A diagnosis of diabetes can be a shock to the system, and rightly so, considering the life-altering nature of this disease.
But it’s important to adopt a healthy mindset about it from the start.
You’ll need it to be able to manage your health and ultimately, to live your best life.
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Are Different Conditions
Many people don’t know this but Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes aren’t the same things. Other than the fact that these conditions have the same long-term effects and both sprout from difficulties with insulin, they have very little in common.
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease, in a nutshell, is when the body (for whatever reason) starts to attack a subset of its own specific cells.
Think of it like an angry 13-year-old who beats up a smaller kid because he doesn’t like him, although he can’t actually tell you exactly why that is.
With Type 1, the body attacks the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Over time the body is unable to produce insulin at all.
This is why people with type 1 are and will be forever more, dependent on insulin as a treatment.
People with type 1 are often diagnosed as children.
Type 2 diabetes type 2 used to be called adult-onset diabetes until of course, they realized that it isn’t the same thing.
With Type 2 your body does produce insulin but one of two things happen; either it isn’t enough to metabolize the sugar in your bloodstream or your body is resistant to insulin and it isn’t utilized properly. In both instances the blood sugar ends up skyrocketing, wreaking havoc on your body and blood vessels.
Must Read: A Customized Type 2 Diabetes Diet For You!
Diabetes Can’t Be Cured
Both of these diseases are not curable.
If you’ve been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you’re one of about 40 000 Americans who receive this diagnoses per year, which accounts for roughly 5% of all diagnosis, the other 95% of diagnosis is diabetes type 2.
Type 2 also can’t be cured, but with much effort and following a treatment plan, this type, however, can go into remission.
But with both types, you can still have a full and happy life even though you will have to make drastic changes to the way you live.
What To Do Next:
Following your diagnosis, you’ll have to start a treatment plan immediately, whether you work with your doctor or an endocrinologist is your choice as long as you have a doctor that will give attention to your case and cares about your treatment plan.
Treatment for diabetes is the first step towards getting it under control.
For type 1 you will be required to use insulin, which requires you to inject insulin before eating (to accommodate the number of carbs you’ll body will have to digest) and at regular intervals during the day (after checking blood sugar) to keep it at an acceptable rate.
Insulin can be delivered via injections or an insulin pump.
An insulin pump is a device that is attached to a specific spot on your body via an infusion set. The device is then programmed to deliver a basal rate of insulin to your body as well as bolus doses, which are the doses taken before meals.
Although extremely convenient, the initial set up cost for an insulin pump can be rather expensive when compared to the injections.
You will have to weigh your options and take into account what type of insulin delivery system will suit your lifestyle and age.
Often, your doctor will also prescribe oral medication for both Type 1 or type 2, such as Lantus or Metformin (or others)
Type 2 diabetes, when diagnosed early can be effectively treated without the use of insulin, but unfortunately, it can sometimes regress and then insulin will be added to your treatment plan.
There’s really no way around this. You can’t take all this medication but keep up an unhealthy lifestyle and expect to see a positive change in your health.
Your eating habits should be your first concern.
There is much debate on what type of diet and food is best for people with diabetes, of course, it is important to consult your healthcare provider regarding this.
But by far the most important and effective way to take control of your diet is to document it.
A food journal is a fantastic way to track your food, carb intake, blood glucose levels and your day-to-day symptoms.
It will also help you understand what types of foods help the most in regulating your blood sugar and which ones cause it to spike.
Exercise is important to every living human being on the planet, and especially for diabetics.
With that being said, there’s no reason to slave away for hours in the gym; it’s a brave new world and exercise doesn’t need to be a chore.
Find an activity you like that will keep you active, it can be as simple as going for a walk with your spouse every night or going swimming at your local gym for a half an hour when you wake up in the morning.
Exercise will help manage your weight and that’s a bonus way that it helps to control diabetes.
Cardiovascular workouts are important, but so is strength training.
When you do strength training like squats or weight lifting, your body utilizes the glucose from your bloodstream to power through the workout.
Only 20 minutes a day can improve your health immensely.
It’s also really easy to do strength training at home.
You can incorporate it into your daily routine, and in that way, you can get your exercise in without even thinking about it too much.
At first, it can feel overwhelming to adapt to a new lifestyle, but it can be done if you are patient and persistent.