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Diagnosed With Diabetes? Here's What You Need to Know

Updated on August 31, 2017
Terrielynn1 profile image

Terrie has type 2 diabetes. She has a certificate in fitness and nutrition. She has a passion for helping others find their path to health.

When you are newly diagnosed with diabetes, it's critical to learn as much as possible. The sooner you understand what's involved and the changes you will need to make, the better it will be for your health. Taking care of yourself and having a basic diabetes care plan is important to treating, caring for, and improving your life.

In this article, I will talk about being informed not only of the type of diabetes you have but also what you need to do to stay healthy. I will discuss the importance of writing down everything you eat and what you need to know about healthy meals and snacks. Some things you figure out on your own. Not everyone is alike, and what you learn can be adapted to your needs. I will also provide a couple of healthy food recipes.

First, you need to acknowledge that you have diabetes—and that you will need to be careful about how you eat and care for yourself. If you only eat three times a day, try eating five to six times instead: not large meals, but small ones. That's three meals and at least two snacks. In the evening try to relax and unwind by having an Epsom salt bath, which is also good for joint and muscle pain.

It doesn't matter what kind of diabetes you have. Whether it's gestational, prediabetes, type 1, 1.5, or 2, the topics I cover here apply to all types. Your doctor will decide the best treatment for you as an individual. Above all, remember you are in control of your health, and the changes don't happen overnight.

Take a walk with a friend or someone you love. It's good for you and Its great exercise. It relieves stress and relaxes the mind.
Take a walk with a friend or someone you love. It's good for you and Its great exercise. It relieves stress and relaxes the mind.

Basic Diabetic Care Plan

Well, now that you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there are a few things you need to know and do.

I recommend you start by using this diabetic care plan:

  1. Get yourself a journal or notebook. Some people even use an online notebook or app.
  2. Get yourself a glucometer, for checking your daily blood sugar levels. Then ask the doctor or specialist how often you need to check your sugars.
  3. Track what you eat and reduce your sugar and carb, in-take if you haven't already.
  4. If you are not used to taking medications regularly, add the time and amount you take, to your journal.
  5. Before removing or making drastic changes to your foods, Keep writing them down for a week or two, first. Bring your results to the next doctor appointment.
  6. Once you can see where you have problems with eating habits, reduce or remove accordingly.
  7. Make an exercise plan. Everything you do counts, start out slow. Walking is a great way to get started.
  8. Watch for changes in the skin, Increase in bruising and cuts not healing, can be signs of other issues.It's important to let the care team know if you notice any changes.
  9. Talk to family and your doctor. Ask for help! Find a fitness friend, a nutritionist, or a diabetic nurse. Each of these people can help and support your journey in different ways.
  10. Bring a list of your questions or concerns to any appointments you have.
  11. It's of the utmost importance that your care team knows you are an active participant in your care. Bring the journal or notebook with you, then the doctor can see all the changes you are making. You can also ask your pharmacy, they are trained in diabetic health.
  12. If any medications are going to be used in the treatment of your diabetes. Make sure you receive all problems or risks of each medication you will be taking. Let the doctor know about meds you are already on. Some medications can't be taken once you are a diabetic. Put a list of all the ones you are taking and keep it in your wallet.
  13. While you are at the doctors appointment, you will need to ask to see an ophthalmologist. This is an eye specialist and you will need to see one at least once a year. This will the doctor a base to check your eye health for changes.
  14. You might need to ask to get your HBA1C checked every three months. This will give you an average blood sugar level for that time period. You will be motivated to keep on track, as you see the numbers go down.
  15. Ask if there are any support groups in your area or online. Make sure you are heard and are comfortable with the answers you have been given.
  16. Make sure when booking your appointment that there is enough time to go through everything you need to be answered.
  17. Just remember there are no stupid questions when it comes to diabetes and your health. It's very important to be as informed as possible.

Talk to Your Doctor

This article is meant to help those who are new to diabetes. I wanted to provide direction and information that I never got when I was newly diagnosed with type 2. Please talk to your doctor about everything involving your diabetes. Always consult your doctor or specialist.

Did You Know?

Are You Newly Diagnosed With Diabetes & Informed?

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Foods For Your Health

Add color! The more color your food has the better the variety of nutrients.
Add color! The more color your food has the better the variety of nutrients. | Source

Ten Fruit and Vegetables for Diabetics

Fruits

  1. Raspberries
  2. Strawberries
  3. Watermelon
  4. Oranges
  5. Apples

Vegetables

  1. Broccoli
  2. Colored Peppers
  3. Kolarabi
  4. Eggplant
  5. Onions

Lower Carb Snacks

SNACK FOOD, CARBS
PROTEIN
CALORIES
Orange - 3 inch around, 11 grams
1 gram
45
Apple - 3 inch around, 14 grams
0 grams
53
3 soda crackers & 1 oz cheese, 13 grams
9 grams
172
Mixed berries - 1 cup, 17 grams
0 grams
70
These are just a few examples of snacks you can enjoy. Here are a couple more. Low Fat Yogurt, 6 oz size is 33grams of carbs, 7 grams protein and 174calories. 4 Soda Crackers & 1 TBSP Peanut Butter, 17 grams of carbs, 5 grams protein and 156 calorie

Peanut Butter & Yogurt Dip With Apple Slices

Move over boring apples, and make way for this healthier and tastier peanut butter & yogurt dip for your apple slices! Yes, we may use a tad more dip than necessary, but we definitely get a good serving of fruit in with this tasty treat. This recipe makes enough for 5 servings, so if you’re just eating for one, adjust the ingredients or just store the rest of the dip for later!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Yield: 5 servings

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 5 apples, sliced

Instructions:

  1. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt peanut butter for 20 seconds. Stir in yogurt, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth.
  2. Slice apples and dip!

