A diabetes diagnosis can be a frightening thing. As soon as the doctor tells you that the tests are positive and you have diabetes, you probably start to think of all the more serious complications. While it’s true that uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious issues, such as heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and even amputations, there is a sure way to protect yourself: It’s called good diabetes management and control.
When you are first diagnosed, there are a few steps you should take immediately. First, give yourself a few moments to “freak out” about the issue. You are likely to be scared, uncertain, in tears, angry, or anything else along those lines that you can imagine. Instead of fighting it, let yourself go — for just a little while. Then take a deep breath, dry your eyes, and move on to the next essential thing.
Ask questions. Start asking lots of questions. Diabetes is a wide-reaching disease that affects many organs of the body, and can have effects you might not have expected. Ask about what to expect. This includes doing plenty of research. The Mayo Clinic and the American Diabetes Association are excellent places to begin.
Take control of your diabetes by taking control of your lifestyle. Yes, diabetes can cause serious complications — but it is also a very treatable disease, and by taking a firm grip of your diabetes treatment and long-term plans, you can lessen your risk of complications dramatically. Talk to your doctor about what you need to do. Diet, exercise, glucose monitoring, medication, and the like are all part of a good diabetes management plan. Make the decision right now that you are going to keep your blood sugar levels under control, and then do what needs to be done to reach that goal.
Finally, reach out. Don’t be scared all alone! Let someone else know what is happening to you, and ask them to talk to you about it all. Sharing your experience will help you get a firmer hold on your diabetes, and you will feel more able to cope with it all, especially on those “down” days when you wonder what you’re doing!
Diabetes is a treatable disease. You can lead a long, healthy life for decades after a diagnosis. Certain lifestyle changes might even be able to slow or reverse the effects of diabetes. Talk to your doctor now about what you can do to ensure a bright, healthy future.