Why talk to your doctor?
Through all of the stress of a prediabetes or type 2 diabetes (T2DM) diagnosis, it is important to establish a good relationship with your doctor. They will be one of your main providers of information and referrals. You should be comfortable enough with your primary care provider to be able to ask questions and obtain the information that you need to live a healthy life. Sometimes those questions are difficult or embarrassing, so having an open line of communication helps. Your primary care provider should also be able to work with you and your particular circumstances. For example:
One thing that can take some time to understand is the big picture difference between treating T2DM with insulin versus oral medication. It may help to think of them as philosophical differences. Taking insulin allows you much more freedom of what to eat and when to eat. You basically calculate your insulin needs before each meal to help your body process the meal you’re about to ingest. People love the flexibility and general lack of limits. However, insulin can be very costly especially without insurance. Also, some people are generally afraid of injections so they prefer oral medication. By contract, taking oral medications requires less thought and can be much cheaper. However, oral medications don’t adjust to your diet, which means you need to adjust your diet to make the medication effective. If you’d like to learn more about treatment philosophies you may like to book a diabetes counseling session with one Halebee’s certified counselors.
Making a treatment plan
When you are first diagnosed with T2DM through the HbA1C blood test, your primary care provider will talk to you about a treatment plan. They should be clear on the goals that you are trying to achieve and how quickly you should expect success and how you will know you have succeeded. While you are trying to lower your HbA1C, the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend having it tested every 3 months. Once you reach your goal, it is recommended that you have it tested every 6 months.
For example: you may want to try reversing the diabetes through lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. If this is the case, you should meet with a nutritionist to understand how sugar and carbohydrates effect your blood sugar level. Logging your blood sugar level multiple times, a day will be crucial to your progress. With experience, you can learn which foods have a low glycemic index and work best to keep your blood sugar low.
What are your treatment goals?
Generally, T2DM is considered well-managed with a HbA1Clevel of 7.0 or less if you are under 70 years old and 8.0 or less if you are over 70 years old1. There are some standard guidelines publishes by the WHO and the American Medical Association. However, your doctor will set a goal that works for you and your body.