Feature Archive

Type 2 Diabetes: Coping With the News

Learn how to control it, then find a support group.

By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario

It's a tough diagnosis to swallow: You've got type 2 diabetes . You founder in a sea of unsettling, even frightening words -- glucose levels, blood testing meters, insulin, kidney disease, blindness, foot ulcers, amputation.

"It can seem overwhelming at first," Lawrence Phillips, MD, an endocrinologist with Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, tells WebMD. "Diabetes is a new world for most people. They are uncertain what the future holds for their health."

Diane Schafer, LDN/RD, is a certified diabetes educator at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans. She's counseled scores of patients. "Often they don't really hear what I say," she tells WebMD. "They're thinking, 'Why me? Why is God punishing me?'"

In today's medical world, type 2 diabetes is a manageable problem -- "it is not your fate," Phillips says. "You have the ability to control your destiny. This is a serious disease, it's a silent killer, and bad things can happen if we don't take care of it. But we know how to monitor the disease, and we're much better able to take care of it now. We know how to screen for and manage complications. The prognosis is very, very good."