Nutrition Information:

(1 apple + 2 Tbsp dip): Per Serving

Calories: 139, Fat: 1g, Carbohydrates: 30g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 4g, Sugars: 23g, Sodium: 25mg, Vitamin A: 2%, Vitamin C: 14%, Calcium: 4%, Iron: 1%

Don't Forget!

Whatever you choose for the snack,

must be subtracted from the total daily carb intake.

General Diet Guidelines

  1. Reduce your carb intake.
  2. Get plenty of fiber.
  3. Eat a protein with the carb. It will slow down the conversion of carbs to glucose.
  4. Bake, broil or grill your food. If you stir fry, use olive oil.
  5. Try and stick with whole foods as much as possible.
  6. Remember to watch your portion control.
  7. Drink water before you eat.
  8. Not all fats are equal. Look for healthy fats.
  9. Carbs and starches should be the smallest portion of your plate.
  10. Meats should only be the size of your palm.

Yumm Yumm Good

5 stars from 1 rating of Broccoli Salad

Clean and Cut up the Veggies

Choose a variety of colour, it gives you different nutrients.
Choose a variety of colour, it gives you different nutrients.

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: Makes 6-8 Servings

Broccoli Salad and Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 Large Carrot, Grated
  • 1/4 Medium Onion, Add to Taste Chopped
  • 2 Medium heads Broccoli, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries, Crumbles
  • 1 Whole Green Apple, Bite size pieces
  • 1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds, Whole
  • 1 Pinch Black Pepper, mix spices in a ramekin
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Sugar
  • 2 TBSP Lemon Juice, Use Liquid measuring cup
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream

Instructions

  1. Chop all Ingredients and combine in a large bowl, toss together. Using salad tongs works well for mixing.
  2. Mix up all the ingredients for the dressing. In a small container mix spices together. Use a gravy shaker and mix spices together with the liquids. Now pour over the salad and serve.

Top Vegetables For Diabetes

Diabetic Care Summary

Here are basics you need when newly diagnosed with diabetes:

  • A food journal
  • Reduce or remove sugars, soda pop and high carbs from your foods.
  • Get a glucose monitor
  • Make a list of questions for your doctor or specialist.
  • Keep checking for bruising or cuts that are slow to heal.
  • Bring a list of meds with you to any appointment.
  • Report any side effects that could be from medications.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • Fill out the emergency information on your phone. It might save your life.
  • Take care of your feet. Watch for swollen feet and ankles.
  • Check online for diabetic recipes and snack ideas.
  • Use a Variety of meals so you don't get bored.
  • Check your blood sugars regularly. (Glucose Meter)
  • Join a support group or ask your doctor for ones in your area.
  • Ask your family for support or find an exercise partner. Or find exercise classes online.
  • Be kind to yourself, every change helps. Allow for a small treat at least every two weeks. Stress can also raise blood sugars, as well as Illness.
  • Look back once in awhile and see how far you have come. This will motivate you to make more changes and possibly inspire others to do the same.
  • You are in control and what you do is up to you. Make sure you have help in place when you need help or motivation.

You are not alone

Others have gone before you

Reach out, take my hand

Let others guide you

Together we stand

— Terrie Neudorf
Please Read these words and take to heart.
Please Read these words and take to heart. | Source

Sources

All the information gathered for this article can be found at the sites listed below. I hope this helps you to feel better and gives a little guidance to your new diabetic life.

  • Diabetic connect.com
  • Everyday Diabetic recipes.com
  • Diabetic Living.com
  • Mayo Clinic.com (search diabetes)
  • My personal experience as a diabetic and the things I wish I had known.

Each of these sites provides a wealth of information on diabetes life. They have info on foods recipes and ways to make your life easier.

From my house to yours: I wish you Health, Happiness and a long life.

© 2017 Terrie Lynn

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    • Terrielynn1 profile image
      Author

      Terrie Lynn 3 months ago from Canada

      Thank you, Poppy. I love writing to help others. I won't let diabetes control my life and I want to help others, so it doesn't control theirs.

      Have a great long weekend.

    • poppyr profile image

      Poppy Reid 3 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Very in-depth and informative article. It's incredibly useful for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Well done for turning something negative into a positive article!

    • Terrielynn1 profile image
      Author

      Terrie Lynn 4 months ago from Canada

      Hi Dora, I am glad you think so. I did'nt want others feel lost like i did. My intention is for everyone to be prepared as possible and have the knowledge needed to get the help. Some doctors still don't know as much as they should. Have a great week and thank you for leaving a comment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Your article is well-constructed. Surely, the diabetics will find it helpful. Thanks for the care instructions and the recipes.

    • Terrielynn1 profile image
      Author

      Terrie Lynn 4 months ago from Canada

      Hi, me too. I am glad you enjoyed reading it. I really want to help others so they don't have to figure out everything on thier own. I find it's very important to share and help others. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. may oyu continueto succed in your journey with diabetes.

      Have a great day.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 4 months ago from Escondido, CA

      I am diabetic type II. It has been a long journey of many years. I did not have the luxury of the internet until many years after. That is why I appreciate this article because it is first hand experience with core care advice. I must admit for me the hardest struggle I had was to accept I am diabetic and had to make a lifestyle change.