Newly Diagnosed - What to Do Now

I . Newly Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes should:

  1. Talk with your health care team about your blood glucose targets. Ask how and when to test your blood glucose and how to use the results to manage your diabetes.
  2. Discuss how your self-care plan is working for you each time you visit your health care team.


II. No Insurance, Needing Diabetes Care/Test Strips

  1. Visit your primary care provider and explain your situation. If they cannot assist you, they may know of some resources for test strips and other diabetes needs. If that does not work,
  2. Visit your community health center, or
  3. Visit your local free clinic


III. Type 2 Diabetes Care Schedule

If you have diabetes, at each visit be sure you have a:

  • Blood pressure check
  • Foot check
  • Weight check

If you have diabetes, two times each year get:

  • A1C test - it may be checked more often if it is over 7
  • Dental exam to check teeth and gums - tell your dentist you have diabetes

If you have diabetes, once each year be sure you have a:

  • Cholesterol test
  • Triglyceride (try-GLISS-er-ide) test - a type of blood fat
  • Complete foot exam
  • Dilated eye exam to check for eye problems
  • Flu shot
  • Urine and a blood test to check for kidney problems

If you have diabetes, at least once get a:

  • Pneumonia (nu-mo-nya) shot.

Ask your health care team about these and other tests you may need. Ask what the results mean.
Write down the date and time of your next visit.

If you have Medicare, ask your health care team if Medicare will cover some of the costs for

  • Learning about healthy eating and diabetes self-care
  • Special shoes, if you need them
  • Medical supplies
  • Diabetes medicines


Possible Complications

You may have heard people say they have "a touch of diabetes" or "your sugar is a little high." These words suggest that diabetes is not a serious disease. That is not correct. Diabetes is serious, but you can learn to manage it!

All people with diabetes need to make healthy food choices, stay at a healthy weight, and be physically active every day.
Taking good care of yourself and your diabetes can help you feel better. It may help you avoid health problems caused by diabetes such as:

When your blood glucose (blood sugar) is close to normal you are likely to:

  • Have more energy.
  • Be less tired and thirsty and urinate less often.
  • Heal better and have fewer skin, or bladder infections.
  • Have fewer problems with your eyesight, feet, and gums.


Diet, Physical Activity and Other Healthy Tips

Many people avoid the long-term problems of diabetes by taking good care of themselves. Work with your health care team to reach your ABC goals (A1C, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol): Use this self-care plan.

Use your diabetes meal plan . If you do not have one, ask your health care team about one.

  • Make healthy food choices such as fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, chicken or turkey without the skin, dry peas or beans, whole grains, and low-fat or skim milk and reduced-fat cheese.
  • Keep fish and lean meat and poultry portions to about 3 ounces (or the size of a deck of cards). Bake, broil, or grill it.
  • Eat foods that have less fat and salt.
  • Eat foods with more fiber such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dried beans and peas. Examples of whole grains are 100% whole wheat breads, whole wheat pasta, brown or wild rice.
  • Move More - Get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Brisk walking is a great way to move more.
  • Stay at a healthy weight by using your meal plan and moving more.
  • Ask for help if you feel down. A mental health counselor, support group, member of the clergy, friend, or family member who will listen to your concerns may help you feel better.
  • Learn to cope with stress . Stress can raise your blood glucose (blood sugar). While it is hard to remove stress from your life, you can learn to handle it.
  • Stop smoking . Ask for help to quit. Try to SC Quitline and quit for keeps !
  • Take medicines as prescribed by your doctor even when you feel good. Ask your doctor if you need aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke . Tell your doctor if you cannot afford your medicines or if you have any side effects.
  • Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Call your health care team right away about any sores that do not go away.
  • Brush your teeth and floss every day to avoid problems with your mouth, teeth, or gums
  • Check your blood glucose (blood sugar) . You may want to test it one or more times a day.
  • Check your blood pressure if your doctor advises.
  • Report any changes in your eyesight to your doctor.


Diabetes Health