Kate’s advice for the newly diagnosed

by Tiger Lily

Welcome to the club that no-one wants to join.

However, it’s not all bad news. Within a few months you will probably find that you are fitter and healthier than you have been for a long time and probably more so than the majority of your contemporaries. Before that happens though, you will want to ask a lot of questions and do remember that no question is a “silly” question, except the one you didn’t ask.

Here is an excerpt from Kate’s Advice to the Newly Diagnosed*.

There are a lot of emotions that we go through when we get the diabetes diagnosis, among them are denial, anger, depression, deal making, acceptance (this has been taken from Elizabeth Kubler Rose’s book on The Five Stages of Grief….. and we can go from one to another and back again. If your depression lasts more than 3 weeks, you may have clinical depression and should find a professional to help you through accepting the diabetes diagnosis. I did when first diagnosed.

Diet/Exercise/Meds is the treatment triad for diabetes.

Diet. Try to cut back on the carbohydrates you eat and replace them with the Free Veggies. Personally I aim for 60 to 100 grams of carbs a day to avoid gaining weight. However, a young person who is very active will probably need more carbs than I need. Reduce your carbs and test, test, test in order to see how the foods you eat are affecting you. Remember this is a life time change, not just a spot diet. Losing as little as 10% of your body weight can allow you to go off meds if you are a newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic (this doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s a goal).

Exercise is critical, we need to do cardiovascular exercises to strengthen the heart. Being diagnosed with diabetes is like being told you have already had your first heart attack, so we need to prevent that first heart attack we are at risk for. My exercise of choice is to walk briskly for 1 hour every day. Build up slowly, start at 15 min a day, then add another 5 min to the schedule every 3 to 4 days until you are able to walk for a full hour, once you are here, increase the speed at which you are walking. If you are unable to do any exercise, there are chair exercises that you can do. Look for your local arthritis support group to get information on what chair exercises you can do.

Medications: there are many meds that a diabetic can take, and each of them has different effects on our body.

Type 1. I would recommend a basal/bolus insulin regime using Levemir or Lantus with Humalog or Novorapid. The Levemir is a twice a day shot for basal (background or metabolic needs) insulin. Lantus can often be used as a once a day basal insulin, but some people find they have to split it into 2 shots a day. Humalog and Novorapid are rapid acting insulins that will cover your meal time insulin and any high bg level that needs to be treated. It’s important to find out what your units/grams of carbs is, in order to shoot the right amount of insulin to cover food…. starting with 1 unit/10 grams of carbs is a common starting point, and then you adjust from there

Type 2. There are many type 2 meds available on the market, read what the classes of meds are here. Ask questions in the forum about your meds if you have any, and lots of people will jump in and share their experiences with you.

BABY STEPS……. there is so much to learn at first, 2 changes every day will be enough for anyone to make at a time, and in a month you will have progressed over a LOT of territory. I’m still learning !

* Reproduced with the kind permission of Kate (Tiger Lily) Do take the time to look around the site and explore the other sections, but also please feel free to simply jump into the forum and ask questions.

http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Introduction-to-diabetes/What_is_diabetes/Diabetes-and-the-body/ may give you a good insight into what is going on in your body.