We often have readers ask about how to manage with a diabetes diagnosis. Especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Since we have some experience in this area, we wanted to share some Tips for Handling a Diabetes Diagnosis with you all. Hopefully, these tips are just what you need to move past that diagnosis and toward living a healthy life.
Tips for Handling a Diabetes Diagnosis
A Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis is not the end of the world. It is, however, a serious disease that can cause many other health issues. Not only is your blood sugar an issue, but this attacks your entire immune system. Your heart, kidneys, pancreas, and circulatory system are all at risk for further disease down the road if you do not control your condition now. Take this seriously, but do not panic.
Take any education classes offered.
One of the biggest issues people have in regards to a diabetes diagnosis is not fully understanding what it means. Some assume it is a death sentence, while others think medication will handle it and it isn't a big deal. The reality is that while there are tons of great medications to help manage symptoms now, it is still a very serious diagnosis.
Diabetes education classes are offered by almost every hospital. Your doctor can refer you to a class and more than likely your insurance will cover all costs involved. Learning about how your body creates and uses insulin is important. These classes teach about healthy foods, how to track your glucose, and important things like regular eye exams, foot care, and routine health screenings.
Take the medical condition seriously.
Yes, this is a repetitive note, but it is serious. Diabetes can be managed with medications, but it is a full body disease. You need to take this seriously. Healthy eating habits, weight loss, regular exercise, and following medication protocol are a must. Getting consistent screening for heart issues, eye health, and kidney disease are all part of the diabetes diagnosis. No matter what your age is at diagnosis, it is a serious disease to not take lightly.
Find the dietary plan that works for you.
Typically speaking, doctors and dieticians may encourage a lower carbohydrate diet for you if you are diabetic. There is some controversy at times over whether the popular ketogenic diet is a good idea or not in regards to diabetic health long-term. Follow your doctor and their recommendations if you are in need of weight loss. If your weight is in a healthy range, then a good healthy diet that is nutrient dense and focused on vegetables and lean protein sources is probably your best bet.
Note: Carbohydrates are not all created equal. That means that a low-carb diet is not always the best choice for someone who is diabetic. It just means that choosing the right type of carbohydrates and eating sufficient protein with them is important. If a ketogenic diet is recommended, then start with our Ultimate Keto Diet Tips for Beginners post for tons of tips and resources.
Utilize a food journal.
One of the most important things you can do after a diabetes diagnosis is to track what you are eating and see how it affects your blood glucose readings. There is a popular method called "eat to the meter" where you eat a food and then take your glucose readings 1 and 2 hours after eating. Depending on how large a glucose spike you see during that time, you will know if it is a food you should continue eating or not. This works great when you are able to afford the extra glucose strips as well as can keep track of your food intake. A food journal is a great idea, especially in the first few months after your diganosis.