Just Diagnosed with Diabetes – What’s next?

What Happens After a Diabetes Diagnosis?

Learning you have diabetes can be scary because there is no cure. The good news is if you take the right steps, you can control the disease and learn how to live a healthy and happy life. It’s also a good idea to join a support group to gain more understanding. Proper exercise and a healthy diet will help as well.

If you have type 2 diabetes, fortunately, there is a potential to turn it around. If your diagnosis is type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin and consult with a physician on a regular basis.

Importance of Education

Scheduling a consultation with a CDE or Certified Diabetes Educator is important. You will learn what is necessary to take care of yourself properly such as consuming a healthy diet including vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meats, and good fats. You can personalize your diet for your lifestyle, culture, dislikes, and dislikes. The majority of insurance plans including Medicare cover diabetes.

Medications and Blood Sugar Testing

Depending on whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you will need different medications to manage your condition correctly. Oral drugs are usually prescribed for type 2, where insulin is necessary for type 1 diabetes. You will receive a prescription for a blood sugar tester kit to help ensure your blood sugar levels remain in the correct range.

If your blood sugar increases or decreases too much, you are risking serious health issues. Your doctor will take an A1C test regularly to show your blood sugar levels for the last three months. You will also need to check your levels every day before you eat. You must take the correct amount of insulin for the carbs you ingest.

To test your blood sugar, you will prick your finger with a lance, then place your blood onto a blood testing strip and insert it into your glucose monitor. Your monitor will display your blood sugar level within a few seconds. If you prefer, you can have a small sensor placed beneath your skin to track your blood sugar levels continuously. Taking the following steps will help you manage your condition.

• Begin and maintain a routine exercise program
• Test your blood sugar and record your results
• Take all prescribed medications
• Consume healthy and balanced meals
• Know what to do when your blood sugar is too low or high
• Purchase all necessary diabetes supplies and make certain they are stored correctly
• Examine your feet, eyes, and skin to catch any issues quickly
• Join a support group

Know the Symptoms and Risks of Diabetes

The majority of new diabetics experience the same common symptoms including:

• Extreme thirst
• Increased or frequent urination, often at night
• Fatigue
• Extreme hunger
• Cuts or sores that are not healing
• Blurry vision
• Elevated blood sugar levels

At this time, the cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Routine screenings for diabetes generally begin when you reach the age of 45. You may require earlier testing if you are:

• Experiencing high blood pressure at any time including pregnancy
• Sedentary
• Have type 2 diabetes in your family history
• Have high triglycerides or your good cholesterol is low
• Overweight
• Have polycystic ovary syndrome
• Have heart disease

Different Types of Insulin

Your pancreas produces insulin to regulate your blood glucose levels and provide your body with the necessary fuel. In the case of type 1 diabetes, your body becomes unable to produce insulin. With type 2 diabetes, you are unable to produce the correct amount. You can develop either type of diabetes regardless of your age.

There are many different types of insulin and understanding the difference is critical for your health. If you need to use a different type of insulin due to your insurance coverage, doctor recommendation, or cost, you must understand how to dose correctly to remain safe. The types of insulin include:

• Short-acting
• Intermediate-acting
• Long-acting
• Ultra-long acting
• Rapid-acting
• Biosimilars

Each type is classified according to how long they last and how fast they start to work. Insulin is produced by several different companies with some offering their own products for all of the categories mentioned above. To make certain you are using the correct type of insulin for your needs, you must consult with your doctor.

Short-Acting Insulin

You use short-acting insulin during or before your meals to correct high levels of blood glucose. Your insulin will require 30 minutes to begin working and will last for three to six hours.

Intermediate-Acting Insulin

Most type 1 diabetics require a combination of basal and bolus insulin. Your insulin requires two to four hours to take effect and will last for 12 to 18 hours.

Long-Acting Insulin

Long-acting insulin is taken one to two times daily as your basal insulin. Your insulin requires two to four hours to take effect and will last for 24 hours.

Ultra-Long Acting Insulin

Ultra-long acting insulin is taken once daily as your basal insulin. Your insulin requires six hours to take effect and will last for 36 hours.

Rapid-Acting Insulin

There are two different forms of rapid-acting insulin, injected and inhaled. You use your appropriate form before you eat for the correction of high glucose levels. Your insulin requires 15 minutes to take effect and will last between 1.5 and four hours depending on the form.

Biosimilar Insulin

Biosynthetic insulins have a generic form called biosimilar insulin. Due to recent approvals from the FDA, this type of insulin is increasing in availability throughout the United States. At this time, it is not known if biosimilar insulin will decrease your costs.

You can purchase generic insulin versions from several different manufacturers in the United States at a cheaper cost. The expectation is more biosimilar insulin companies will make their products available in the United States during the next few years.

To learn more about what to do once you are diagnosed with diabetes, speak with your doctor and ask questions, consult with a CDE and join a support group as soon as possible.

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