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Coping with a Diabetes Diagnosis

While a diabetes diagnosis can be a shock, it does not have to define who you are. You can take steps to manage the disease and still enjoy an active lifestyle.
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Individuals develop type 2 diabetes as a result of genetics and lifestyle factors, and no matter why you developed the disease, don't beat yourself up over it. Your focus needs to be on making healthy lifestyle changes. Moving forward from the stress and guilt associated with the diagnosis will help you focus on what's important — taking action to improve your health.

First, enlist the help of your primary care physician. Your PCP will be able to provide information on living with diabetes as well as resources, such as a registered dietitian, that can help you better manage the disease.

Remember, you are not alone. There are a number of resources for individuals suffering with diabetes and support groups. Understanding that you have the power to control your health can be extremely beneficial. Diabetes can be physically and mentally exhausting, but it doesn't have to be a cloud over your head. Your treatment will be much more effective if you are positive and mentally prepared to make the needed lifestyle changes. Try to make the lifestyle changes as quickly as possible and stick with them.

If you need to shed extra pounds, consider enrolling in a physician-supervised weight loss program. The American Diabetes Association notes that just a 5-10% decrease in body weight can improve insulin sensitivity, decrease fasting glucose concentrations, and reduce the need for some diabetes medications.

Eating healthy and engaging in physical activity on a regular basis also can help you better manage the disease, reducing your risk for diabetes-related complications, such as heart disease and stroke.

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