Tips for New Diabetes Patients

According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.3 million Americans will be diagnosed with diabetes this year, and it is imperative that patients receive the necessary information upon diagnosis. "Patients need to ask their physician specific questions to learn how to effectively manage their diabetes and live the healthiest lifestyle possible," says Charles Clark, M.D., diabetes education consultant for Roche Diagnostics.

"It is very common for patients to feel overwhelmed immediately after their diagnosis," Clark says, "so it is important to follow up with a physician to ensure proper treatment and management." Roche Diagnostics, maker of the ACCU-CHEK products and services, strives to empower people with diabetes by educating them about the disease. This top-ten list of questions to ask your physician upon a diabetes diagnosis will help give you the information you need to deal with your diabetes.

Understand what you need to do on a daily basis to manage your diabetes. Learn the healthy habits of living with diabetes including glucose monitoring, physical activity and a healthy diet.

Know the signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar, but also ask your doctor about A1C -- a long term indicator of glucose control.

Know the risks of developing related health problems and how to reduce your risk.

Understand the various options and work with your healthcare team to decide which treatment works best for you.

Monitoring blood sugar with products like the ACCU-CHEK Compact meter is the key to good diabetes management. Learn how to maximize the benefits of blood glucose meters.

Immediately check your blood glucose to ensure appropriate levels. It is important to discuss with your healthcare team ahead of time to have a plan of action and make sure you know what steps to take if you get high or low results.

Changes in your day-to-day lifestyle will need to be made to maximize your health. Learn what adjustments are necessary for you.

Physical activity is a great way to regulate your blood sugars and maintain optimal health. It is important to take part in physical activity at least three to four times a week.

What is the importance of diet in diabetes -- what foods should I eat/avoid?

Having diabetes does not mean you can't have sugar. However, there are specific dietary guidelines that limit the types and amounts of foods you consume. Learn what foods work best in your diet.

Diabetes educators and health professionals such as nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, exercise specialists and social workers, specialize in the treatment of people with diabetes. They help you learn to live a healthier, more productive life with diabetes.

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