By Tracey Ruiz, The Sleep Doula – sleepdoula.com
My journey with type 2 diabetes has been an empowering experience and one that has made me make my health a priority. My health is often last on the list of responsibilities as someone who frequently works at all hours helping moms manage the daily responsibilities of parenting. I didn’t look at my diagnosis as a death sentence but instead as the kick in the butt that I needed.
Some tips that have helped me through my journey include:
Work one-on-one with your physician to find an individual care plan.
Make sure you tell them your concerns. Be honest about what you will be able to follow through on when it comes to your lifestyle. My doctor gave me a chance to show her I could make the lifestyle change to help me with my recovery.
Don’t be afraid of treatment options.
For me, medication was started at a high level, but I was able to wean completely off within a few years. The sooner I was able to get my sugars under control the better I felt. I educated myself about the options and talked to my doctor to see if they could be included in my treatment.
Make sure you get adequate sleep.
Even being a sleep doula meant it was important for me to make my own sleep a priority. Having healthy sleep habits and a good night’s rest was important to my recovery.
Make the lifestyle change.
During my journey I learned that I really needed to commit to the lifestyle change. Thinking that I could “cheat” here and there, or go back to not getting the rest, and not making myself a priority resulted in things slipping in my diabetes management.
Sidebar with Dr. Tharsan Sivakumar, MD, MPH, FRCPC
Institute of Diabetes & Endocrinology
What women need to know about type 2 diabetes:
- Among women with diabetes, some research shows that the prognosis for heart disease can be worse for women compared to men.
- Women with diabetes are more likely to develop urinary tract infections and yeast infections compared to women without diabetes.
- Diabetes is an important risk factor for heart disease. Women can have heart attacks without the common symptom of chest pain and manifest other symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting and/or dizziness.
- If you are planning on conceiving or are currently pregnant, you should know that improving diabetes (blood sugar) control will improve your chances of conceiving. It also reduces the risk of a miscarriage and can help you have a healthy baby.
- Losing weight can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes and can improve your blood sugar control if you have existing diabetes.