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Living Healthy

6 Steps to Take After Being Diagnosed With Diabetes

August 10, 2021
Get Your Care Started in the Right Direction

Being diagnosed with diabetes can be an overwhelming experience. Use the advice below to help you learn how to adjust to living with diabetes. 

1. Ask your doctor for a referral to a diabetes self-management education and support provider, a certified diabetes educator, or a registered dietitian/registered dietitian nutritionist. These professionals can help you create a healthy eating plan.

2. Talk to your doctor about a treatment plan, including medications to help manage your blood glucose level. You should also ask questions about drug interactions, when to test your blood sugar, and exercise recommendations.

3. Develop an activity plan. The American Diabetes Association recommends accumulating 30 minutes of aerobic activity (such as walking) on most days, as well as resistance training (pushing, pulling, lifting) two or three times a week. These activities can be built into your day.

4. Seek out support. Being diagnosed with diabetes can be an overwhelming experience, but connecting with others can help. Find support groups either online or in person — for instance, community programs and group diabetes classes. Also, talk to your health-care providers, friends, and family.

5. Shop for supplies. Managing diabetes requires many tools. Make sure you have the following on hand: a blood glucose meter, blood glucose test strips, a lancing device (usually comes with the meter), a lancet (used in the lancing device), medicine, syringes, a sharps container, medical identification, and a journal, record book, or mobile app that will help you track what you eat, your activity and stress levels, and medicines and their effects on your blood sugar readings.

6. Work with your doctor to create a diabetes care schedule that outlines when to get preventive tests and checkups. Make sure to include any goals and targets.