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Best tips for newly diagnosed diabetics!

Monica Vaklinova

19 min reading time

10-08-2020

Title:Best tips for newly diagnosed diabetics!
Headline:Best tips for newly diagnosed diabetics!Author:

10-08-2020
Dianurse.com - BG

Best tips for newly diagnosed diabetics!


Description:We asked 18 diabetics to share the best tips for newly diagnosed diabetics. See what they have to say!
Image:https://images.ctfassets.net/wv9nw02wyyx8/1LQ1FuV9oAMSgBbxjpMZCD/ebdfb07b81903fa3608196e1d1e26997/tim-mossholder-SR8ByN6xY3k-unsplash-scaled-e1584191294500.jpg?w=500&q=100

Best tips for newly diagnosed diabetics

When you are just diagnosed with diabetes everything looks messy. You are filled with information from everywhere. It is scary, you still don’t know how to feel and what to do. That’s why we decided to combine the best tips given by diabetics to help you clear your head and get support at the same time. We asked 18 diabetics to share the best tips for newly diagnosed diabetics. See what they have to say!

Elisha (Instagram: @diabeebe)

I am a recent college graduate with a degree in Bioinformatics. I am currently working at a research lab conducting Type One Diabetes research. After living with type one diabetes for more than 11 years, I am passionate about understanding more about this disease and hope to help others affected by this disease.

My three top tips are:

  • Be patient! Each person’s diabetes is managed differently and it takes time to figure out which approach works best for your body. Our health and body are constantly changing and adapting, so be open-minded and adaptable with managing your diabetes.

  • If you are able to, I highly highly recommend attending or volunteering/working at a summer camp for diabetics. You meet a lot of people who are in the same boat as you and you learn a lot about diabetes management too.

  • Be your own advocate and use your resources! It is so important to have a support team: family, friends, and/or your doctors. If you are struggling with your management or medical devices, reach out for help. You will get the help you need if you let people know about your situation and concerns. If there’s a new diabetes technology you’d like to try, bring it up with your doctor and call whoever you need to call to get what you need.

Alexander Cook (Instagram: @tht1gingerkid, @diabet1c.clothing.co)

I have had T1D for 15 years, have studied nutrition, and live an active healthy lifestyle. My focus recently has been on improving and uplifting the T1D community through positivity, awareness of mental health, and expression of style with my clothing brand.

My three top tips are:

  • You are greater than your highs and lows, both blood sugars and mental highs and lows. No matter how tough and scary it may seem now, you are more powerful than you yet know.

  • Find something fun that will motivate you to move your body. Exercise is that secret sauce in the recipe of diabetes management, helping to stabilize your bg’s and get the insulin where it needs to go. Fitness is also how humans play and that’s what the goal of life is after all … to enjoy it.

  • It’s easy to go from extreme to the other in the pursuit of health. Find your balance and what works for you, the trick really is just living your best life. Enjoy your food, don’t fear it, but also do your best to eat the good stuff.

Michael Pohlmann (Instagram: @michael_p_t1d)

I was diagnosed with type one diabetic on April 5th, 2017. I was 24 years old. In that time I’ve been DKA 4 times, 5 if you include when I was diagnosed. I had to experience life with diabetes and trying to manage without having health insurance. I’ve been at the far ends of blood sugar levels in both directions – 1 200 mg/dl on the high end and 23 mg/dl on the low end. I feel like I’ve experienced a lot in my short time as a diabetic.

My three top tips are:

  • Seek out other type one diabetics. Even if it’s just to talk. You will find that it is impossible for someone who doesn’t have it to understand what it’s like to have this disease. No matter how much they care about you and love you. T1D can feel lonely and take a real toll on your mental health, but talking with others who ‘get it’ can help immensely.

  • It’s okay to be “bad”. Sometimes that slice of pizza is exactly what you need at that moment. Go ahead, enjoy. Just be sure to do what you need to do in order to take care of it and make sure you don’t harm yourself.

  • Test often. Anything and (LITERALLY ) everything affects your blood sugar. It is incredibly important that you understand what happens when you eat or do certain things. Your doctor or endocrinologist can help you out with a lot and are essential to living healthy, but there is a lot of stuff you need to do for yourself.

