For those newly diagnosed with diabetes, we are here to help. Diabetes is a lot to live with, but really, it is manageable! In this article we’ll define a few terms about diabetes and provide a few basic tips to help keep you on track.
Meet An Endocrinologist
For the newly diagnosed the first thing to do is get a good doctor, if possible an endocrinologist, who is a doctor that specializes in diabetes. Have the doctor give you the tests that all people with diabetes are familiar with: the A1C. This test is vital to managing diabetes and the A1C number is an important stat for those managing diabetes to know. Simply put, an A1C is the 3-month average of one’s blood sugar levels.
Next, the doctor will prescribe a blood glucose meter, test strips, and lancets so blood glucose levels can be read at home. In most states, if you have a prescription for them they must be covered under your insurance policy. Test as often as the doctor says to or even more if you can afford more strips. The more you test, the more knowledge you will gain, and that will allow you to make better decisions regarding your care.
Find A Community
Learning about diabetes on the internet and through books will give you even more power over the disease. Don’t hesitate to “network” with others living with diabetes. Even from afar, getting support from others in the trenches with you will help stave off feelings of isolation and provide helpful advice from other who get it.
- America Diabetes Association The ADA is great source of knowledge and support for those living with diabetes.
- Centers for Disease Control The CDC has an extremely helpful diabetes hub and will keep you informed on the latest in medications and threats to your health.
- Facebook Of course, Facebook has a wealth of private groups that make it simple to ask questions and receive crowd-sourced answers from those living with diabetes. Simply search for “diabetes” in Facebook’s search bar and you’ll be instantly connected with others dealing with similar diabetes-related issues.
Three Main Diabetes Management Tips
Besides this, everything that you can do to bring your diabetes under control falls under three headings, listed here.
1. Exercise daily.
Exercise is one of the simplest ways to manage diabetes. The CDC recommends that those with diabetes exercise daily for at least 20 minutes. That can be a daily walk, yoga, or other light activities. Start small and just concentrate on listening to your body and elevating your heart rate for 20 minutes. It really makes a difference! Be sure to consult with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
2. Track what you eat.
Know how the food you eat impacts your blood sugar. You’ll find that eating fewer calories improves blood sugar even before any weight loss, and weight loss is usually a beneficial side effect of eating less. Try using a phone app like Fooducate to make it easier to track caloric intake.
3. Follow the doctor’s orders.
For some people living with diabetes, tips one and two aren’t enough. Take the medicine or insulin that the doctor prescribes and pay attention to their management advice. In between appointments write down any unanswered questions or thoughts that you have about your diabetes care in a journal so you can make the most of your doctor’s visits.
We hope this helps those newly diagnosed with diabetes feel a sense of control. Remember that Advanced Diabetes Supply offers a wealth of helpful information, products, and help, including on-staff Certified Diabetes Educators. Join our Facebook page to stay connected and to learn more!