Tips For The Newly Diagnosed

By Young1s Latest Reply 2012-04-05 15:50:35 -0500
Started 2012-01-09 00:17:09 -0600

Welcome to the DC family. If it's not too presumptuous, I thought I'd offer these tips that I've learned from other DC members. They've helped me navigate through the first few months of diabetic life. I hope they can do the same for you.

1. Check your BG (blood glucose) levels regularly. Some check 2-3 times/day, others check 6+ times. It's what's best/convenient for you. At the very least, test first thing in the morning (fasting) and before bedtime.
2. Keep all doctor's appointments. Ask lots of questions and make sure you are satisfied with the answers. Also, let the doctor know everything you've been doing between visits. Whether it's the right thing or not.
3. Research, research, research. You don't want to be in the dark about this disease or your medications. We can give you answers but they are our personal opinions. We're no experts, so your search for knowledge needs to come from outside professional sources, as well.
3. Drink plenty of water. The general rule is 8 glasses a day but more is always better. ESPECIALLY when your BG's are too high.
4. If possible, meet with a dietician or take a diabetes education class. They'll be able to give you a general idea of what to expect, a basic meal plan, ideas of what not to eat til your levels start to lower, and are another source of information and support.
5. Take notes. Not just of the things that are pertinent to you now, but the things/ideas that may be of assistance to you in the future. Write it down, save it on the computer/flash drive or print it out. This way it is easily accessible to you.
6. Cook with as much fresh foods as possible. Also, just because you have D, doesn't mean that you have to give up you favorite recipes. You'll just have to learn how to substitute bad ingredients with good. Have fun with it and don't be afraid to try new things.
a. Read labels. Counting calories is good for loosing weight but counting carbs is best for lowering BG levels. Check with your doctor/nutritionist as to how many carbs you should have with each meal/snack.
b. Eat REGULARLY. Shoot for the same time, every day. Starving yourself or eating sporadically won't do your numbers any good. If your eating patterns are all over the map, you can't accurately monitor your levels.
7. If you're Type I, watch out for dangerous lows. If they occur, keep on hand something that will raise your levels when you drop. Glucose tabs, a juice box or a can of soda all work in a pinch. The point is to eat/drink something that will take affect quickly.
8. Get a medical bracelet, regardless of what type you are. If you're ever in a position where you can't articulate what is happening to you (extreme highs/lows), the bracelet will alert people to your health condition(s) and what is possibly going on. You can check with your pharmacy or online for designs options and pricing.

You also need to keep a journal. It should, at least have DAILY records of:
1. When you test and what the BG level is.
2. What food/beverage you eat/drink and when.
3. What medication(s) you take and when.
4. What exercise you get in and when.

It seems like a lot, but don't be overwhelmed. It gets easier with time. Just keep one more important thing in mind. We'll do our best to be of support, but this is your journey to walk. We can't make you test, eat (or not eat), exercise, etc… these things are all on you. But we're here for you and have your back whenever you need us. We also look forward to what it is that you can help us with, as well. Because whether we've been in this fight for a while or new to the battle, we're all learning from each other and that's what makes this place, this family, so special. Be blessed.

34 replies

MewElla 2012-01-27 19:36:58 -0600 Report

What a great job you did with this article laying out all the things we need to learn when we get diagnosed …Very well said!

JSJB 2012-01-11 04:35:56 -0600 Report

Thank yoou for the tips. I do have a journal in a small note book. Next step is to create a spread sheet to keep better track of what I do. Sometimes I can not read my own hand writing in the note book

Young1s 2012-01-11 04:54:40 -0600 Report

Your welcome JSJB. Good luck with the spreadsheet. I have chicken scratch syndrome at time, too.

teresa.still77 2012-01-10 13:11:45 -0600 Report

Thank you for your advise. It is a scarey feeling when first diagnosed. I am having a problem with exercise motivation also. I thought I was going overboard by keeping a journal of what, when and how much goes into my mouth each day. My dietician is allowing me 1600 calories, 20 fat g, 180 carbs and 5 protein items per day. I have kept the calories less than allowed because I am really wanting to lose the weight. (I am really missing carbs!) I am also reworking all my "old" recipes to make them diabetic friendly.

Young1s 2012-01-10 14:56:45 -0600 Report

Your welcome Teresa. Sounds like your on a 45g carbs per meal, plus 10-15g per snack, a day. Me too. And way to go on reworking those recipes! I'm right there with you. I found out I'm diabetic at what I feel is a high in my years of cooking and I refuse to give up these recipes that I have worked so hard on perfecting. Keep up the good fight because it's worth it. And remember, vaccuuming or mopping and yard work or gardening count towards exercise, too. BTW: Still77…I'm still 30. :)

Young1s 2012-01-09 15:48:24 -0600 Report

I just realized that I forgot to put a bit more emphasis on Exercise. It really is important to get it in your daily routine. It doesn't have to be much at first, so long as your moving something and getting that blood flowing.

I guess I put it in the back of my mind because I'm personally struggling with being motivated to get up off my butt and go. But when I do…I feel worlds better. And it shows in my BG numbers as well.

pixsidust 2012-01-09 09:55:17 -0600 Report

I love this!

Young1s 2012-01-09 15:20:20 -0600 Report

Thank you Christy. I hope it helps to makes someones first month's as bearable as it was for me. I want to thank you for your part in that, as well. Your special words of encouragement never miss their mark, in being sincerely uplifting.

Caroltoo 2012-01-09 00:22:28 -0600 Report

Nice summary, Pat. Thank you.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-01-09 09:51:27 -0600 Report

I agree with Carol, Pat summarized it for all of us. This is something we need to control. Good luck, Louise

Young1s 2012-01-09 15:21:50 -0600 Report

Thank you SA. There are a few on this list that will never go out of style, no matter how long we've been living with D.

Young1s 2012-01-09 00:31:56 -0600 Report

No…thank YOU Carol. You are amongst those of whom have guided me through the rough patches; and not just with my diabetes. Your support and friendship means more to me than you know.

melissa1987 2012-04-04 20:15:28 -0500 Report

Ya she's a great person :)

melissa1987 2012-04-04 21:12:05 -0500 Report

Thanks Y and I'm doing alright , I have my days just like everyone .. I should be on meds soon n off insulin. My a1c came back alright 6.1 but the doctor is keeping me on insulin for this month n I'm on meds for my depression so I hope they kick in soon … Hope all is good with u guys :)

Young1s 2012-04-05 15:42:39 -0500 Report

That's great news, Melissa. Especially about your A1c. We're all proud of you. Like Carol said, give it some time for your system to adjust to the new meds. You'll be surprised at the difference it will make in your overall attitude. You're doing a great job. Stay in touch.

Caroltoo 2012-04-04 21:19:43 -0500 Report

Oh, an A1c of 6.1 is good. You've made some real progress. Bet you'll be glad to be off the insulin. Depression meds take 2-4 weeks to become effective and are usually fully effective closer to the end of the 4 weeks. I think the world will look a lot different to you then. Keep up the good work, Melissa. You've made some great changes.

melissa1987 2012-04-04 21:36:12 -0500 Report

Thank you even tho I don't post I still come on and read some posts that help me . You helped me a lot and I will be forever thankful

Caroltoo 2012-04-04 21:41:50 -0500 Report

I'm glad, Melissa, that you are here and that you've found some help here through me or any of us on the site. You had some big hurdles to get over and while you are a strong woman, but its always good to have someone who can help along the way. You won't feel so alone. You'll always have support here when you need it. All you need to do is let us know when that is and what you need.

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