While receiving a diabetes diagnosis can be scary, there are many resources available that can help you feel educated and in control of your health. It’s estimated that 34.2 million people of all ages have diabetes in the United States, so take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone as you navigate this new part of your life.
Managing diabetes and improving your overall health requires having an individual diabetes care plan. This plan should address not only your specific healthcare needs but also logistical concerns—like how to obtain and pay for medications. While it may be overwhelming at the start, we’ve compiled ten steps you can take as you move forward after your diagnosis. Regardless of the type of diabetes, many people can not only manage their condition, but they are also able to thrive.
Speak with Your Primary Care Professional
You should begin your care plan by meeting with your diagnosing physician and ensure that you bring a list of your questions. Be an advocate for yourself and make sure that your needs and questions are being readily addressed.
Your doctor will likely be the professional you see most often, and they’ll be responsible for your blood work, prescribing medication, and helping you manage your blood glucose levels. Make sure that you’re following the diabetes care plan they’ve laid out for you and attend all of your scheduled appointments and check-ups. Showing up for your appointments is an important part of self-care.
Check-ups are the perfect time to let your doctor know about any changes you’ve been experiencing with your health or any side effects you’ve noticed from your medication. Your health is dynamic, so expect that you’ll encounter changes as time passes.
Meet with Specialists
Depending on your type of diabetes and your health status, a primary care physician may refer you to one or more of the following specialists that tre