Be honest. If you are newly diagnosed with diabetes, look honestly at yourself. Are you still angry and depressed that you have diabetes? If so, you already have a big challenge facing you. You may want to wait to try tight control until after you’ve come to terms with the changes in your life.
Keep your goals realistic. No matter how hard you try, your blood glucose readings will not be perfect every time. If they are often too high or too low, you should talk to your doctor about whether your plan needs to be adjusted. But if “wrong” levels happen only sometimes, that’s life. With practice, you will become more skilled at choosing the right insulin doses for various situations.
Take a break. If you need to, take a breather from the new routine. Having some time off may make it easier to stick to your plan when you start again.
Pluses and Minuses. One big reason to try tight control is to prevent complications later. But tight control has effects you can enjoy right now: You will probably feel better and have more energy. You can vary your activities more. You’re not locked into having your meals at the same time each day. It can reduce the risk of birth defects.
Hypoglycemia. People on tight control had three times as many low blood glucose reactions (hypoglycemia). You will need to be alert to the symptoms of hypoglycemia so that you can treat yourself quickly. Also, you should always check your blood glucose levels before you drive. If you often have low blood glucose reactions when you try tight control, talk to your doctor. You may need to ease up on your goals or go back on standard therapy for a while.
Weight Gain. People on tight control gained more weight than people on standard insulin treatment. The average in the DCCT was 10 pounds. If you are concerned about putting on pounds, work with your dietitian and doctor to devise a meal and exercise plan to prevent it.
The DCCT studied only people with type 1 diabetes. But doctors believe that tight control can also prevent complications in people with type 2 diabetes.
Most people with type 2 diabetes do not take insulin. You may be wondering how you can achieve tight control without it.
One way is to lose weight. Shedding excess pounds may bring your glucose levels down to normal. The key to losing weight and keeping it off is changing your behavior so that you eat less and exercise more. Your doctor should work with you to find an eating and exercise plan you can stick to.
Even if you don’t need to lose weight, exercise is helpful in controlling your blood glucose levels. It makes your cells take glucose out of the blood.
Until tomorrow: It is of no consequence of what parents a man is born, as long as he be a man of merit.