If you’ve been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you may be feeling overwhelmed or just plain frightened. However, this disease is treatable, and with proper assessment and treatment you can remain healthy and lead a full life. Follow these steps after a diabetes diagnosis and feel confident that you can make the alterations your body needs.
#1. Attitude Matters
Staying positive in the face of a diabetes diagnosis is key to remaining happy and healthy. Don’t read into the horror stories designed to scare. While there have been and still are serious consequences for diabetics who go untreated, modern medicine and constant improvements in technology have made living with this disease as comfortable and safe as possible.
Remain positive, and look what you can do to make yourself healthier—don’t obsess over past habits or what might have happened had you not been diagnosed.
#2. Talk to Your Doctor
No doubt your doctor is the one who told you about your recently discovered condition. It may be necessary that you get started on diabetes medication to control your blood sugar. It’s essential to have a sit down with your doctor and find out your options. There are a small number of diabetics who don’t require medication, but most start off with metformin following diagnosis.
Medication may not be a permanent fixture of your treatment. Those who lose weight and exercise regularly may find their blood sugar levels decrease into a healthy range, meaning medication is unnecessary.
You’ll need to stay updated on your blood sugar levels throughout the day, so start by purchasing an at-home test. This can help you track your progress and may inspire you to keep up with healthy habits.
#3. Find Support
You are not alone in your battle with diabetes. An estimated 422 million people around the world struggled with the disease in 2014. Talk with your family and friends and ask them to help you in your ongoing task to live a healthier lifestyle.
Join a support group for those with diabetes, and attend diabetes educational classes. Both of these venues will provide you with invaluable information for handling the disease, and you will find peers who are struggling with similar issues.
#4. Develop an Eating Plan
There are a variety of health plans and guides available to those navigating the new waters of eating with diabetes. There are staples that every diabetic should strive to eat on a regular basis, and starting your new lifestyle could mean simply working these into your current eating habits to start.
Beans, different types of fish, leafy greens, apple cider vinegar, and walnuts are all on the approved list. There are also a variety of diabetic cookbooks that can outline the new meals you should be eating.
If you find it hard to come up with meals ideas or are overwhelmed by new cooking habits, it’s easy to get diabetic-approved meals delivered straight to your home. This takes away the temptation of buying non-approved items at the grocery store, and makes it easy to eat during busy weeks.
#5. Stop Smoking
Smoking is often used as a stress reliever, but can have devastating effects on a person living with diabetes, meaning stress will be heightened in the long run. Smoking makes it harder to control diabetes, so there’s never been a better time for you to quit.
If you’re finding it hard to stop, make the switch to an electronic cigarette alternative. Vaping has been purported to be 95 percent safer than traditional cigarettes, while still providing a nicotine hit and the feel of a real cigarette. Purchase vaping kits online and get on track to a healthier lifestyle.
#6. Make Exercising a Priority
Physical activity can help you lower blood glucose levels, plus a regular exercise habit will provide you with more energy, lower your risk of heart disease, and improve flexibility. Aerobic activity is especially good for diabetics, as it improves insulin function and increases blood flow.
#7. Be Consistent and Start Slow
While getting diagnosed with diabetes can be shocking and scary, doing a 180-degree turn in your regular habits may not be healthy and certainly won’t help you stay consistent with your new lifestyle habits. Start slow, and keep steadily working towards your goals. Switch foods slowly, start an easy exercise regimen, and talk to friends and family about how they can best aid you in your journey.
With proper education, a strong support system, and healthy habits, you can still lead a happy and long life after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.