Diagnosis Diabetes

Most likely as soon as you heard "diabetes" your world was turned upside down. Frankly, most people go through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. This is normal and to be expected! It took me months to accept that I even had diabetes and that it was not going to go away.

Here are some things that you need to understand as a newly diagnosed diabetic:

Don't Panic

It will be okay. Honestly, take a deep breath and give yourself a mental shake and/or hug. While it is not a fun diagnosis, it is one of the few diseases which you have direct control over. You can control your diabetes and live a happy, healthy, normal life.

When I was a first diagnosed, I was very hard on myself. I was convinced that this was all my fault and I spent countless hours playing "what if" and generally making myself miserable. You don't need to do that to yourself! There are a lot of factors that can contribute to diabetes but the biggest factor is your genetics.

So please, for your sake, don't blame yourself. Try not to do what I did as it is terribly self-destructive and NOT helpful. You have an important job ahead, figuring out how to control your diabetes, and you can't effectively do that if you are still going in circles, hating yourself.

Get the Right Diagnosis

Most likely someone (a doctor, nurse, etc.) dropped the bomb on you and left you without any guidance or explanation. It will be up to you to drive how things unfold from here. One important thing to figure out first is:

  1. Get a concrete diagnosis. If you are reading this because you think you have diabetes, go to the doctor and make sure!
  2. Figure out which type you are. It is extremely common for a doctor to simply say "you have diabetes" and assume that you have one type or another without actually running the tests to know for sure.

Understand Just Enough To Stay Safe

There is a ton of information to learn about diabetes. However you don't need to know all of it at the beginning. Your priority should be to get your blood sugar down to a safe level so that you don't end up in a hospital and to emotionally figure things out. Perfection can wait until you are ready to deal.

At the beginning, focus on the following:

  1. Start testing. For now just start tracking your blood sugar and get a feel for if your numbers are going in the right direction. Don't stress about the numbers, just be aware of them and know when to seek help if they get too high.
  2. Reduce your carbohydrates. You don't have to tackle everything at once, the goal is to simply make enough changes to get your numbers out of the danger zone. For example, try cutting out sweets, bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. That should quickly bring your blood sugar down.
  3. Once you are safe and have gotten used to monitoring your blood sugar, start researching on your own. Now that you have gotten things a bit under control and are no longer freaked out, you can start learning more about diabetes and figuring out the best way for you to control your blood sugar.

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