1.4 million people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each year.

So, if you’ve received a diagnosis, know that you’re not alone.

While you’re definitely in good company, there are a few things you need to do to manage your diabetes.

A diabetes diagnosis is not the end of the world. In fact, many people live long lives with a diabetes diagnosis. You need to know how to manage it.

Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.

Read on for more information on what to do after you receive a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Don’t Panic

It is easier said than done, especially when you get a diagnosis that could potentially change your life. But you need to remain calm in order to map out the best course of action. If you manage your diabetes well and keep on top of it, some of the grim scenarios that you may have heard about may not be part of your reality.

Remind yourself that you are in control to some extent, and try to let go of what you aren’t in control over. Type 2 diabetes is a manageable condition, as long as you keep on top of it. It will mean some dedication and lifestyle changes, but if you’re determined, you can do it.

Get a Second Opinion on Your Diabetes Diagnosis

It may sound cliche, but getting a second opinion is never a bad idea. It doesn’t mean you’re in denial; it just means you want to ensure that you are treating the correct illness. Misdiagnosis happens all of the time; it’s not particularly uncommon. So, while your doctor is learned and knows a lot about medicine and diabetes, they may not know a lot about you as a person.

How Can Diabetes Affect Your Body?

As such, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion and ensure this is really what you’re up against, if only to be sure. But, that doesn’t mean that you should stop taking steps to change your lifestyle. Often, being obese can lead to diabetes, so it is important that even if the diagnosis is wrong and you are obese, to try and lose weight in a healthy manner.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up About It

As diabetes is often associated with “eating too much sugar” or being obese, many people see it as a personal failing. They may even face judgement by people in the general public who think they “let” themselves get “out of control.”

There are some lifestyle factors at play when it comes to type 2 diabetes, but they aren’t the entire story. Therefore, don’t stew in silence and convince yourself it was your fault. Genetics, as well as other poorly understood factors, are causes for diabetes.

Recognize that while you can control some aspects of your diabetes, other you cannot. Bottom line: it is not your fault for developing type 2 diabetes. It can, and does, happen to anyone.

Discuss Your Options with Your Doctor

Once you know you have type 2 diabetes, discuss it with your doctor. They will be able to tell you more about your specific health and what you need to do in order to ensure that you’re at your best.

If your type 2 diabetes has not progressed very far, your doctor may simply recommend that you change your diet and exercise. However, it has progressed further than that, and you may need to begin on medication.

Take part in the discussion with your doctor, and let them know your concerns going forward. Most doctors will be happy to discuss this with you. Remember: as a patient, you do have a say in what type of medication you’ll take and other treatments. So make your voice heard.

Exercise

After a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, it is time to get sweating. Whether or not you’re on medication, and whether or not you need to lose weight, exercise is key.

It’s a good idea to exercise 30 minutes per day on most days in order to help your body use the insulin it can make.

Everyone should exercise, so if you’re reading this article to support a loved one who is newly diagnosed with diabetes, join in on the activities. Or, if you’ve just been diagnosed, rope in your spouse or friends.

The key to regular exercise is to find something you look forward to doing. It can be something as low key as counting your steps every day to gearing up to run a 5K. There is no one size fits all exercise routine for everyone, except doing one you love.

Switch Up Your Food

No one likes to hear that they need to change their diet, but it doesn’t have to be all bad.

If you’ve just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you’ll need to start monitoring your carbohydrates and fats. But, everyone is different, so different foods may make your blood sugar go up than someone else you know. Try and remember how you feel when you’ve eaten something that may spike your blood pressure, and write it down. Avoid those types of food as much as possible.

You may find that substituting items can work well, as it means you won’t need to completely shift your old habits and seems less daunting.

Managing a Diabetes Diagnosis

A diabetes diagnosis is never fun to receive, but it doesn’t have to be all bad news. In fact, it may help trigger positive changes in your, and your family’s, lives.

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