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Steps to Balance  
 

learning about diabetes

Why It's
Important

Taking care of yourself when you have type 2 diabetes starts with learning everything you can about your body and your treatment.

To help you begin, we’ve pulled together some useful information and tools for you. In this section, you’ll learn everything from basics and beyond. You know the saying, “knowledge is power”? In the case of type 2 diabetes, that may very well be true.

Learning the Basics

Do you wish you knew more about type 2 diabetes? Learn more about what causes type 2 diabetes. And what steps you can take to help manage your condition.

type 2 diabetes management with diabetic diet and exercise

The role of insulin in type 2 diabetes.

Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas. It helps sugar move out of the bloodstream and into many cells of the body, where it is used for energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin, and the insulin that your body produces does not work as well as it should. Both of these situations can lead to too much sugar in your blood.

Taking steps to manage your type 2 diabetes.

Although there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, there are steps you can take to help manage it. These include working with your health care team to reach your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol goals. Taking medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Making healthier food choices. And being physically active.

  • Knowing
    My ABCs

    Want to learn the ABCs of type 2 diabetes? Want to find out more about your numbers? It's a good idea to understand why it is important to manage the ABCs when you have type 2 diabetes. So let’s get going.

    A1C goal

    A is for A1C.

    What does this test measure?
    It measures the average amount of sugar in your blood over the past 2 to 3 months. Why is this important? It gives you and your doctor a better idea of how well your treatment plan has been working over time. And whether your blood sugar levels are under control.

    What is a good A1C level to aim for?
    The American Diabetes Association recommends an A1C goal below 7% for many adults with type 2 diabetes. Higher or lower A1C goals may be appropriate for other patients. Ask your doctor about the A1C target that is right for you. Depending on how well your blood sugar levels are controlled, you should have an A1C test every 3 to 6 months.

  • Knowing
    My ABCs

    Want to learn the ABCs of type 2 diabetes? Want to find out more about your numbers? It's a good idea to understand why it is important to manage the ABCs when you have type 2 diabetes. So let’s get going.

    Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. globally owned (domestic, international) photography, and model rights, unlimited time, unlimited use. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. owns copyright. Created in 2013 by Daggerwing Health under standard AOR contract with Merck.

    B is for blood pressure.

    What does blood pressure measure?
    Blood pressure is the force of blood moving through your blood vessels. Many people with type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can damage just about any part of your body and can result in serious health problems. If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor what changes you need to make. If it is high, lowering your blood pressure will lower your chance of heart attack and stroke.

    What is a good blood pressure goal?
    The American Diabetes Association recommends a blood pressure goal of less than 140/90 mmHg for adults with type 2 diabetes. A different blood pressure goal may be appropriate for some patients. Ask your doctor about the blood pressure goal that is right for you. You should have your blood pressure checked every time you see your doctor.

  • Knowing
    My ABCs

    Want to learn the ABCs of type 2 diabetes? Want to find out more about your numbers? It's a good idea to understand why it is important to manage the ABCs when you have type 2 diabetes. So let’s get going.

    Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. globally owned (domestic, international) photography, and model rights, unlimited time, unlimited use. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. owns copyright. Created in 2013 by Daggerwing Health under standard AOR contract with Merck.

    C is for cholesterol.

    What is cholesterol?
    It’s a fat-like substance in the blood. LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) are 2 types of cholesterol in your blood. LDL is “bad” because it narrows or blocks blood vessels. This can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. HDL is often called “good” because it can carry “bad” cholesterol away from the walls of your arteries. Cholesterol levels are checked with a blood test. Ask your doctor how often you should have a fasting lipid profile test done.

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  • Testing My
    Knowledge

    How much do you know about the importance of managing your type 2 diabetes? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz. Who knows? You may learn some new information.

    diabetes knowledge test

    If you have type 2 diabetes, your health care team may advise you to make some lifestyle changes. Which of these might be a good choice?




    Correct

    Being more active is a good idea.
    It can have a positive effect on your type 2 diabetes and your health. Your doctor may also ask you to

    • Eat diabetes-friendly foods
    • Lose weight
    • Count your carbohydrates

    Making these changes may help reduce your blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

    Incorrect

    The right answer is “Become more physically active.”
    Here’s why. Being more active can have a positive effect on your type 2 diabetes and your health. Your doctor may also ask you to

    • Eat diabetes-friendly foods
    • Lose weight
    • Count your carbohydrates

    Making these changes may help reduce your blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

  • Testing My
    Knowledge

    How much do you know about the importance of managing your type 2 diabetes? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz. Who knows? You may learn some new information.

     diabetes knowledge test

    What is the
    A1C test?





