Five ways to take charge of your type 2 diabetes diagnosis

(BPT) – As the 30 million Americans with diabetes might confirm, type 2 diabetes can be a lot of work. Beyond monitoring blood sugar and implementing a variety of lifestyle changes, adults with type 2 diabetes have to worry about serious complications of the condition, such as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and kidney disease. Loyce, an active community volunteer, received her type 2 diabetes diagnosis just six months after her mother passed away from complications related to the condition. She was determined to take control of her health and to work with her doctor to identify the treatment approach that works best for her. She has since become a vocal health advocate for herself and the type 2 diabetes community. Here are five ways she took charge of her type 2 diabetes and has helped others along the way:

1. Finding the ingredients for success

Managing your diet can help you control your blood sugar and the complications that come with type 2 diabetes.

One of the staples of Loyce’s holiday season is cooking traditional family recipes for her family gatherings, but like many people with type 2 diabetes, she felt like her diagnosis forced her to take a step back from the food she and her family loved. “That was the hardest part for me, at the holidays baking these wonderful, buttery things that I should not eat. So, I stopped baking them and everyone got upset.” Loyce eventually found resources online that offered diabetes-friendly ingredients to swap into her family recipes, and she knows that moderation and exercise is a key part of managing her condition. “I am now able to bake for my family and find ways to plan my holidays better by incorporating more exercise if I’m going to have a holiday treat.” She now encourages others to integrate healthier food options into their daily diet.

2. Checking in on your check-ups

Preparing a list of questions in advance of a doctor’s visit can help people with type 2 diabetes make the most of their time with their healthcare professional and feel in control of their health.

Before every doctor’s appointment, Loyce compiles a list of questions that she can use to guide her doctor’s visit, ranging from her current symptoms to potential treatment options. She knows that her appointment time is limited, so being prepared with the information beforehand helps her get the most out of her visit and helps her diabetes management team provide comprehensive guidance.

3. Thinking beyond type 2 diabetes

Patients can take early steps to address the full scope of their condition by learning about the complications associated with type 2 diabetes.

Seeing her mother pass away due to complications from type 2 diabetes was a wake-up call for Loyce — she decided to learn about the full impact of the condition so she could do everything she could to manage the risks. She learned that even if people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar, they are still at an increased risk for experiencing a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke. After a couple of “cardiovascular scares,” Loyce made it a point to attend patient conferences and talk to her doctor about ways that she could address her cardiovascular risk. These conversations led Loyce to Jardiance® (empagliflozin) tablets, a once-daily pill approved to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death in adults with type 2 diabetes and known cardiovascular disease.

JARDIANCE is not for people with type 1 diabetes or people with diabetic ketoacidosis (increased ketones in the blood or urine).

You should not take JARDIANCE if you are allergic to empagliflozin or any of the ingredients in JARDIANCE, if you have severe kidney problems or are on dialysis. Please scroll below to read additional Important Safety Information.

4. Surrounding yourself with advocates

Joining a support group can help reduce stress and feelings of loneliness and can provide members with an opportunity to talk openly and honestly about their feelings and experiences.

Type 2 diabetes demands daily behavioral changes to manage the condition. Some people with type 2 diabetes may feel that they have to sacrifice time with friends or family to accommodate their diagnosis and limit social activities, such as dinners out or gatherings with friends, which can lead to a feeling of isolation. In fact, people with diabetes are two to three times more likely to have depression than those without diabetes. The good news is that type 2 diabetes does not have to be isolating. Loyce got involved with her local support groups, which empowered her to speak about her experiences with type 2 diabetes to try to help others.

5. Raising your own voice

Like Loyce, remember to speak up about any questions or concerns you may have when talking to your doctor.

After visiting multiple doctors and trying different therapies, Loyce has found a program that works for her. She now leads a diabetes empowerment program to help people with diabetes in her community find their own voice in their diabetes journey and encourages others to find the best treatment program for them. Through education, informed conversation and community engagement, Loyce has found a path that helps her take control of her health and make the most of life with type 2 diabetes.

What is JARDIANCE? (

JARDIANCE is a prescription medicine used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.

JARDIANCE is also used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death in adults with type 2 diabetes who have known cardiovascular disease.

JARDIANCE is not for people with type 1 diabetes or for people with diabetic ketoacidosis (increased ketones in the blood or urine).


Do not take JARDIANCE if you are allergic to empagliflozin or any of the ingredients in JARDIANCE.

