Diabetes Newly Diagnosed
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     GlucoMenu: Recently Diagnosed Diabetes
    Diabetes Newly Diagnosed

    Q. I am newly diagnosed with diabetes and unsure where to start.  Can you help?

    A. Read on to learn about the steps you should take to control diabetes.

    How did I get diabetes?
    • Genetics - If you have a close relative with diabetes your risk is increased.  Some ethnic groups such as Native Americans, Hispanics, and African Americans are at increased risk too.  
    • Lifestyle - Lifestyle or environmental factors that may lead to diabetes.  Foods consumed, activity level, and obesity are directly linked to type 2 diabetes.
    What should I do now? (0-3 months)

    How well you control diabetes is up to you.  You can choose to take steps to modify your lifestyle to control blood sugar and minimize complications.  It comes down to setting goals, organization, planning, and following through with your plan.  There are probably a few things you are wondering about... exercise, diet, testing blood sugar, medications, and specialists, to name a few.
    • Start with speaking with your physician.  Learn about your medications, how often, and when you should take them.  Ask about an exercise program.  You will want to know how much exercise and how often your doctor recommends for you based on health concerns.  Ask your doctor about your blood pressure.  You will want to know if your blood pressure is high and the steps to lower it.  Ask to see a diabetes educator and a registered dietitian.
    • A diabetes educator can help you with when and how often you should be testing your blood sugar.  They can also help you to set blood sugar goals.  In the beginning, you may be asked to test blood sugar about 4 times per day including when you first wake up and are fasted, before meals, after meals, and prior to bedtime.  It is a good idea to keep a log of your blood sugar so that you can share these with your doctor.
    • A registered dietitian can help you design a meal plan based on your dietary needs.  A RD can also help you learn which foods will affect your blood sugar.
    Now you have something to build upon.  Begin to implement your exercise program, meal plan, blood sugar testing, and take your medications regularly.

    What's next? (3-6 months)
    • At your next doctor's visit, ask about having an A1c test.  An A1c test is a blood test that reveals how your blood sugar has been over the past few months.  This test can show high blood sugar you are not aware of as a result of blood sugar testing times.
    • Look into attending a diabetes class.  These classes can help to learn more about meal plans (including carbohydrate counting), exercise programs, sick days, complications, and offer support from others that are newly diagnosed as well.
    • Begin to increase your duration of exercise.  For example, if you swim for 25 minutes each day, strive to swim for 30-40 minutes.  Set aside time everyday for physical activity.  In addition to the actual workout, factor in time for stretching, showering, etc.
    And then? (6-9 months)
    • Again, at your doctor's visit, ask about another A1c test.  Assess the frequency of blood sugar testing - if you are well controlled, you may be able to decrease how often you test your blood sugar.  Ask about visiting an eye doctor for a diabetes eye exam and a foot doctor if needed.
    • Assess your dietary goals.  Are you eating enough fiber?  Are you limiting your fat intake?  Do you need to lose weight and if so should you re-evaluate your calorie intake?
    • Increase the duration of your exercise program.  Begin to increase the intensity of your exercise as well.  For example if you choose to walk for physical exercise, you might choose to increase your pace or walk on an incline to increase intensity.
    Now what? (9-12 months)

    Continue to monitor your blood sugar and meal plan.  Assess body weight and stick with your exercise plan.  You've taken control of your diabetes and you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle with decreased risk of complications because of it.

    Is there a list of healthcare professionals I should consider seeing?

    Below, we have compiled a list of professionals you will want to consider visiting to control your diabetes and prevent complications.

    Physician - you probably already have a primary care physician, but you may want to see a specialist in diabetes.  This specialist can help you with management of diabetes including medications.   Look for a specialization in diabetes such as board certified in endocrinology.  This professional should have a medical degree indicated by MD or DO.  You will probably want to visit your physician every 6 months depending on your treatment.  Ask about having the following tests conducted:  A1c test (every 6 months), HDL/cholesterol test (every year), and kidney microalbumin test (every year).
    Dietitian - ask to see a dietitian to help you with your meal plan.  A dietitian should have the initials RD after their name indicating they are a registered dietitian.  Some dietitians are also Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE) as well.
    Nurse educator - a nurse educator can help you with taking medications, blood sugar testing, and diabetes management.  Look for credentials including RN, BSN, or MSN.  Some nurse educators are Certified Diabetes Educators as well.
    Eye doctor - this is a medical doctor specializing in ophthalmology.  This doctor can diagnose and treat eye complications associated with diabetes.  If you are over 30, you should have an eye exam upon diabetes diagnosis and every year thereafter.  If you are between 12 and 30 and have had diabetes for more than 5 years, you should have an eye exam yearly.
    Pharmacist - a pharmacist can help you with medication and glucose testing questions.  Look for the credential of RPh or PharmD after their name.
    Podiatrist - this is a foot doctor and should have the credential DPM after their name.  A podiatrist can help treat and/or prevent any foot problems including calluses, ulcers, or sores.  You should probably have a doctor examine your feet once each year, more often if you have foot problems.


    The good news is that people can take control of their diabetes by eating right, exercising on a regular basis, and testing blood sugar.

