What does a healthy lifestyle
have in common with managing
Type II Diabetes? It turns out there's a lot. That's
good news. It puts you in the
driver's seat when it comes to managing Type II
Diabetes. Type II Diabetes is the most
common form of diabetes. It
occurs when your body is unable to properly use sugar,
also called glucose that comes
with the food you eat. That means, your body
can't make enough insulin or use
your own insulin properly. The result is too much
sugar in your blood, which can
also lead to serious health problems if it
isn't managed well. If your
blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough
to be Type II Diabetes, that's
called pre-diabetes. But remember you
are in the driver's seat, and a
big part of achieving good blood sugar
control is a balancing act
between the food you eat and the physical activities you
do. Healthy eating is about having
three meals a day, managing
portion sizes and knowing how to fit in
carbohydrate foods that break
down into sugar; like fruit, rice, bread and even sweets.

good rule of thumb is to fill
half your plate with non-starchy vegetables
which includes almost all
vegetables. Getting regular exercise goes
hand-in-hand with what you eat.
Exercise uses the sugar from food to fuel your muscles.
This helps keep your blood sugar
levels in a healthy range. Exercise and
physical activity also help with
losing or managing your weight so your body can use
insulin better. Try to get 30 to
60 minutes of physical activity on most days
and try to limit the amount of
time you spend sitting. Remember, any amount of
exercise or ways you can move
your body will help. That includes activities
like doing yard work or taking
the stairs. Sometimes daily medications are
needed to help your body keep
blood sugar levels in a healthy range, that may
include taking pills or taking
insulin shots.

Another important part of
managing Type II Diabetes is
checking your own blood sugar. This gives you instant
feedback about how you are
doing. It's like checking the dashboard in your
car to make sure everything is
working well so you can get to where you're
going. One thing is for sure, there
will be some challenging times
along your Type II Diabetes journey. But with the
help with your VA Health Care
team you can plan for some of the most common
challenges like learning to
identify and know what to do when you have low and high
blood sugar levels, and how to
manage days when you're sick. Having some healthy ways of
coping will also help when
things get tough, faith based activities, meditation,
exercise and enjoyable hobby are
just a few ways to deal with these emotional
stresses. Be sure to surround
yourself with positive people who support you,
your family and friends or maybe
join a diabetes support group where you
can share with others who have
the same challenges you have.

When you manage to Type II
diabetes well daily, you also
reduce your risk for developing complications later
on like heart, kidney and eye
disease, nerve problems and foot infections. It
also helps to see your VA
provider regularly to get all your recommended
immunizations and eye exams and
to quit if you use tobacco. Remember, there's no one
approach for managing Type II
Diabetes that works for everyone, that's the most
important part of the VA's Whole
Health approach of providing care to veterans. So
based on your needs and your
preferences, your VA Health Care team will help you
develop a plan and learn the
skills for what work best for you so that you can get
on with enjoying your life's

For more diabetes and
prediabetes information and
resources visit
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Department of Veterans Affairs, all rights



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