Newly Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes

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You’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and understandably you may feel shock, anger, sadness, or helplessness. Yes, it can be serious. It’s nothing to take lightly, but it is very manageable, and you can absolutely lead a normal life. If you’ve read any of our articles regarding Type 2 Diabetes, you know that healthy eating and regular exercise are key to living with diabetes. Now that you know, you can take the first steps toward feeling better and living a longer life. We’d like to help alleviate some of the stresses, and worry out of being newly diagnosed with five of the first steps you should take.

Get a Second Opinion

There’s no guarantee that the second test will yield different results, but there could be a chance that a mistake was made during the test. In the event that a lab error was made, or you ate or drank something before the test, there is a possibility that the first test may be inaccurate. The hemoglobin A1c test measures glucose levels over a three month period, and is generally accurate even if administered soon after meal consumption. However, with something as life-changing as diabetes, a second opinion is always recommended.

Select Your Team of Professionals

In addition to routine visits to your primary-care physician, you’ll likely be visiting with other professionals, such as a dietitian or diabetes educator. This group will play a vital role in helping you achieve healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, and then maintaining them. They’ll also make sure you know how to check your blood sugar at home.

Begin Medication

Once you’ve confirmed diagnosis and assembled your team, it’s time to begin medication. Metformin was approved by the FDA in 1994, and is the most common treatment option for those with Type 2 Diabetes. This is generally the first drug prescribed, due to its low risk of side effects. If blood sugar doesn’t change as it should with this medication and healthy lifestyle changes, a different drug may be prescribed. If you are a male over the age of 50, or a woman over 60, the ADA recommends a low dose of aspirin to reduce risk of heart attack, but be sure to consult your physician.

Diet and Exercise

Be sure to read our article dedicated to this topic. Healthy eating and regular exercise are two of the most important lifestyle changes that you can make once you’ve been diagnosed. Losing 5-10 percent of body weight can make a huge difference in managing your diabetes.

Regular Exams

Although most complications can be avoided with proper treatment and healthy choices, it is a good idea to get annual eye and foot exams for early detection of problems that could lead to blindness or amputation. Additionally, the ADA suggests that those with diabetes get screened for kidney disease each year.

We know being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes can be a scary time, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised how normal a life you can lead if you keep a positive attitude, and stay on top of treatment and healthy living. Keep in mind, these are not your only options.

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