To print: Select File and then Print from your browser's menu
Getting Started With Type 2 Diabetes
October 15, 2012
I’ve been writing for Diabetes Self-Management for quite some time now, and I also write for other publications and Web sites. In addition, as I’ve previously mentioned, I’m a dietitian and certified diabetes educator.
It seems that, no matter what topic I write about or what questions I answer, the same type of question frequently comes up: “I just found out that I have Type 2 diabetes. What do I do?” Sometimes, the question is worded a little differently, and sometimes it’s more specific (for example, “what can I eat?”). These are excellent questions, of course. But they make me realize that, despite the wealth of diabetes information that’s out there, we’re not reaching everyone.
Almost 26 million people in the US have diabetes. What can we do to inform and inspire them? I may be one person, but I know that even if I reach a small handful of people and help them, I’ve done part of my job. So this week, the posting is for those of you who are either new to diabetes or who may have had diabetes for a while and are now ready to do something about it.
First Things First
Or, maybe it’s no big deal to you. Whatever you’re feeling, let it happen. It’s normal and it’s good for you to let it out. You’ve just been diagnosed with a chronic illness. For now, at least, it’s not going away. You have a right to feel scared, angry, or worried.
A Reality Check
The not-so-good news? It’s up to you to manage it. It’s not your doctor’s job, nor your dietitian’s or diabetes educator’s job, either. They should be helping you, but you have to deal with and manage it at least 95% of the time.
Get Your Team Going
• Dietitian (yes, you really should meet with a dietitian, especially one who specializes in diabetes).
• Diabetes educator (this could be a nurse, dietitian, or pharmacist).
• Diabetes education program (usually, a series of classes to teach you about the various aspects of diabetes self-management, like meal planning, blood glucose monitoring, foot care, and sick-day management).
You may be thinking that you don’t need all of this, but you do. Reading about diabetes on the Internet or buying a diabetes book can be helpful, but you’ll end up with more questions than answers. That’s because diabetes care is very individualized. By the way, insurance will likely cover most aspects of diabetes self-management, but you’ll probably need a referral from your doctor. Call your health-care plan to find out what’s covered. Also, ask your doctor if you need to see specialists, such as an endocrinologist, cardiologist, or podiatrist.
Know Your Numbers
Focus on Your Lifestyle…and Find Support
Disclaimer of Medical Advice:You understand that the blogs posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents, bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind and you should not rely on any information contained on such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.