A Checklist for People Recently Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes
Last updated: August 2023
Have you been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? Are you wondering, "Now what?" It is okay to feel overwhelmed after your diagnosis. A poem I wrote has resonated with me and may help to provide perspective.
Diabetes is a full-time job. You don't get to take a vacation from it. You can't take time off. You don't get paid, and you can't quit.
A diabetes diagnosis can seem daunting, but you can manage type 2 diabetes with a plan. No 2 diabetes management plans are the same. Below is a helpful checklist that consists of 4 simple yet profound steps. Each step is designed to empower you to help you stay in control of your type 2 diabetes.
Step 1: Educate
Educate yourself about type 2 diabetes. The more you know about your diagnosis, the better you can manage it in the future. Learn about healthy blood glucose ranges and strive to keep your blood glucose within that range.
There are many aspects to managing diabetes, so reading and learning are key! A healthy and balanced eating plan is essential in managing type 2 diabetes. It will ensure your glucose numbers stay within range. Empower yourself with knowledge, and you can empower others with all that you have learned in your new journey.
Step 2: Assemble your support team
Your support team can help guide you on your type 2 diabetes management journey. A registered dietitian can craft an adequate nutrition plan based on your needs. Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (CDCES) or diabetes educators are available to support you manage your blood sugar.
You can access diabetes communities and online support groups that offer advice and validation. It's nice hearing from others with the same diagnosis. You can relate and get great advice from others living with type 2 diabetes. In addition, friends and family can be supportive of you while managing diabetes.
Step 3: Monitor your mental health
It's not uncommon to feel depressed after diagnosis. After my type 2 diabetes diagnosis, I felt depressed. It was a gradual effect for me. For others, it may come on fast.
You might find support through therapy, medication, or a combination of both. It's crucial to seek help if needed. Postponing treatment will make it harder to improve your mental health. Don't feel ashamed about your mental health. Life can throw things our way that are hard. Feeling depressed does not mean you are weak. Getting help is an act of courage and strength.
Step 4: Take time for yourself
People with type 2 diabetes must prioritize self-care—schedule regular breaks to recharge physically and mentally.
Eating nutrient-dense food, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of sleep are a few great self-care ideas. Finding some time to unwind and relax is important! The ways you relax will look different for everyone. It could be walking, taking a bath, or putting your feet up and reading a book. You deserve to take time for yourself.
Growing and thriving with diabetes
These steps will keep you on track and will help you not get to the stage of burnout. Diabetes is a manageable disease. As you learn and live with it, you will grow and thrive with diabetes. Diabetes won't be controlling you; you will be in control of your diabetes.
Do you find it difficult to "eat right" and stick to a nutrition plan?