The news that you have diabetes can be a tough pill to swallow. Feelings of shock, anger, frustration, fear and depression are all valid and common to many who get this diagnosis. But, it’s also important not to waste time wallowing in your emotions. After all, you have your own life to save! Follow this five-step, action plan to get started living and managing your new life as a diabetic.
Step 1: Learn About Diabetes
Absorb everything you can about the disease, so that you know what you’re dealing with. Find and consult with a doctor who can answer all of your questions. What kind of diabetes do you have? What put you at risk? Understand your blood glucose level, and what part insulinand/or medication will play in your life. What are the potential complications if you don’t manage the disease as instructed by your health care provider? Do your research and gain some intellectual power over this disease.
Step 2: Change Your Eating Habits
To control your blood sugar level and lose necessary weight, the food on your plate will have to change. Don’t think of it as a diet, but a healthier way to eat. Foods that include vegetables, some fruits, lean protein and complex carbohydrates will be on your shopping list. Talk to a dietician about a sensible meal plan that you can stick to.
Step 3: Work Out Your Fitness Routine
People with diabetes tend to be obese or overweight. So, part of your action plan must include exercise. More than likely, your doctor has advised you to lose weight. Your best bet? A workout routine that includes both strength training and cardiovascular exercise. After consulting your doctor, you may want to lace up your sneakers, join a gym or check into the YMCA/YWCA to get the help you need to get moving. If not, there are also plenty of ways to work out at home, too.
Step 4: Take Your Meds
Some people with type 2 diabetes must take diabetes pills or insulin shots to help their bodies use glucose for energy. The insulin is broken down during digestion just like the protein in food. Insulin does not come in the form of a pill. It must be injected into the fat under your skin for it to get into your blood.
Step 5: Seek Support
You may be able to handle diabetes alone, but it’s so much easier with support. Look to family members and friends who will be there to assist you with your new lifestyle changes. Find diabetes support groups and get involved with community events and fundraisers to increase awareness around the disease.