Diabetes can feel like a monumental task to live with, but it doesn’t have to be. Hear from M. Regina Castro, M.D., as she provides an overview of what you can expect when you are diagnosed with diabetes and how you can learn to live well with it. She goes over some of the basics, such as:
• Talking with your doctor
• Meeting your diabetes care team
• Learning how to count your carbohydrates
• Getting advice for diabetes management
• Visiting with a Certified Diabetes Education Specialist
• Monitoring your blood sugar
• Learning to make better lifestyle choices
• Understanding how insulin works
• Learning how to manage it on your own
Read the transcript:
So, what can you expect after you’re diagnosed with diabetes? Typically and regardless of a type of diabetes that you have, you will obviously see your doctor who will give you some advice. But generally speaking, there is a healthcare team of people that will help you manage your diabetes. You will very likely be referred to a nutritionist or dietitian to kind of help you make better choices in terms of diet, help you learn how to counter carbohydrates and just basically give you advice regarding diet.
For management of your diabetes you will also very importantly visit with the certified diabetes education specialist that we used to call the diabetes educator — and they are very important in them in helping you manage your diabetes. Depending on at what stage of your diabetes you’re on, generally they will give you advice overall on how to monitor your sugar. That is a very, very important part of managing your diabetes in the long run. You want to know what’s happening day to day. Teaching you how to check your blood sugars, helping you making a better lifestyle choices, understanding what the disease is and how to better manage it with as little disruption to your life as possible.
If you are in need of insulin, they are essential in helping you understand how insulin works — how to inject it, what to expect, how to monitor, how to adjust your doses of insulin — because the whole idea is not that your doctor sets a certain dose of insulin and you’re going to be using the same bolus every day. The whole idea is that your diabetes educator will teach you how to do this on your own so you’re empowered to make the changes that you need day to day to manage your diabetes.
Your doctor, if you have type 2 diabetes, will probably prescribe medications. The most commonly prescribed medication for type 2 diabetes is going to be metformin, and that’s usually the first step. Sometimes metformin diet and exercise are not enough. And in those cases, other medications can be gradually added to your regimen.
The key thing to take from this is that there is a whole team of people that is there to help you manage your diabetes. It’s your doctor. It’s your diabetes educator. It’s your dietitian. Everybody is there to help you succeed. You don’t have to do it alone.
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