If you are a new diabetic, it’s important to understand what is happening in your body and the steps to take. As a general background, our bodies naturally convert the food we eat into glucose: a form of sugar. In order to use glucose as energy within our cells, we need a naturally occurring substance called insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin, or doesn’t use insulin efficiently.1 This results in a glucose imbalance within your bloodstream, which can lead to a variety of serious health issues.
It’s never easy to learn that you have any kind of health issues, but learning you have Type 2 diabetes and wondering “I have Type 2 diabetes, now what?” can be especially overwhelming. If you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes Type 2, the first and best thing you can do is to educate yourself. Wondering where to go from here? Start by considering your diagnosis and then use these four steps as your guide.
1. Build a Team
> Although your doctor won’t be the only person on your diabetes care team, he or she should be the team leader who helps you connect the puzzle pieces that create the complete picture of your health. You might also have a diabetes educator—these trained health care professionals are employed by hospitals and healthcare groups specifically to teach people with diabetes how to manage their health. Your pharmacist can also be very helpful in helping you learn about your new medications. And of course, you’ll have your friends and family to aid in your physical and emotional care and support your healthy choices along the way. If you are a new diabetic, it’s important know you are not going to have to deal with it on your own.
2. Learn More About Treatment & Ongoing Maintenance
If you don’t know what to do if you have diabetes, start off by educating yourself. What adjustments should you make to your daily life to help manage diabetes and what are some risk factors to be aware of? You’ll also learn to use a blood glucose meter to check your glucose levels; although it may seem intimidating at first, the frequency of monitoring varies and it doesn’t have to be intimidating. This skill will be critical to helping you manage your condition now and in the years ahead.
Depending on your overall health, you may be prescribed one or more medications to help manage your blood glucose levels and any other symptoms you might be experiencing. Always read the instructions very carefully, and never be afraid to ask your doctor any questions you might have about your prescriptions and how to use them.
3. Refresh Your Diet
Type 2 diabetes can’t be cured, but it can be controlled. If you are a newly diagnosed diabetes patient, it might be time to adjust your daily diet. Going forward, your diet will be one of the most important ways to help you control your blood glucose. The American Diabetes Association "Create Your Plate" program is a great place to start; this will teach you one of the ways to plan meals for optimal blood sugar balance.2
Jenny Craig also created a specific diabetic weight loss plan especially for those with type 2 diabetes. The program provides convenient, pre-planned menus, educational materials, behavioral strategies and the support of a one-on-one consultant to help you achieve your weight loss and diabetes management goals.
4. Get Moving
Regular physical activity can help you manage your blood glucose levels—not to mention relieve stress, boost energy, keep your joints flexible and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Learn more about how exercise and diet can help you manage your Type 2 diabetes. If you’re a Jenny Craig member, you may already have an exercise program in place. If you’re just starting an exercise program, ask your doctor which kinds of exercise are appropriate for you.
Your Type 2 diagnosis is a reason to look forward, not back. So let’s get moving toward a healthier future! Contact us today to book a free appointment.