I Have Diabetes Now What
A new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is sure to take you on an emotional roller coaster ride. It is completely natural to feel low after your diagnosis. Emotions run amok as you face the reality of future complications like heart disease, kidney failure and vision related problems, all while you grieve for lost health.
Diabetes can be a tough condition to accept, so feelings of anger, shock, resentment, betrayal, shame and denial are completely normal. Studies show that it is not uncommon for newly diagnosed diabetics to go through a period of depression. But you can learn to deal with the emotions that come up with a diabetes diagnosis.
We are not going to lie to you you will need to commit to making changes so you can live a better life with diabetes, and that requires work. Since your body is no longer able to respond effectively to insulin and may not be fully capable of preventing blood glucose levels to rise dangerously high, you will need to make positive changes to your lifestyle. But know that you are not alone on this journey. You can find the right support system if you join a Diabetes Forum where you can talk about your feelings and share experiences. Your doctor or healthcare provider can also help educate you so you understand that Diabetes Type 2 can be well controlled.
If You’re Diagnosed With Diabetes
What the GP will discuss with you during your appointment depends on the diagnosis and the treatment they recommend.
Generally, they’ll talk to you about:
- what diabetes is
- what high blood sugar means for your health
- whether you need to take medicine
- your diet and exercise
- your lifestyle for example, alcohol and smoking
Other Reasons To Call A Doctor
Sometimes people with diabetes can become overwhelmed and have a hard time coping with the disease. This is very common, especially in teens. If you find that you feel sad all the time, want to eat or sleep a lot or not at all, or you’re thinking about suicide, your doctor can be a resource for you if you don’t feel comfortable talking to a parent or teacher. He or she may refer you to a counselor, therapist, or other mental health professional who can help you understand more about why you feel the way you do and help you figure out ways to feel better.
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Tingling Numbness Or Pain In The Hands Or Feet
High blood sugar levels can affect blood circulation and damage the bodys nerves. In people with type 2 diabetes, this can lead to pain or a sensation of tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.
This condition is known as neuropathy, and it can worsen over time and lead to more serious complications if a person does not get treatment for their diabetes.
Understanding Diabetes From Other Causes
In addition to type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, a small minority of people develop specific types of diabetes due to other causes. This includes:
- Monogenic diabetes syndromes, such as neonatal diabetes and maturity-onset diabetes of the young
- Diseases of the exocrine pancreas, such as cystic fibrosis and pancreatitis
- Drug or chemical-induced diabetes, such as with glucocorticoid use, in the treatment of HIV/AIDS or after organ transplantation
Because these types of diabetes are rare, they are often misdiagnosed as other types of diabetes. You can learn more about these types of diabetes in the Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes section in the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. If you think you might have one of these types, be sure to talk with your doctor.
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Think About What’s Going On
Irene Dunbar, 73, of Durham, N.C., woke up one morning recently to discover her blood sugar was at 119, which is high for her. “I had a cold and had had orange juice yesterday and I normally do not drink orange juice and I thought, ‘I better not do that,'” she said. When she gets a high blood sugar reading, she tries to remember if she had anything recentlylike breadthat she knows are triggers, and avoids them next time.
Swollen Or Bleeding Gums Which Increase Your Infection Risk
Gum disease is a complication of diabetes, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. It can also make diabetes harder to control, because the bodys response to infection is to release more glucose into the bloodstream, according to the ADA.
Your saliva contains glucose and the more it contains, the more there is to feed the bacteria that combine with food in your mouth to form plaque and cause gum disease. Symptoms can include red or inflamed gums at first. If they are unaddressed, they can progress to periodontitis, which can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, the appearance of pus or ulcers, or even tooth loss, notes the Mayo Clinic. Get your blood sugar under control and see a dental professional to prevent damage to your gums and teeth.
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Create Your Diabetes Eating Plan
Although diabetes treatment plans vary, each includes a healthy eating plan, physical activity, monitoring, and support, and most include medications. Your food and activity plans are the heart and soul of your treatment plan.
Food? Activity? Testing? “First try to relax,” says Teresa Peiffer, R.N., B.S.N., CDE, of UnityPoint Health Des Moines. “Most people find they don’t need to make dramatic changes in their lifestyle. Get started by simply keeping track of what you’re doing. Write down what, when, and how much you eat. Make notes about the physical activity you do. Then test your blood glucose to see the impact of these factors on your blood glucose.”
