Life with Diabetes

Newly Diagnosed with Diabetes

1.4 million people will be diagnosed with diabetes this year. We make sure that’s not the end of the story.

Newly Diagnosed

Look—we know it can be hard to hear that you have diabetes.

You probably feel overwhelmed and confused. You're asking yourself, “What now?”

Well, the good news is you have a community to fall back on. You don’t have to maneuver this by yourself. You have the support of countless others who have felt the same shock. Your diagnosis is simply the first step. There are ways you can manage your diabetes—through diet, exercise, medical support and emotional help. Dig in. Take action. And know that we have everything you need to help you live a long, healthy life surrounded by people who know exactly what you’re going through.

Getting started with type 2

To use blood glucose (blood sugar) as energy, your body uses insulin. But with type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin, use it well, or both—and your body’s cells can’t use blood glucose for the energy it needs. When blood glucose isn't used and your blood glucose levels rise, it can cause serious problems.

Taking medication

Medication is an important part of managing type 2 diabetes. Work with your doctor to see what medications fit into your diabetes management plan to help reach your target range. Here are a few questions about your medications you can ask your doctor, pharmacist, or diabetes care and education specialist:

  • How much do I take?
  • How often should I take it, and when?
  • Should I take my medication on an empty stomach or with food?
  • What if I forget to take my medication and remember later?
  • What side effects could I have?
  • What should I do if I have side effects?
  • Will this medication cause a problem with any of my other medications?

Read More on Type 2

Living with type 1

If you have type 1 diabetes, it means that your pancreas does not produce insulin. It requires monitoring your blood glucose and administering multiple daily insulin injections with a pen, syringe, or a pump.

If you’ve just learned you have type 1 diabetes, know that you have an array of tools at your disposal to help you manage it. Finding ways to manage your blood glucose levels, your insulin intake, diet and exercise, and working with your diabetes care team, can help you feel healthier and help you stay on top of your condition.

Remember, millions of people live healthy lives with type 1. Find others with type 1 and ask them what they do to stay healthy. You may be curious about an insulin pump, and find someone who uses one. You can get tips and tricks that will make life just a little bit easier.

The important thing is to share your feelings with those around you and don’t hold back from asking for help. Reaching out is key to living a vital life with type 1 diabetes.

Read more on type 1

Calling All Types: Eat Well and Move

No matter if you live with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise are two of the most powerful tools you have. Not only do they help you control your blood glucose, but they can mean the difference between feeling run down and feeling great.

Eat healthy

New diets can feel restrictive and there is no one-size-fits-all diet. While you need to make changes in what and how much you eat, you have access to plenty of guidance. Start with an ADA-approved cookbook and remember to:

  • Eat a variety of foods, including vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy foods, healthy fats, and lean meats or meat substitutes
  • Try not to eat too much food
  • Try not to eat too much of one type of food
  • Space your meals evenly throughout the day
  • Avoid skipping meals

Get active

Another part of living a full and healthy life with diabetes is being active. No matter what you do or how you approach it, know that any type of physical activity helps lower your blood glucose. Other benefits of physical activity include:

  • Having more energy
  • Relieving stress
  • Keeping your joints flexible
  • Lowering your risk for heart disease and stroke
  • Feeling great