Do not take JARDIANCE if you have severe kidney problems or are on dialysis.

JARDIANCE can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Dehydration. JARDIANCE can cause some people to have dehydration (the loss of body water and salt). Dehydration may cause you to feel dizzy, faint, light-headed, or weak, especially when you stand up.

    You may be at a higher risk of dehydration if you:

    • have low blood pressure
    • take medicines to lower your blood pressure, including water pills (diuretics)
    • are on a low salt diet
    • have kidney problems
    • are 65 years of age or older.
  • Vaginal yeast infection. Women who take JARDIANCE may get vaginal yeast infections. Talk to your doctor if you experience vaginal odor, white or yellowish vaginal discharge (discharge may be lumpy or look like cottage cheese), and/or vaginal itching.
  • Yeast infection of the penis. Men who take JARDIANCE may get a yeast infection of the skin around the penis, especially uncircumcised males and those with chronic infections. Talk to your doctor if you experience redness, itching or swelling of the penis, rash of the penis, foul smelling discharge from the penis, and/or pain in the skin around penis.
  • Ketoacidosis (increased ketones in your blood or urine). Ketoacidosis is a serious condition and may need to be treated in the hospital. Ketoacidosis may lead to death. Ketoacidosis occurs in people with type 1 diabetes and can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes taking JARDIANCE, even if blood sugar is less than 250 mg/dL. Stop taking JARDIANCE and call your doctor right away if you get any of the following symptoms, and if possible, check for ketones in your urine:
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • stomach-area (abdominal) pain
    • tiredness
    • trouble breathing
  • Kidney problems. Sudden kidney injury has happened in people taking JARDIANCE. Talk to your doctor right away if you reduce the amount you eat or drink, or if you lose liquids; for example, from vomiting, diarrhea, or being in the sun too long.
  • Serious urinary tract infections. Serious urinary tract infections can occur in people taking JARDIANCE and may lead to hospitalization. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection, such as a burning feeling when passing urine, a need to urinate often or right away, pain in the lower part of your stomach or pelvis, or blood in the urine. Sometimes people also may have a fever, back pain, nausea or vomiting.
    • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia): If you take JARDIANCE with another medicine that can cause low blood sugar, such as sulfonylurea or insulin, your risk of low blood sugar is higher. The dose of your sulfonylurea or insulin may need to be lowered. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
      • headache
      • drowsiness
      • weakness
      • dizziness
      • confusion
      • irritability
      • hunger
      • fast heartbeat
      • sweating
      • shaking or feeling jittery
  • Necrotizing fasciitis. A rare but serious bacterial infection that causes damage to the tissue under the skin in the area between and around your anus and genitals (perineum). This bacterial infection has happened in women and men who take JARDIANCE, and may lead to hospitalization, multiple surgeries, and death. Seek medical attention immediately if you have fever or are feeling very weak, tired or uncomfortable (malaise), and you develop any of the following symptoms in the area between and around your anus and genitals: pain or tenderness, swelling, and redness of skin (erythema).
  • Allergic (hypersensitivity) reactions. Symptoms of serious allergic reactions to JARDIANCE may include:
    • swelling of your face, lips, throat and other areas of your skin
    • difficulty with swallowing or breathing
    • raised, red areas on your skin (hives)
      If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking JARDIANCE and contact your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
  • Increased fats in your blood (cholesterol).

The most common side effects of JARDIANCE include urinary tract infections and yeast infections in females.

These are not all the possible side effects of JARDIANCE. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Before taking JARDIANCE, tell your doctor if you:

  • have kidney problems. Your doctor may do blood tests to check your kidneys before and during your treatment with JARDIANCE
  • have liver problems
  • have a history of urinary tract infections or problems with urination
  • are going to have surgery
  • are eating less due to illness, surgery, or a change in your diet
  • have or have had problems with your pancreas, including pancreatitis or surgery on your pancreas
  • drink alcohol very often, or drink a lot of alcohol in the short term (“binge” drinking)
  • have any other medical conditions
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. JARDIANCE may harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment with JARDIANCE.
  • are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed. JARDIANCE may pass into your breast milk and may harm your baby. Do not breastfeed while taking JARDIANCE.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take water pills (diuretics) or medicines that can lower your blood sugar, such as insulin.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, please see Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.

CL-JAR-100026 10.30.18

About WF Staff

Washington FAMILY Staff

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