Consider Working with a Registered Dietitian
Your registered dietitian or diabetes educator can help develop a plan and guidelines that will work for your lifestyle. Strategies they might use include:
Identify your food preferences and healthful foods you like.
Accommodate your unique daily schedule and activities.
Advise and budget carbohydrate-containing foods to achieve target after-meal blood glucose levels.
Choose healthful fats to achieve target blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Determine appropriate portion sizes for weight loss and maintenance.
Determine a sodium budget to help you achieve target blood pressure.
Early Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes
1. Frequent urination
When your blood sugar is high, your kidneys expel the excess blood sugar, causing you to urinate more frequently. One of the early warning signs of diabetes is frequent urination that is urgent enough to wake you up to go to the bathroom during sleep.
2. Increased thirst
While your kidneys are working overtime and youre urinating more frequently, valuable fluids will be pulled from your tissues. Frequent urination will make you feel constantly thirsty.
When your blood sugar is high, your body works hard to get rid of the excess sugar. Not only does this process take a toll on your body, but it also alters the way that your body uses glucose for energy. Excessively high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, has fatiguing effects among other symptoms. Additionally, the dehydration that accompanies more frequent urination is a common cause of fatigue in diabetics.
4. Blurred vision
High blood sugar can cause damage to the small blood vessels of the eye, resulting in a swollen lens that can cause blurred vision. As blood sugar levels rise and lower, your vision may return to normal or worsen, respectively.
5. Increased hunger
When you have high blood sugar, your body is actively looking to get rid of it. Because your body expels so much of the glucose you’re getting from your food, you may have increased feelings of hunger.
6. Unexplained weight loss
7. Slow healing cuts and wounds
8. Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
9. Skin discoloration
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What Can You Eat If You Have Diabetes Foods To Eat & Avoid
Through twenty-five years of working with people with diabetes, when they come in for diabetes education, their first question is most often What can I eat . The next question is often, What cant I eat ?
There is no other guide available on the internet that will guide you through the best foods to choose, and the best foods to avoid. Take heed, as some foods in the American diet are detrimental. These are also the same foods that Americans are addicted to.
On occasion, you will be able to eat from the foods to avoid list, such as on a holiday, or your birthday. It shouldnt become a regular occurrence to eat foods that are best avoided if you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes. Also, eating healthier throughout your lifespan, can prevent Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes from ever surfacing at all.
Starting to eat a healthy diet can help you to reverse your Pre-Diabetes, along with regular physical activity, and sometimes medication . You can either get Type 2 Diabetes in good control, or you can reverse it to a Pre-Diabetes state in some cases, if you work on healthy lifestyle changes.
What Are The Complications Of Diabetes
If your blood glucose level remains high over a long period of time, your bodys tissues and organs can be seriously damaged. Some complications can be life-threatening over time.
- Dental problems.
Complications of gestational diabetes:
In the mother:Preeclampsia , risk of gestational diabetes during future pregnancies and risk of diabetes later in life.
In the newborn: Higher-than-normal birth weight, low blood sugar , higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over time and death shortly after birth.
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Can Diabetes Kill You
Yes, its possible that if diabetes remains undiagnosed and uncontrolled it can cause devastating harm to your body. Diabetes can cause heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and coma. These complications can lead to your death. Cardiovascular disease in particular is the leading cause of death in adults with diabetes.
Who Gets Diabetes What Are The Risk Factors
Factors that increase your risk differ depending on the type of diabetes you ultimately develop.
Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes include:
- Having a family history of Type 1 diabetes.
- Injury to the pancreas .
- Presence of autoantibodies .
- Physical stress .
- Exposure to illnesses caused by viruses.
Risk factors for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes include:
- Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American race or Pacific Islander.
- Being overweight.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian-American.
- Being overweight before your pregnancy.
- Being over 25 years of age.
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Get Screened For Sleep Apnea
Many people with prediabetes also suffer from sleep apnea but don’t know it. Treating these folks with a CPAP device at nightwhich blows a constant pressure of air through a tube and face mask, keeping your airways openimproves blood sugar levels and lowers your diabetes risk, according to a 2015 University of Chicago study published in the medical journal American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. If you snore or don’t feel well rested despite regularly getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep, ask your primary care doc for a referral to a sleep specialist.
Pick Your Primary Care Provider
When choosing a primary care physician to help you manage your diabetes, it’s important that they:
Listen and respond to questions and concerns.
Recommend the best treatment plan possible.
Review treatment plans regularly.
Adjust plans as needed based on A1C, self blood glucose tests, cholesterol, blood pressure, and other lab work.