Tannaz Mirhosseini (Instagram: @tannaz.mirhosseini)

I am a medical student and I want to become an endocrinologist. I am also passionate about what is new in diabetes.

My three top tips are:

  • Diabetes education

  • Psychological consultation

  • Educating parents or partner (someone who is living with the patient)

Zoe (Instagram: @zoelarson28)

I’ve been a diabetic for almost 4 years. I’ve had many people help me along the way. I’ve met many new friends. Many people have inspired me with diabetes and that has caused me to want to help more people with diabetes.

My three top tips are:

  • You are not alone because you aren’t. There are many other people out there feeling the same way.

  • Never give up. You will get through this no matter what it takes.

  • You are stronger than diabetes. Diabetes doesn’t define who you are.

Mario (Instagram: @mario.dt1)

Hi. I am Mario. I’ve had diabetes for almost 5 years. My life after the debut has changed, apart from the daily controls, etc., since I have diabetes I have met fantastic people with the same problems or similar diseases. I have always practiced sport, but since I have diabetes I do it with more desire, and it helps me in my control. Now I see life differently and I focus more on enjoying and being with family and friends.

My three top tips are:

  • Make an effort to keep good control, because I believe that we all can work little by little to improve every day.

  • Don’t get overwhelmed or down when the controls don’t work.

  • Be happy and enjoy the time you have.

Danelle Johnson (Instagram: @danellejohnson)

I have been involved in community volunteer groups for 30+ years. I have always been determined not deterred by challenges. I have been able to mediate conflicts and find common ground in emotional situations. I have always looked to help our daughter to know how important community involvement is. I am always trying to make a difference and compounding the good we do by encouraging others to join me. Since our daughter was diagnosed with T`D almost 5 years ago, I have researched and read about so many topics related to T1D. We have become involved legislatively and our daughter is the only ND delegate for children’s congress and we went to Washington DC advocating for access and affordability of insulin and all prescriptions to manage this disease. And also advocating for funding of the Special Diabetes Program.

My three top tips are:

  • Find other T1Ds near you and lean on them through this overload of information. It will change your life and /or your child’s life.

  • Send your child to diabetes camp. I am not kidding, this was extremely hard for us as our daughter had diagnosed anxiety before T1D diagnosis. She has made extremely good friends there, has been a role model for young kids, and is now a counselor at a diabetes camp.

  • This disease will challenge you physically, emotionally, and financially. Be open and honest with your child and yourself. Teach them how to deal with insurance issues, pharmacy issues, discount cards, and etc.

Alejandro (Instagram: @adcastillofit)

I am a type one diabetic for 18 years now, since I was 9. I am 27 years old now. I like to motivate people to lead a healthy lifestyle and that any person is able to achieve any goal in life by believing in themselves and not stopping because they have a disease, nothing is impossible. I use myself as a type one diabetic example since I was 9 with juvenile epilepsy since I was 15 and here I am having a healthy lifestyle, training 6 days a week, studying and working at the same time. Nothing in this life is impossible, just believe in you.

My three top tips are:

  • Do not lose your temper at first because of the symptoms, because the first years of diabetes high and low and as in life you have to adapt.

  • Do not feel sorry for measuring sugar or injecting insulin in public, since we should not hide what we are and it is good for people to know who we are. It happened to me that every time I had to inject or measure the sugar, I had to go to the bathroom for fear of being rejected or discriminated against and the reality is that’s just the opposite. When people see you they feel admiration and respect for the simple fact that you have to do that 6 times a day, every day.

  • My third piece of advice is about nutrition. Since as beginners we do not know what to eat and what we cannot eat. The fact is we can eat everything but we must know the adequate amount of carbohydrates. We should know that to be able to adjust the insulin. If you don’t know how many grams the food contains my recommendation is to not eat that food, because you are going to suffer from a hypo after.

Paul (Instagram: @phdepritchard)

I am 47 years old type one diabetic, pumping for over 4 years, and I care passionately about all of us being our best versions.

My three top tips are:

  • Be kind to yourself because T1D lasts a lifetime.

  • Speak to people about your T1D because hiding it away is not good for your mental health.

  • Join the online T1D community because you will have an instant family that “gets it”.

Maria Fernanda Valadez (Instagram: @brazalete)

I think I am good at encouraging people if there’s a problem I always find a way to get out of soy, a person who can trust me and tell me their problems, I like to help. My profession is an architect-engineer. I think I can reach the hearts of diabetics.

