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Advice for newbies!

Cherrelle DUK

Online Community Coordinator
Staff member
Hi Everyone,

I thought it might be useful to start a thread full of advice for those who are newly diagnosed with diabetes.

Being told you have diabetes can come as a huge shock to people but, once you get your head around it, there are some things you can do to help with managing diabetes in a safe and healthy way.

So, what would your advice or plan of action be for those who have recently been diagnosed?
 

EllsBells

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Follow a diabetic ABC (first aid)

- Assess: keep a detailed food diary of what you are consuming, paying attention to carbohydrate intake. Also record things like sleep, mood, stresses, symptoms of illnesses, medication regimes and exercise.
- Blood Test: purchase a BG finger prick tester and test initially, morning, before meals and 2 hours after you start eating and at nighttime.
- Compare: compare your readings aginst your diary and identify large postprandial BG spikes and where you can make adjustments.
- Diet: adjust your diet gradually to bring your blood sugar levels down slowly. Consider your dietary goals - to lose or gain or maintain weight.
- Exercise: get moving! Brisk walks, swimming or cycling - it's all good and will use up your blood glucose stores. 3 miles per day is a good start for walkers or runners.

And research and read everything you can on your type and condition. Knowledge is power.

Work with your medical team but be aware that they may not have all the answers or be up to date on current research.

Medication: cannot advise as I was quite firm with my GP that I wanted to avoid drugs initially. I think too many people are put on drugs immediately and not really informed about them and what/how they do/work.
 
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Sharron1

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Keep it simple. I found keeping a food diary, buying a BG finger pricking kit , portion control and checking after every meal to see what foods worked (or didn't work for me). Throw in exercise, I chose walking. I kept it as simple as possible. It was all manageable when I was in the office. As time passed I test less and am more confident about low carb food. All of which 2 years ago was a complete mystery to me. A few errors of judgement but these things happen.
 

Ellington

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi Everyone,

I thought it might be useful to start a thread full of advice for those who are newly diagnosed with diabetes.

Being told you have diabetes can come as a huge shock to people but, once you get your head around it, there are some things you can do to help with managing diabetes in a safe and healthy way.

So, what would your advice or plan of action be for those who have recently been diagnosed?
For T1's.
Whilst I was very new, I think the finger pricking, logsheets etc were a necessary part of the learning process. If people go onto flash monitoring too soon, it will blow their minds.
Get a DSN that you can relate to, I didn't and it set me back a bit. You can ask for another nurse.
Apart from that; understand that it's not easy; you will not get it right straight away. Get walking. Start investigating low carb diets.
 

EllsBells

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
So far I've found that eating a little but often is working well for me. Also plan your meals and snacks for the day to help stop those naughty moments.
I did the opposite - cut out all snacks and made sure there was a minimum of 4 hours between meals - it takes all sorts!
 

EllsBells

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Agree on the planning part though. It helps knowing stuff is waiting and how long it takes to put together.
 

AndBreathe

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Accept that perfection doesn't exist.
 

NotWorriedAtAll

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Type 2s. Take a deep breath and try hard to believe that food choices will not become restrictive and depressing. It will take a bit of time but you will find new ingredients and recipes so you can have almost everything you enjoy. Just without the carbs. Concentrate on finding out about how to reduce your carb intake to start with so you can get control of your blood sugars. Once that has been done and it can be done remarkably quickly you can learn more about your own situation so you can keep healthy from now on. This is about making changes you can happily keep going for a long healthy life time. Basically leafy greens are your friends and so are eggs, cheese and double cream in moderation. Meat and poultry are usually zero carb and there are recipes for very low carb bread and even jams. The best fruit choices are blackberries, strawberries and raspberries but think of them as nature’s sweeties and eat sparingly. Develop a taste for very dark chocolate and 100% cocoa powder can be used in recipes and to make hot drinks. Drink plenty of water, unsweetened tea and coffee and unsweetened almond milk is very nice in coffee if you need it. Visit this forum regularly to learn and discuss and get support.
 

SB2015

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
My tips would be
  • Recognise that perfection is impossible. We just do the best that we can.
  • Become familiar with the carb content of what you eat. From that you can make informed decisions about any changes.
  • Make sure that you are organised with ordering prescriptions
  • Don’t sit down for 15 minutes after a meal. I was amazed at how much this reduced spikes. This often leads to us going for a walk, but other times it is simply clearing, or doing a bit of ironing, before I slump. Just something for at least 15 minutes.
  • Link up with others with Diabetes. This forum, local groups, online groups.
 

Ellington

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
My tips would be
  • Recognise that perfection is impossible. We just do the best that we can.
  • Become familiar with the carb content of what you eat. From that you can make informed decisions about any changes.
  • Make sure that you are organised with ordering prescriptions
  • Don’t sit down for 15 minutes after a meal. I was amazed at how much this reduced spikes. This often leads to us going for a walk, but other times it is simply clearing, or doing a bit of ironing, before I slump. Just something for at least 15 minutes.
  • Link up with others with Diabetes. This forum, local groups, online groups.
I'm going to try the 15mins activity idea !
You learn things all the time in this game. Thks.
 