Refer patients to other specialists based on health needs.
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Register With The National Diabetes Services Scheme
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes you are eligible to register with the National Diabetes Services Scheme . It is free to register and provides subsidised products, education and support to people with diabetes.
You can also call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 and talk to a health professional about your diabetes.
Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes
You might notice:
- Unplanned weight loss. If your body can’t get energy from your food, it will start burning muscle and fat for energy instead. You may lose weight even though you haven’t changed how you eat. See which foods are high in trans fatty acids.
- Nausea and vomiting. When your body resorts to burning fat, it makes ketones. These can build up in your blood to dangerous levels, a possibly life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketones can make you feel sick to your stomach.
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Inspect Your Health Plan
Diabetes can be expensive, so it’s important to find the best possible and affordable health plan that will cover your diabetes-related medications and supplies, like a glucose meter and test strips.
Cover your care: Group and individual health plans vary in the amounts of monthly premiums, deductibles, and copayments, as well as which health care providers’ services are covered and where. Be prepared to ask questions.
Does your insurance cover diabetes self-management education and support ? Ask your primary care provider to refer you to an accredited or recognized DSMES or to a certified diabetes educator or registered dietitian /registered dietitian nutritionist for medical nutrition therapy .
Note: Be sure to ask if you have to meet a deductible to get coverage for diabetes management classes.
Diabetes education obtained from one of the accredited or recognized programs is covered by Medicare Part B and many private health plans. The American Association of Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association recognize programs.
More important questions to ask about your health plan:
How much is the monthly premium ?
What are the copayments for health care provider visits, medications , and diabetes supplies?
Are there restrictions on the types of diabetes supplies you can get, the amount you can order at one time, or where you can purchase them ?
What Should My Blood Glucose Level Be
Ask your healthcare team what your blood glucose level should be. They may have a specific target range for you. In general, though, most people try to keep their blood glucose levels at these targets:
- Before a meal: between 80 and 130 mg/dL.
- About two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL.
You Notice Tingling And Numbness In Your Hands Or Feet
As mentioned, uncontrolled blood sugar can cause nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy. What you may notice is a tingling sensation or even numbness in your hands and feet. Some people experience pain in their hands and feet as well. Though neuropathy is most common in people who have had diabetes for a long time, it can occur in anyone with poorly controlled diabetes.
Treating An Overdose Of Long
If you have given too high a dose of long-acting insulin, this could affect you for up to 24 hours.
How you prevent a hypo will depend on how big the overdose was. If the overdose was large, such as a double dose, take carbohydrate to raise your sugar levels and call your health team or out-of-hours service for advice.
If the overdose was smaller, such as up to 5 units too much, take more carbohydrate than usual and aim to keep your sugar levels higher than normal over the next 24 hours to prevent a hypo occurring.
Test regularly through the day and at any time you think you may feel hypo
Take plenty of carbohydrate before sleeping. It is better to wake up with higher sugar levels than risking a hypo overnight. Dont risk going low. If you cannot be certain that hypos will be avoided, call your health team or out-of-hours service.
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What Causes Diabetes
The cause of diabetes, regardless of the type, is having too much glucose circulating in your bloodstream. However, the reason why your blood glucose levels are high differs depending on the type of diabetes.
- Causes of Type 1 diabetes: This is an immune system disease. Your body attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. Without insulin to allow glucose to enter your cells, glucose builds up in your bloodstream. Genes may also play a role in some patients. Also, a virus may trigger the immune system attack.
- Cause of Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes: Your bodys cells don’t allow insulin to work as it should to let glucose into its cells. Your body’s cells have become resistant to insulin. Your pancreas cant keep up and make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Glucose levels rise in your bloodstream.
- Gestational diabetes: Hormones produced by the placenta during your pregnancy make your bodys cells more resistant to insulin. Your pancreas cant make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Too much glucose remains in your bloodstream.
Is It An Emergency
According to CDC, you should go to the emergency room if:
- You’re having trouble breathing
- You have moderate to high ketone levels in your urine
- You can’t keep liquids down for more than four hours
- You lose 5 pounds or more while sick
- Your blood sugar is lower than 60 mg/dL
- You are too sick to eat normally and can’t keep food down for more than 24 hours
- You have vomiting or severe diarrhea for more than six hours
- Your temperature is above 101 degrees for 24 hours
- You feel sleepy or can’t think clearly. If this is the case, call 911 or ask someone else to drive you
Additional source: American Diabetes Association
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