My top three tips are:

  • You really have to adapt to this new change if you want to live well. Of course, it takes more care, even more, expensive to be well-maintained and in control. You should be healthier than a person without this disease.

  • You have control over your life and only you know if you want to live well or want to spend a few bad days. You will have days when you feel depressed and more sentimental and even angry but you are going to decide if you want that bad time to affect you or want to have a good time. There are always people who you can support.

  • Do not be afraid of insulin, that dose of medicine which will be your engine to become healthy and be in control.

Sabryna (Instagram: @_sabmends)

I am a type one diabetic since I was 8 years old. Been through many highs and lows .. literally. I was in the hospital almost every month for hypoglycemia when I was 16 – 17 years old. Dealt with anxiety and severe depression, but I got through it with the help of my friends. I am very kind-hearted and empathetic towards others. I love seeing and meeting up with other type ones to share our stories.

My top three tips are:

  • Try your best to be consistent with checking your blood sugar and taking medications.

  • Join a support group whether it will be online or in person.

  • Don’t lose hope. Diabetes is scary at first and it can be rough, but you gotta keep your head up and keep pushing through this journey of T1D. You are not alone!

Amanda Corvino (Instagram: @happily_amandagraham)

My name is Amanda. I am 22 years old and have had type one diabetes going on for 3 years now. When I was first diagnosed my entire life was turned upside down and I had some really hard days. (Not to say that I don’t have those days anymore but it is so much more manageable.) With my diagnosis, I turned my ashes into beauty and have become a health coach. My goal is to empower T1D women to take hold of their health and wellness and live a happy and fulfilled life.

My top three tips are:

  • Give yourself grace! Life with T1D is hard to say the least. You are almost never going to have perfect numbers ALL the time so be patient with yourself and your numbers. And remember you are doing the best you can.

  • Find out what carbs work best for you and WHEN. Finding your routine is crucial to getting your numbers under control and you will become a creature of habit once you’ve found your groove.

  • Find yourself a support team that is going to be there with you through the highs and lows. Whether that’s your parents, siblings, significant others, and your doctors. It is so important to remember you are not alone in this and that you are loved and supported through the highs and lows.

Emi (Instagram: @life_of_diabetes)

Hey, I am a 16 years old girl and I am a diabetic since 2015. I think I am a good fit for the purpose of this post because I don’t let diabetes get in my way and I want to share my story on Instagram. I also try to stay positive and to keep fighting every day until we find a cure.

My top three tips are:

  • Learn from the bad days.

  • Don’t care about what others may think about you.

  • Keep fighting and stay positive.

I would give exactly these three tips because they maybe would have helped me a lot when I was newly diagnosed. I was always insecure about testing and injecting in public because of what people could think. Learning from the bad days is important too because after a bad day you start to question your decisions or what you did wrong instead of thinking what you could do better the next day or asking yourself why the day could have been so bad. Stay positive because everything happens for a reason and someone just wanted to show you how strong you truly are. You’ve got this!

Farah (Instagram: @diafam1)

Hello. My name is Farah. I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1991. Nearly 30 years. I have been dealing with highs and lows, emotional stress, and everything under the sun with it. My son was diagnosed with diabetes last year. This has put a whole new name and meaning to diabetes for me. Helping raise awareness and the lack of education around diabetes is now an essential part of my life.

My three top tips are:

  • Don’t give up. It’s bloody hard work, but the more you do the more you can try to find a happy medium. This won’t mean everything will get better unfortunately but it does mean knowledge is power. You may suffer a low after walking to the shops, you may suffer the same low with a 5g snack, you may just survive that with giving less insulin for lunch before that.

  • Write it down. It may sound annoying and somewhat menial task. However, it is completely necessary if not for you for your team who can help. Diabetes is a lifelong condition so it’s not easy to find trends or analyze what was once normal. Like cooking, dancing, and etc. By writing things down and seeing how it affects you, you will be essentially making things easier on yourself in the future. My advice would be to get a small diabetes diary and write down sugars and trends each day.

