The most meaningful member of a diabetes care team is you. By learning more about diabetes, creating an action plan, and sticking to that plan, you can live a healthier and more normal life.

Cause of diabetes

Diabetes is actually a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate (type 1), or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin (type 2), or both.

Diet and lifestyle changes

Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, you may need to make some changes to your diet and lifestyle to help you manage your condition and stay healthy. Rather than trying to change everything all at once, work with your healthcare team to consider priorities and to make a diabetes care plan. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Exercise: Exercise and activity will help you feel better emotionally and physically. Keep setting milestones and goals for yourself to improve your fitness.

  • Medication: Talk to your provider about what medications are right for you, including insulin injections. Once your doctor has prescribed a medication, always take it as directed. When you are first diagnosed, medication may seem overwhelming. Be patient with yourself and it will become easier over time.

  • Diet: Thanks to advancements in insulin, you have more flexibility than ever before in what you eat. Pay attention to carbohydrates and sugars, letting yourself have the occasional treat without overindulging. Make a goal to eat more fruits and vegetables and less sodium and fat. Try to eat your meals at the same time each day to keep your blood sugar levels steady.

  • Foot care: People with diabetes are more at risk for suffering from foot pain, also called peripheral neuropathy. Inspect your feet daily, and stem off complications by keeping them clean, dry, and moisturized.

Each individual's diabetes diagnosis is different, and you are the expert of yours. As you evaluate your own well-being, you will benefit from seeking the help of experienced caregivers when issues arise. These issues may include fever, extreme hunger or thirst, stomach pain, aches or pain, and dizziness. among others. 

© 2018 Intermountain Healthcare. All rights reserved. The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.