If you've just been diagnosed with diabetes, you can still enjoy doing the things you love while taking care of yourself.
Use these six strategies to manage your health and live a rewarding, active life.
1. Get Informed About Diabetes
Your first step after being diagnosed is to ask questions and learn as much as you can about:
- What changes you can make to take care of yourself
- What medical treatments you need
Start with your doctor. He or she may also put you in touch with diabetes educators, dietitians, or other specialists who can help you get answers to the questions that concern you most.
Talk to your friends and family members who have diabetes. You could also join a support group and connect online with other people who have diabetes. Knowing more helps you make choices.
2. Get Care for Your Diabetes
Your doctor is your main resource for getting the care you need to live well with diabetes. Your treatment may include:
- Medicines. Whether you need medication to help treat your diabetes depends on your symptoms, complications, blood sugar, and other issues.
- Lifestyle changes. These may include changing your diet, losing extra weight, and becoming more active.
- Monitoring your blood sugar. Your doctor can teach you how to keep track and show you what to do to avoid highs and lows.
3. Track Your ABCs
Diabetes makes you more likely to get conditions that may affect your eyes, nerves, heart, teeth, and more. This is why you want to watch your diabetes ABCs.
- "A" stands for A1c. This test measures your average blood sugar over the past 2 or 3 months. Your goal is to keep your A1c around 7% or less without risking low blood sugar. Your doctor can help.
- "B" stands for blood pressure. If you have diabetes, you are more likely to get high blood pressure, which can lead to other serious conditions. Get your numbers checked two to four times a year.
- "C" stands for cholesterol. Having diabetes can also put you at risk for high cholesterol, which makes heart disease and strokes more likely. Get it checked at least once every year.