November 18, 2015

Ideas to Consider After Diabetes Diagnosis

Many different people have different thoughts about what to do when you are initially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I doubt my ideas have not been exposed before, but several in our group have asked me to blog about these ideas. It is surprising the different attitudes we have encountered in the last three years.

Yes, we all have seen anger or something similar. Some have seen shock and self-blame. All these are normal reactions as is denial and many go this route and many in our group have seen this. Tim and I have often questioned why we have seen severe depression when this is not one that we see that often. Yes, later we have all seen quite a bit of depression and mostly mild versions of depression.

A couple of people we know are still in the self-blame stage and have refused to consider anything else even with several of the group working with them and explaining how they are not to blame.

We are always happy when people we are working with accept their diabetes and want to take charge of their health. Much of what we suggest depends on how long it has been since diagnosis and recent A1c results. The longer it has been or the higher the A1cs, the more we work with them to help them learn the basics and find what works for them.

I can understand if you panic about the diagnosis, but try not to make drastic changes before you understand something about diabetes. Find what you can do to manage your diabetes, as often you need to take a step back and learn what you can about diabetes. You need to learn what measures should be taken to manage diabetes, and what will help you prevent the complications.

You will need to break down the complexity of diabetes into easy to understand terms and learn why it is important to get an obtainable HbA1c reading. It is even more important to learn how to do the daily testing and learn how the different foods you consume affect your blood glucose levels. Learn to test in pairs, before you eat and about 2 hours after to discover how the meal affected your blood glucose level.

Most newly-diagnosed people with type 2 diabetes are aware that what we eat and how active we are affects our blood glucose levels. Next, we need to learn how caffeine, stress, and amount of sleep affect our diabetes management. All of this should tell you how important the different logs or journals we maintain can help us with diabetes management. Keeping information about your blood glucose readings, what you ate, when you exercised, and how stressed you were that day can provide clues or trends. Use these to discover what affected your blood glucose readings.

The more you learn about what affects your blood glucose levels, the more accurately you can tailor your diabetes management plan to avoid continual trial and error.

Having support in managing your diabetes can be a great help. Several studies have shown that having some kind of support system, whether it is family, friends, a health coach, or a behavioral health counselor, can greatly improve an individual’s ability to manage their diabetes. If you feel like you could use a boost in support, ask your primary care provider about local support groups where you might find peers who may be able to relate to what you are going through because they have been through it.

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