Been Diagnosed with Diabetes? 6 Critical Things to Do Next
Being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes is a scary, morale affecting process that can cause severe disruptions to your life. Before continuing, it’s important to note that this diagnosis does not represent a personal failing. Genetics also plays a key role in developing diabetes.
If you’re proactive after being diagnosed, you can make your life more comfortable and prevent several long-lasting health complications. There’s still time to get ahead of this disease.
What to do After Being Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes:
Adapting to blood glucose testing, a different diet, medication, and exercise isn’t easy. It’s essential to make small changes to your lifestyle if you want to form these habits long-term.
1. Adapting Now Pays Off Later
Looking at diabetes as a serious illness isn’t about causing unnecessary stress; it’s about structuring your priorities. Ignoring the disease won’t cause significant short-term issues, but elevated glucose levels eventually damage your organs, blood vessels, and nervous system.
A landmark Diabetes Prevention Program study found that a small portion of pre-diabetic people had evidence of eye disease, so adapting to your new life should take precedence. Better diabetes management will pay off now (for mood and energy) and later down the line.
2. Start Looking Into Life Insurance
Getting diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes isn’t a death sentence. In fact, diabetes can be reversed in many cases. However, you should check if you qualify for life insurance for diabetics to protect yourself from a what-if scenario. With chronic conditions, you can’t be too careful.
For people with well-managed conditions who are generally healthy, life insurance is both accessible and affordable either for a term or permanent policy. If you have advanced or uncontrolled diabetes, you can opt for no medical exam or guaranteed issue life insurance.
3. Know That Diabetes is Progressive
By the time you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you’ve already lost up to 50% or more of your beta-cell function. These cells are often insulin resistant, so they can’t use the insulin they make effectively. If diabetes goes untreated, the beta-cell function will continue to decrease over time.
As the disease progresses, blood glucose will be harder to manage, which may make it necessary for you to take medications. If you’re diligent with your blood glucose management, you’ll preserve your remaining beta cell function and prevent the disease from progressing.
4. Food Will Be Your Medicine
Doctors recommend that you lower carbs in your diet, but that often confuses patients. You absolutely need to eat carbs because they’re your main source of energy. However, you need to eat the right kinds of carbs, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Avoid soda and junk food.
The best way to avoid processed food is to not buy it. Keep your counters, cupboards, and fridge stocked with minimally processed foods. That also means substituting regular flour for oat or coconut flour because it has a smaller impact on your blood glucose and contains fiber.
Related Resource: 6 Diet Trends For 2022 And How To Incorporate Them Into Your Lifestyle
5. Exercise is the Best Drug
All you need is 30 minutes of physical activity a day to lead a healthy lifestyle and lower your blood glucose and cholesterol levels. It’s crucial to find an activity you love, so you can stick with it. Walking, using a stationary bike, and weight training are perfect low-impact exercises.
If you’re having trouble sticking with a routine, you’re not alone. Exercising isn’t fun, and it can be difficult to find time for it. We recommend finding a coworker to walk with you to work or on your lunch break or set goals for yourself to stay accountable. Your body will thank you.
6. Test Blood Glucose Often
Pricking yourself with a needle daily is not a great experience, but if you test a lot when you start, you’ll be able to recognize patterns. Test after certain events, like after a meal or exercise, to see what factors spike your blood glucose levels. See how they compare with other events.
There are plenty of apps and programs that help you create a testing schedule. You can also input your plan into a cloud-based calendar, like Google Calendar, so you’ll be notified to take your next test. If you notice something concerning, take your findings to your doctor.