Many people who are newly diagnosed with diabetes have heard very little, if anything, about diabetes.
Your diagnosing doctor might give you an overview of what it is, explain what you need to do on a daily basis to treat it, and prescribe some sort of medication, then send you on your way, telling you to come back in a few months to follow up. If you are lucky, your doctor referred you to a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) or a dietician to help you adjust your lifestyle in order to control your diabetes. Even then, you probably only met with them a few times, during which you were completely overwhelmed and unable to comprehend everything they were telling you.
Diabetes is a very involved and complicated disease, and there is no way to understand it and the treatments available all in one sitting. But over time you will start to understand it as you live with it on a daily basis — if you're willing to learn.
If you take only what the doctor has told you and try to have successful control, you will most likely fail. It is important to learn about what your body is doing in order to adjust your diet and lifestyle to balance your blood sugar and successfully manage this disease.
Diabetes education is a continual process. If you have done a lot of research and talked in depth with your doctor and CDE, you may feel prepared for whatever diabetes may bring. This is a great first step and will definitely get you on the right track. But over time, your body with change and so will your needs in your diabetes management.
Technology will also change, which will bring new and improved treatment options and research breakthroughs. For this reason, you should always be looking for ways to learn more about your diabetes and what you can do to have the best control. You can’t just learn how to manage it and stick with that method. There will always be adjustments that need to be made.
You should be meeting with your doctor every few months to monitor how you are doing with your diabetes management. Ask your doctor if there is any new treatments or research you may benefit from.
You can also do research online or subscribe to a diabetes journal or magazine that would have new information published regularly. Attending diabetes education classes if they are available in your area, is another great idea. Don’t be fooled into thinking those are just for people who are newly diagnosed. Even if you have had diabetes for years, I guarantee that you can learn something new from one of these classes.
Don’t just seek education for yourself, but also for your family. They need to understand this disease just as much as you do. So make sure you include them in your diabetes education. Don’t pass up an opportunity to teach them something new about diabetes so that they can be better prepared to help you in your daily management. Take the time to get educated and to stay educated about diabetes. It will make the biggest difference in your diabetes control and management. The better you understand something, the better you can attack it head on.