  • It sucks, it’s not easy, but listen to your team’s advice. Change needles regularly. Clean sites, apply barrier creams. Do the little things as actually when they start to get bigger it will affect you. An example is not cleaning your site and then getting a hideous lump on your tummy which you could have avoided. Or getting an infection that causes you to go to the hospital. You are not alone. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. However, things get better once you become more accustomed to it. Make diabetes your friend, look after it and it won’t attack you.

Asmah (Instagram: type_one_beaut)

I am a 15 years old type one diabetic. I was diagnosed in 2013 when I was 8 years old. My family didn’t know much about type one diabetes so it was a big struggle in the beginning. Since I was diagnosed I never really took care of myself … until last year when I finally stood up to diabetes and accepted that it was going to be with me my whole life whether I liked it or not. Type one diabetes is something that impacts people’s lives and everyone around them, so spreading awareness about diabetes is very important.

My three top tips are:

  • Your body is different. Just because something works for someone doesn’t mean it is going to work for you too.

  • Learn your body. You are going to need breaks more than others and that’s okay. It is okay to cancel plans and stay at home from work or school.

  • Mental health is also very important. Get help. Have a routine and don’t beat yourself up about having high or low blood sugar. Keep fighting the good fight!

Maria Greenwood (Instagram: @contrm)

Hey, I am Maria from Brighton UK. I work as a Healthcare Assistant at Renal Ward and been there for 11 years. Being a type one diabetic and working, I also see myself as an advocate for my T1D patients with kidney failure and on dialysis. My diabetes management has not been great all the time until I got a Freestyle Libre System last year in March 2019. It truly changed my life and improved my HbA1c’s tremendously. The Insta Diabetic Online Community has been a great support system for me and I also strive to look out for my friends. Living with diabetes is hard enough so I like to think that no one should go through it alone.

My three top tips are:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We have to literally think like the pancreas and that is hard. It does not make you look weak at all. All this is to make you ready for whatever diabetes throws at you in the future. It makes you stronger.

  • Look at the brighter side and see how all your family is cheering you on every achievement you’ve made however small or big. Feed on that love.

  • On dark days when you think throwing the towel is an option, dig really deep. Have a contingency plan when your tank is low like doing something special for yourself. Rest, but never stop.

Bianca (Instagram: @biancaginayousif)

I have had type one for over 21 years and have had my fair share of unfortunate events with it. I think my experience can help others.

My three tips are:

  • You are not alone.

  • Think of this as an earning opportunity.

  • Think of this as a new different lifestyle of healthy eating.

Fleur (Instagram: @i_am_with_diabetes)

My mission in life is educating people about diabetes and hoping to enhance their empathy towards people with chronic illness.

My three top tips are:

  • Surround yourself with people who love you no matter what, people with thorough knowledge about diabetes and people with diabetes. So you will have three different perspectives on the subject.

  • Learn to know your body with diabetes and recognize signals. Learn to recognize what you are feeling, hyper, hypo, how it reacts to different situations: exercise, stress, sickness. And keep it in a diary.

  • Food: the hardest of them all – I can only say that this is one of the hardest aspects of being a diabetic. Always responsible of what you are eating. Same tip as the last one. Write. It. Down. It helps to learn to calculate insulin ratios and makes it easier to look it up afterward. For example – pasta. Fast rise and stable afterward.

Melanie Smith (Instagram: @dontbelievethetype_1)

I was diagnosed in Now 19th ironically on world diabetes day. I was taken with a DKA – super scary. However, I’ve thrown myself in at the deep end and have focused on recovery and sharing information with my fellow diabetics and non-diabetics to try and connect with what life is like for those with diabetes. I am a positive person who posts the good and the bad things that come with diabetes and I am an active member of the roller derby community. I post a lot about my sport and how playing sport has changed with being type one but I know that through honesty and positivity, I can make a difference.

My three top tips are:

  • There’s no such thing as a stupid question – write all your questions down and don’t be afraid to ask the nurse/consultant.

  • Take time to accept your diagnosis – It will be so hard at first and that’s okay. You will still be able to do the things you love, you will just have to make some adjustments.

  • Food is your friend! Food seems scary at first because of those big bad carbohydrates, however, without them, your body will have no fuel. Take your time to look at different food groups and food charts that are available online and don’t forget that it is a learning process – perfect blood sugar is a myth unless you have a healthy pancreas.

For the author:

Monica is a marketing maanger at Dianurse and a blogger.

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