Newly Diagnosed with Diabetes, Now What?

Are you one of the 1.5 million people that have been diagnosed with diabetes this year? Or maybe a loved one recently was diagnosed. Are you feeling a sense of overwhelm and concern on what to do next? If so, I’ve got you covered!

Metformin

More than likely your physician will prescribe a medication, this will vary depending on your A1c blood test result. That lab test indicates how controlled your diabetes is. Ideally, you want that number below 7% to ensure your Diabetes isn’t wrecking havoc and causing damage to any other parts of your body.

Typically, you’ll be prescribed an oral medication called Metformin. Again, it completely depends on your starting point and past medical history. Metformin is generally dose twice a day. Usually when starting that prescription your doctor will recommend you gradually increase the dosage. You may start out on 500 mg daily for the first week, then if you’re feeling fine increase that to 500 mg twice daily.

It’s done this way to limit the amount of side effects you may have once starting that medicine. Many people find it hard to tolerate with the abdominal upset and diarrhea that usually accompanies it. Most of the time this subsides within the first few weeks, but if you’re still experiencing symptoms you’ll want to notify your physician.

In that case, he/she may prescribe a longer acting Metformin that slowly releases over a 24 time fram. Some people tolerate that better, but it does have a little higher price tag. Other times they will decrease your dose and see if you tolerate that better and keep it there with recommendations for you to change your lifestyle habits (we’ll talk more about this in a minute).

Diabetes Management

You’ll want to monitor your blood sugars routinely. Typicially, it’s suggested to check your first morning blood sugar level before you eat, drink, or take any medications. You’ll want to keep track of those numbers with a blood sugar log or jot them down on a piece of paper. For specifics regarding How to Check your Blood Sugar Level using a glucometer device click here to read an indepth article I’ve written on that topic.

Diabetes also can cause nerve damage. Your doctor will want to check your bare feet approximately once a year to ensure you still have feeling in them and haven’t developed nerve damage. They just take a small piece of plastic, usually, and drag it along the bottoms of your feet. Nerve damage can lead to ulcers and that’s not something you’ll want to deal with. To read more about Diabetic Foot Care click here to be redirected to another post.

You’ll need to get a “Diabetic Eye Exam” with your ophthalmologist once a year. Yes, unfortunately diabetes can affect everything from your eyes to your toes. Make sure you notify your eye doctor you were newly diagnosed with diabetes to ensure you get the correct exam.

When blood sugar levels are not kept under control, it can have a devistating effect on your body. So if you are someone that is prediabetic or newly diagnosed consider this your wake up call. You are lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to take back control over your health. It is entirely up to you if you want to take advantage of that. I know you do–> Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. So congratulations for taking the first step!

Grocery Shopping

This is the achilles heal for many of us. I know going to the grocery store and wandering the isles trying to decifer what’s healthy and what’s not is overwhelming to say the least. Especially with all of the fancy labels claiming to be good for you or healthy options- really are full of nonsense.

Ideally, you’ll want to gradually cut out the items that are spiking your blood sugars to begin with. I’ve created a list of foods that you’ll want to avoid to lower your blood sugar that you can grab by clicking the button below.

So what on earth should you be eating to help improve your blood sugar numbers and help reverse the effects of Type 2 Diabetes? The first thing is lots of vegetables. Try and get as much vegetables in a day as you can. Plan on having them at lunch and dinner and maybe a snack when you’re feeling the munchies kick in.

When choosing vegetables, like anything, try and choose organic. I know we’ve talked about this before, if you can’t afford it I totally understand. Just do what you can with what you’ve got. A great way to get local produce fairly reasonable is to visit your local Farmer’s Market. I usually like to go within the last hour that they are open so they are ready to play “Let’s Make a Deal!”.

You’ll also want to eat leaner cuts of meat, so not marbled brisket 🙁 I know- I feel ya on this one! I’m a Texas girl, so I can smell a brisket a mile away.

You can have fruit, but in moderation. You’re blood sugars are going to react much worse than someone without diabetes when you consume anything sugary. So a handful of berries would be reasonable, but sitting down and eating three mangos is probably not a great idea.

Nuts are good snack foods that help satisfy hunger cravings and are packed with nutrients and protein.

In general, you’ll want to avoid gluten- read this post for full details. And just an FYI because the product says it’s Whole Grain doesn’t mean it’s a lot better for you. If you’re eating sandwiches every day and a peice of bread for dinner that has a way of stacking up the calories and not giving you any of the vitamins or nutrients you need to sustain your energy. You may notice a spike in your energy for about 30 minutes then you’ll crash pretty hard.

If you’re still feeling stuck and want additional help in this department, be sure to join the community and I’ll be the first to let you know once I’m taking on clients for Diabetes nutrition health coaching (in June 2019).

Hope this was helpful to get you started. Feel free to click the Diabetes tag which will pull up all of the topics I’ve posted about Diabetes. If you have any further questions be sure to drop a comment below and I can add some information here or direct you to where you can find it. Take care!

Chelsea

Your Advocate for Health & Hope

Drop some knowledge & comment here!