#1 – No, It’s probably not a mistake
When first diagnosed, many people are in shock and often don’t believe it. I often hear “I ate too much sugar over the holidays so it’s a false reading”. Often patients want to be retested or they ignore their labs thinking that it will just go away. Unfortunately, it is most likely that you have diabetes and your diabetes will only get worse if you choose to do nothing about it.
#2 – Get advice from an expert, not the internet
Everyone will have an opinion! Everyone! Your grandma, your neighbor, your co-worker. What works for them may not work for you. You will be better off getting expert advice from a qualified healthcare profession like an endocrinologist and a dietitian.
#3 – Ignoring it won’t make it disappear
Diabetes is a very silent disease, which makes it easy to ignore. You often can’t feel anything when your blood sugars are out of control. But diabetes ignored and left unmanaged is a recipe for disaster. It is a progressive disease and it will continue to get worse if you choose to ignore it.
#4 – Diabetes is not your fault
Eating too much sugar did not cause you to get diabetes. Don’t blame yourself for developing type 2 diabetes, and don’t let anyone else blame you either. There are multiple factors that can cause diabetes – but more prominent in anyone who has a family history and/or obese. More and more people are becoming heavier and developing type 2 diabetes because most jobs now require little physical activity, life is more stressful, and too many foods tempt us that are high in calories, large in size and much too convenient.
#5 – Understanding your numbers is important
There is so much to know when you are first diagnosed with diabetes. It can become very overwhelming! No wonder some people want to ignore it. You can’t do everything at once, so where should you start? Begin by making sure the critical diabetes tests are being done and that you, not just your doctor, know the results.
Don’t rely on your doctor for everything. Self care is healthcare!
#6 – No, you won’t be limited to eating like a rabbit
You can eat carbohydrates! Yes, you can! It’s all about balance and finding what’s right for you. Working with a Dietitian is so important. Read more about how I can help you HERE.
#7 – Doubling up on your prescribed medication will not make it better faster
This will only make things worse. More is not better in this case. You put yourself at risk of dropping your blood sugars to dangerously low levels and you risk the health of other organs. At this point, it’s not just about your pancreas, but also your kidney and liver health.
#8 – Protecting your heart should be your first concern
Heart disease is the major health concern for people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes and heart disease are directly linked together. Attention to lowering the risk for heart problems is the main reason why people with diabetes are living longer than ever. Talk to your doctor about your risk and what you can do about it.
#9 – Focus on creating a new healthy lifestyle, not just weight loss
This is not a FAD diet. This is diabetes we are talking about. Unfortunately, it’s life long and you’ll need to make lifestyle changes for the long haul. Increasing your fitness and choosing healthier foods (for example, more fruits and vegetables, smaller portions, and less fried foods) will have a bigger impact on your diabetes and heart health than losing weight.
#10 – Don’t try and do diabetes alone
This is probably the most important. Diabetes requires a team! You wouldn’t try and build a house by yourself now would you?
Life with diabetes is just easier when you have support. Getting your diabetes under control takes attention and effort, and you may at times feel overwhelmed, discouraged, isolated or even burned out. Work with a team and find a doctor you really trust, can be honest with, and feel is on your side. Living well with diabetes is always easier when someone you like and respect is cheering for you. And please reach out to me with any questions. This whole website is for people like you. I’m now your team advocate and here to support you 🙂