living full and rewarding lives.  While some lifestyle changes are required, many are healthy tweaks that will become habitual over time, and can have a strong impact on minimizing type 2 diabetes symptoms.  If you have diabetes or suspect you do, speak to your doctor.  He or she will be the best person to assist you with your diabetes management. The below information is designed to offer some quick ways to take positive action:


#1: Understand the basics of diabetes

Diabetes causes your blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal, so your pancreas makes a little extra of the hormone insulin to compensate. However, over time it is not able to make enough insulin to keep your blood sugar at a normal level. People with diabetes have to closely monitor their blood sugar, known as blood glucose, so that they can adjust their diet and exercise habits to stay well.

It’s important to:

  • Recognize the symptoms of high and low blood sugar (known as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia)
  • Know your A1C levels, found through a test that reveals your average blood sugar control over the past few weeks, as well as your doctor's recommended A1C goal
  • Learn more about living with diabetes through website like the American Diabetes Association



#2: Trade your chips for carrot sticks

Eating healthier is critical to controlling your diabetes. Your doctor, nurse or nutritionist should be able to give you specific recommendations for healthy food. You can also find dozens of diabetes-friendly recipes online.


Learn to substitute good options like baked chicken instead of fried chicken, grilled fish instead of steak, and skim milk instead of whole milk. Start reading food labels carefully for information about sugar, salt, carbohydrates, and other nutrients that can affect your blood glucose. If you plan meals and shop in advance, you’re less likely to choose something that will elevate your blood sugar. People tend to make poorer food choices once already hungry.


#3: Drop extra pounds

Many Americans want to lose a few pounds to prepare for summer swimsuit season, but for people with diabetes it’s much more important than looking good on the beach. Being overweight increases your risk for diabetic complications such as heart disease and damage to your skin and organs. Losing just a few pounds by eating right and exercising can improve your control over your condition.


#4: Get moving

Regular physical activity is important for those with diabetes because it can help lower blood glucose, help you slim down, improve your A1C, and yield many other benefits. But don’t assume you have to start lifting weights or become a marathon runner; anything that gets you moving—such as walking, dancing, yard work, or housework—can be beneficial.  Always speak to your doctor before starting any workout regimen. 


#5: Listen to your doctor

See your health care professional regularly so you can manage your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Go to all your doctors’ appointments and take any prescribed medicine as directed. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about whether you are meeting your A1C goals, other things you can do to stay healthy, side effects of any medication, or any other concerns you may have.


#6: Find out if you’re eligible for Social Security Disability benefits

If you or a loved one has diabetes and the symptoms are making it difficult or impossible to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.  Disability Justice has helped thousands of clients with diabetes to receive their disability benefits.  Please contact us today for a free consultation. Call 800-773-1300 or complete the free and confidential evaluation form below.




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