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Coping with type 2 diabetes (DT2) involves three major things. First, there is need for change in diet. A lot of fruits and vegetables is advised as opposed to high-sugar foodstuffs. However, for some who find it hard to drop the aforementioned, consumption is limited to periods of low blood sugar.
Secondly, it is important to exercise regularly as this will help burn out excess calories and keep the blood sugar level low. Some adopt regular exercise and good diet as a measure to keep blood sugar low in order to avoid the need of taking medicines (nytimes.com, 2009). Lastly, some attend diabetic classes to better understand and manage the disease (nytimes.com, 2009).
People with DT2 need to permanently observe healthy eating habits and regular exercise explained above due to the chronic nature of the disease. They are also required to daily monitor their sugar levels and react as advised (nytimes.com, 2009). These enables them keep their blood sugar at normal level and thus prevent the development of adverse complications that come with high blood sugar.
Discouragement versus empowerment
Those diagnosed with the disease first experience a great deal of self-denial about their new health status (nytimes.com, 2009). This can be out of ignorance or fear. However, upon learning the facts about the disease from medical practitioners and personal efforts they shed this attitude and adopt new habits which lead to healthier lifestyles (nytimes.com, 2009). They gain attitudinal empowerment when they accept the reality and longevity of their new health status, the need for exercise, low-sugar diet, and regular medication.
Need for discipline, therapy, medication and diet
DT2 requires constant monitoring and intervention therapies. Personal discipline in observing doctors directives is important as most of the monitoring is carried out at home. For example, patients are required to daily set up, read and record their blood sugar levels sugar using an electronic monitoring kit (nytimes.com, 2009).
Therapy is vital as the symptomatic aspects of the disease worsen with time if there is no intervention of any kind. Medication is necessary to quickly lower blood sugar when it suddenly shoots up, a common occurrence in type 2 diabetes. Low-sugar diet rich in vegetables and fruits is necessary to manage blood sugar within safe levels and prevent debilitating symptoms.
Uncertainty of future
DT2 is said to be genetic and victims report the challenge of living with the knowledge that their offspring may also relive their experiences. There is also the fear of possible amputation of feet in the future given that it has been performed on some patients before. Many also despair about the possibility of early death (nytimes.com, 2009).
Pain is common in patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients have reported a burning sensation in the feet accompanied by sharp on-off pains (nytimes.com, 2009). In some cases headache and leg amputation have been reported (nytimes.com, 2009).
Experience of health professionals
From the podcasts, it can be discerned health professionals have difficulty breaking news of positive diagnosis to victims (nytimes.com, 2009). This is likely in the case of patients with little knowledge about the disease. Perhaps another challenge they face is getting the patients to drop negative attitude about the disease, observe medications and best practices such as healthy diet, regularly exercising and use of personal sugar monitoring kit.
NyTimes.com (Producer). (2009, August 9). Patient voices: Type 2 Diabetes [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/08/04/health/TE_DIABETES.html?emc=th&th