Finding out that you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes can be extremely overwhelming. You probably have a lot of questions and worries, and that is perfectly normal.
To help you show your diabetes who’s boss and ensure that you live your best life, here are some key initial steps you should take after finding out you’ve been diagnosed. This guide should also be used in conjunction with the advice your doctor has given you, which should include a plan for how to tackle your diabetes smartly and safely.
First up, look over your healthcare plan.
Make Sure Your Healthcare Plan Offers the Coverage You Need
Unfortunately, diabetes can be expensive. For this reason, it’s important that you check with your insurance provider to see what they can assist with in terms of your diabetes medication or diabetes management solutions.
When you reach out to a customer service rep with questions about your health plan, they should be able to provide you with some much-needed clarity. However, make sure to ask all and any questions you have to ensure you have the information you need to make smart decisions.
For example, make sure to ask about any monthly premium fees, as well as if there are any restrictions on the types of diabetes supplies you can buy and how much of the costs they’ll cover. Ask what prescribed medications are covered, if there is a prescription plan, and how often those prescriptions can be refilled.
Your employer—specifically HR—should be able to help out if you get your health insurance through them. There are some great opportunities for you to get assistance with managing your diabetes at minimal cost to you.
For example, see if your employer offers Pops Diabetes Care’s Rebel + Mina—a cutting-edge, user-friendly diabetes management solution. If your employer doesn’t, pass this card on to them, and we’ll help them get it set up so you can be well on your way to taking control over your diabetes!
Create a Diabetes Eating Plan That Works For You
One of the best ways to ensure that you keep your diabetes in check is by eating balanced, healthy meals consistently. A dietitian can help you work out a balanced plan of some of your favorite foods, and your doctor can also offer some advice on what to eat.
There are also plenty of online resources out there that can help you create a plan that encompasses all the foods you need without compromising taste.
It’s also important to remember that we’re all human and that sometimes we don’t always stick to our diet plan. That’s okay, as long as you’re doing your best to abide by the plan you’ve outlined. When you create your plan, physically writing it down will help you keep better track of it and may encourage you to ensure you follow it.
Develop a Physical Activity Schedule
Another key to controlling your diabetes is ensuring that you get the recommended amount of daily physical activity. According to the American Diabetes Association, 30 minutes of aerobic activity is the amount to strive for. This can include running, swimming, biking, or walking briskly. Resistance training is also encouraged but not necessarily required.
Exercise can help you improve your blood sugar levels, help your body make better use of the insulin you still make, decrease your cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. Exercise also helps with weight management and maintenance, in addition to improving strength, endurance, and flexibility.
Just like your meal plan, it’s a good idea to keep some sort of physical or digital document so that you know what your exercise schedule looks like in advance. That way you can plan around it (or alter your plan around your workweek/any social engagements you may have).
It’s also important to surround yourself with a sound support system that will encourage you to keep up with your diet and exercise, as well as just being there for you for general support. Finding a workout buddy or someone who is also trying to eat healthy to accompany and to hold one another accountable is a great idea.
Connect With Others Who Have Diabetes
While family and friends are great for support, sometimes you’ll want to connect with people who truly know what you’re going through. Finding local in-person, online support groups, or group diabetes classes can help you get through the tough times.
This article has a list of some popular diabetes support groups. But, by Googling support groups in your state or city, you should be able to find some nearby. Or, check out our blog post.
There are a lot of good resources online for people who have diabetes. Here are just a few other places you can go for answers: