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What to Do When You're First Diagnosed With Diabetes

By Randi Morse

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can be extremely frightening. I always joke that when I was diagnosed I went through the stages of grief: denial, "I don't have diabetes"; anger, "of course my life is horrible and I have diabetes"; depression, "this is horrible"; bargaining, "I should be able to at least eat a candy bar sometimes"; acceptance, "OK, let's get this figured out." 

Thanks to today's knowledge and medication, a diagnoses of type 2 diabetes is something that can be treated and conquered. If you're newly diagnosed, here are some of the first steps you should take. 

Confirm you have diabetes - It's important to double-check the lab results just to make sure that you have diabetes. There are times when initial results are not quite correct, such as if you ate or drank something before your test. This could skew the results, which is why it's important to be retested.

Get a team - Your primary care provider should be the center of your team. He is going to be the person who helps put together your team and keeps track of your progress. If he doesn't recommend any experts, ask to be referred to either a diabetes educator or a dietitian. A dietitian will look at your current diet and help modify it to be more diabetes friendly, while a diabetes educator will make sure that you know everything you need to know about type 2 diabetes, including how to properly check your blood sugar.

Start medication - If your doctor prescribes you medication, start taking it as soon as possible. Diet and exercise can't always help to manage type 2 diabetes, especially when you are just starting your journey with the disease.

Get a meal plan - Changing your diet is probably one of the most difficult parts of dealing with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, but it is the best way to help bring your blood sugar down. Your dietitian should be able to help you learn how to tweak your weekly meals to help lower the carbs and raise the protein. You'll learn to change out sweet, sugary drinks for more diabetic friendly drinks, like water, and how to find healthy, low-sugar snacks.

Start exercising - If you've never been someone who enjoys exercising, this part may be difficult. It's important to know that you don't have to be ready to run a marathon in a few months, although that would be an amazing goal to strive for. Simply getting regular exercise is enough to help lower your blood sugar. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lawrenceville, Ga.

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