    Correct

    This test measures the average amount of sugar in your blood over the past 2 to 3 months.
    The A1C test results help you and your doctor see how well your type 2 diabetes treatment plan is working over time. And whether your blood sugar levels are under control. The American Diabetes Association recommends an A1C goal below 7% for many adults with type 2 diabetes. Higher or lower A1C goals may be appropriate for other people. Ask your doctor about the A1C target that is right for you.

    Incorrect

    The correct answer is "A blood test that shows average blood sugar levels over time."
    The A1C test results help you and your doctor see how well your type 2 diabetes treatment plan is working over time. And whether your blood sugar levels are under control. The American Diabetes Association recommends an A1C goal below 7% for many adults with type 2 diabetes. Higher or lower A1C goals may be appropriate for other people. Ask your doctor about the A1C target that is right for you.

  • Testing My
    Knowledge

    How much do you know about the importance of managing your type 2 diabetes? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz. Who knows? You may learn some new information.

     diabetes knowledge test

    People with
    type 2 diabetes cannot eat sweets.



    Correct

    In fact, with a little planning, you can have sweets from time to time.
    Just be cautious. Saving sweets for special occasions is the most healthful way to eat. So keep the focus of your meal plan on foods such as fresh vegetables, beans, whole grains, nonfat dairy, and fish. It’s also important to keep in mind that most sweets contain large amounts of carbohydrates. So if you want to have a sweet, try and save it for something special. That way, you may still be able to keep your daily blood sugar levels on track.

    Incorrect

    The correct answer is “False.” In fact, with a little planning, you can have sweets from time to time.
    Just be cautious. Saving sweets for special occasions is the most healthful way to eat. So keep the focus of your meal plan on foods such as fresh vegetables, beans, whole grains, nonfat dairy, and fish. It’s also important to keep in mind that most sweets contain large amounts of carbohydrates. So if you want to have a sweet, try and save it for something special. That way, you may still be able to keep your daily blood sugar levels on track.

  • Testing My
    Knowledge

    How much do you know about the importance of managing your type 2 diabetes? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz. Who knows? You may learn some new information.

     diabetes knowledge test

    In general,
    how much
    exercise should
    adults with type 2 diabetes aim for?




    Correct

    Most experts recommend that people with type 2 diabetes do at least 30 minutes a day of exercise, 5 days a week.
    If that seems like a lot to do at once, break it up. Try 3 short, 10-minute sessions a day instead. Walk the dog, do some gardening, play with your kids or grandkids, or go into the bank instead of using the drive-through. It all adds up. Just check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program or making changes to your current program.

    Incorrect

    The right answer is “At least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.”
    If that seems like a lot to do all at once, break it up. Try 3 short, 10-minute sessions a day instead. Walk the dog, do some gardening, play with your kids or grandkids, or go into the bank instead of using the drive-through. It all adds up. Just check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program or making changes to your current program.

  • Testing My
    Knowledge

    How much do you know about the importance of managing your type 2 diabetes? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz. Who knows? You may learn some new information.

     diabetes knowledge test

    A good way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight is to skip meals.



    Correct

    Why? When you skip meals, your blood sugar levels may drop and you may also start craving high-calorie foods.
    There are many ways to lose weight. Work with your doctor and/or nutritionist to set up a weight loss or weight management plan that will support your health goals. It is important to remember that you need to make permanent changes to your lifestyle if you want to lose weight and keep it off. It doesn’t happen overnight; losing weight gradually over time is the best and healthiest way to go.

    Incorrect

    The right answer is “False.” Why? When you skip meals, your blood sugar levels may drop and you may also start craving high-calorie foods.
    There are many ways to lose weight. Work with your doctor and/or nutritionist to set up a weight loss or weight management plan that will support your health goals. It is important to remember that you need to make permanent changes to your lifestyle if you want to lose weight and keep it off. It doesn’t happen overnight; losing weight gradually over time is the best and healthiest way to go.

  • Testing My
    Knowledge

    How much do you know about the importance of managing your type 2 diabetes? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz. Who knows? You may learn some new information.

     diabetes knowledge test

    Hey, you did great!

    Congrats! You have answered most of the questions right! Continue to have discussions with your health care team about understanding type 2 diabetes. Learn all you can about managing type 2 diabetes. The information on this site includes tools and information, which may be helpful.

    There’s always more to learn.

    Consider making an appointment to talk to your health care team or a certified diabetes nurse educator. You can also attend a diabetes education class! Learn all you can about managing type 2 diabetes.

    Results

    0Correct
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Changing
My Behavior

Is it time to change your ways? Sometimes, taking better care of yourself is as easy as making a few simple changes.

steps to change for healthy choices
 
 
 

3 simple steps to help bring about change.

Some changes might take a bit of effort. Others might be super easy to make. Either way, keep at it. And remember, the choices you make really do matter.


 

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