    Christine Carlson, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE
    GlucoMenu® Nutrition Director

    Christine Carlson, Registered Dietitian &
    Certified Diabetes Educator


    American Diabetes Association magazine subscription when you join GlucoMenu®

    American Diabetes Association magazine subscription when you join GlucoMenu®

    American Diabetes Association magazine subscription when you join GlucoMenu®

    American Diabetes Association magazine subscription when you join GlucoMenu®

    American Diabetes Association magazine subscription when you join GlucoMenu®


    GlucoMenu Diabetes Study - Average Weight Loss 14.1 Pounds!
    After 12 weeks our Pre-Diabetes & Type 2 patients
  • A1c decreased from 7.11 to 6.36
  • Lost 14.1 pounds
  • Previous E-mails to Christine (GlucoMenu® Nutrition Director)

    A1c:  What should my A1c level be?

    Acai Berry:  Is all the hype over acai berry for real, is it worth the high cost?

    Alcohol:  Can I have wine with dinner?

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    BBQ:  What types of foods should I eat more of and what foods should I avoid at my BBQ?

    Blood Sugar Testing:  How often should I check my blood sugar if I have type 2 diabetes?

    Breakfast:  What are the best items I should choose for breakfast?

    Caffeine:  Does caffeine have any effect on blood sugar either good or bad?

    Carbohydrate:  Carbohydrate or calories?

    Carbohydrate Choices:  What are Carbohydrate Choices?

    Chromium:  Should I be taking Chromium?

    Diabetes:  Can you reverse diabetes?

    Diabetes:  Can you reverse pre-diabetes?

    Diabetes:  How do I change my diabetes profile on the website?

    Diabetes:  Newly diagnosed... Where do I start?

    Dining Out:  We eat out a lot.  Could you give us some suggestions for Japanese and Chinese?

    Dreamfields Pasta:  How does Dreamfields pasta count carbohydrates?

    Exercise:  When should I exercise?

    Fiber:  Which items are the best for fiber?

    Flax:  Should I add ground flax seed to my meal plan?

    Food Exchanges:  Can you explain food exchanges?

    Frozen Shoulder:  Do my symptoms sound like frozen shoulder?

    Fruit:  What is the difference between canned and fresh fruits?

    Fruit Juice:  What can I drink instead of water?

    Fruit Sugar:  Which fruits would be a better choice for me to eat?

    GlucoMenu:  In 9 months, I have lost 50 lbs and my wife has lost 43.  But more importantly...

    GlucoMenu:  Does GlucoMenu work for couples?

    GlucoMenu:  What is GlucoMenu?

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    GlucoMenu:  Menus for every season?

    Glucose Test:  My glucose tolerance test was at 105 - how high/low is that compared to acceptable levels?

    Gluten:  Should I be eating gluten free products?

    HFCS:  What's all the hype with High Fructose Corn Syrup?

    High Blood Pressure:  What should I order when eating out to limit sodium?

    High Blood Sugar:  My blood sugar levels have been running between 475 to 575.

    High Blood Sugar:  Tired after lunch.  Any suggestions?

    High Cholesterol:  In addition to having diabetes I have high cholesterol.  What can I order?

    Hunger:  What do you advise when I find myself, always, hungry and most of the time ravenous?

    Iron:  My iron is low.  What foods do you suggest?

    Lunch:  I have diabetes and work long hours.  Could you give me some tips on what to pack for lunch at work?

    Margarine or Butter:  Why unhealthy margarine instead of butter?

    Medications:  Can you give me some basic information on the medication Metformin?

    Menus:  I need 8 weeks of diabetic menus.  Can you help me with this?

    Nutrition Facts:  What is "other carbohydrate" and why aren't they included in the total carbohydrate count?

    Nuts:  What kind of nuts should I buy?

    Olean:  Where I can buy Olean and what brands of food have it?

    Pre-Diabetes:  I'm concerned & depressed about Pre-Diabetes... Any advice?

    Pre-Diabetes:  What are Pre-Diabetes lifestyle changes?

    Pre-Diabetes:  Newly diagnosed w/ Pre-Diabetes... Where do I start?

    Pre-Diabetes:  Do people with Pre-Diabetes have the same symptoms as those with Type 1 and Type 2?

    Pre-Diabetes:  Trying to lose weight, but now gaining... Suggestions?

    Snack Bars:  What snack bars do you suggest I use?

    Snacking:  How do I avoid overeating when I'm bored?

    Sodium:  Does low sodium mean high in potassium?

    Stevia:  Are Stevia sweeteners safe for someone who has diabetes?

    Sugar Alcohol:  What is the difference between sugar and sugar alcohols?

    Tomatoes:  Will tomatoes cause an increase in blood sugar levels?

    Travel:  I have type 2 diabetes and travel quite a bit.  What do you suggest?

    Type 2:  What should I do if I've just been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes?

    Vinegar:  Do you have any info on taking vinegar tablets or liquid to reduce blood sugar?

    Weight Loss:  Do you think I'm losing weight too fast?

    Weight Loss:  How do I lose weight?

    Yogurt:  What is the best yogurt for someone with Diabetes?

    FREE Diabetes Profile

    Christine Carlson, Registered Dietitian &
    Certified Diabetes Educator

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