Shells2909

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Diagnosed in December.
My advice would be don't do too much too soon, small steps add up to big changes.
Didn't realise how much hormones affected sugar levels - keeping a, track of cycles and levels is definitely worth it.
This is a long haul, not a sprint. Take one day at a time
 

Bandit0000

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Follow a diabetic ABC (first aid)

- Assess: keep a detailed food diary of what you are consuming, paying attention to carbohydrate intake. Also record things like sleep, mood, stresses, symptoms of illnesses, medication regimes and exercise.
- Blood Test: purchase a BG finger prick tester and test initially, morning, before meals and 2 hours after you start eating and at nighttime.
- Compare: compare your readings aginst your diary and identify large postprandial BG spikes and where you can make adjustments.
- Diet: adjust your diet gradually to bring your blood sugar levels down slowly. Consider your dietary goals - to lose or gain or maintain weight.
- Exercise: get moving! Brisk walks, swimming or cycling - it's all good and will use up your blood glucose stores. 3 miles per day is a good start for walkers or runners.

And research and read everything you can on your type and condition. Knowledge is power.

Work with your medical team but be aware that they may not have all the answers or be up to date on current research.

Medication: cannot advise as I was quite firm with my GP that I wanted to avoid drugs initially. I think too many people are put on drugs immediately and not really informed about them and what/how they do/work.
Hi, great advice, thank you, is there a BG finger prick tester that is recommended or shall I just go bor any? Thank you
 

helli

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
My advice would be
- don't believe anyone who says you can "control" diabetes. You can manage it but if you try to control it, you will be disappointed.
- type 1 and 2 are different conditions. Don't try to treat them the same.
- expect to continue learning about diabetes. Do not expect to learn everything at the start ... or always.
- pay no attention to life expectancy statistics. These are based on historic data and treatment is improving all the time. Instead, be inspired by people celebrating 50, 60 and 70 years with diabetes before fast acting insulin, before insulin pens let alone pumps, before home finger prick testing let alone CGMs.
- diabetes is serious but if you manage it, you can significantly reduce the chances of complications.
- diabetes should not stop you doing what you want. You may just need to plan a little more.
 

Ljc

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1.5 LADA
Do what works for you, we give advise on what has worked for us but it may not work for you.

Whatever type you have , when you are newly diagnosed , it is not good to idea bring your levels down too quickly as this can cause some unpleasant symptoms or affect your eyes, it’s often temporary but not always so.

Make sure you receive all the health checks you should routinely have , their are 15 not all of them will be relevant to you .


Try not to panic, ok, diabetes is doable !
 

Stephenhenry

New Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Some great advice here everyone, thanks. I just joined and posted for the first time yesterday after being diagnosed Type 1 a couple of months ago.

I'm probably still in the initial honeymoon period at the moment, where I feel totally in control of this. I'd like to ask, any advice about what to expect in the months/years to come? For people who have had this a while, are there any big pitfalls where you wish someone had said "I wish someone had told me THAT at the start"...?
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Some great advice here everyone, thanks. I just joined and posted for the first time yesterday after being diagnosed Type 1 a couple of months ago.

I'm probably still in the initial honeymoon period at the moment, where I feel totally in control of this. I'd like to ask, any advice about what to expect in the months/years to come? For people who have had this a while, are there any big pitfalls where you wish someone had said "I wish someone had told me THAT at the start"...?

Welcome to the forum @Stephenhenry

We had a thread about that a while back. Here were my top5 tips, along with lots of other members’ suggestions

 

pinkjude

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Follow a diabetic ABC (first aid)

- Assess: keep a detailed food diary of what you are consuming, paying attention to carbohydrate intake. Also record things like sleep, mood, stresses, symptoms of illnesses, medication regimes and exercise.
- Blood Test: purchase a BG finger prick tester and test initially, morning, before meals and 2 hours after you start eating and at nighttime.
- Compare: compare your readings aginst your diary and identify large postprandial BG spikes and where you can make adjustments.
- Diet: adjust your diet gradually to bring your blood sugar levels down slowly. Consider your dietary goals - to lose or gain or maintain weight.
- Exercise: get moving! Brisk walks, swimming or cycling - it's all good and will use up your blood glucose stores. 3 miles per day is a good start for walkers or runners.

And research and read everything you can on your type and condition. Knowledge is power.

Work with your medical team but be aware that they may not have all the answers or be up to date on current research.

Medication: cannot advise as I was quite firm with my GP that I wanted to avoid drugs initially. I think too many people are put on drugs immediately and not really informed about them and what/how they do/work.
That is really helpful. I test when I get up then 2 hours after breakfast. Should I be testing more than that? My problem is I panic when I get a high reading.I can't do too much exercise since hurting my achilles tendon so I have a step counter and walk round my house and garden as much as possible to get my steps up. Can I ask is it best to walk after a meal and drink water before testing?
I need to get my HBa1c of 84 down by June otherwise the DN said metformin will be my only option. I had a big spike yesterday after only eating eggs for breakfast so I know they won't have caused that.
 
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