Web MD -- If you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, you're not alone. Nearly 26 million Americans are living with diabetes. In 2010, nearly 2 million new diagnoses were made in Americans ages 20 and up.
Though managing diabetes requires effort, you can still enjoy doing the things you love while taking care of yourself. Here are six strategies that you can use to manage your diabetes and live a long and active life.
1. Get informed about Diabetes
Diabetes is serious. If left unmanaged it can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, even death. So your first step after being diagnosed is to ask questions and learn as much as you can about:
Talk to your health care providers -- doctors, nurses, endocrinologists, dietitians -- and get answers to the questions that concern you most.
Talk to your friends and family who may be living with diabetes. Join a support group, get online, and start reading. The more you know about diabetes, the more control you'll have.
2. Get Care for Your Diabetes
Your health care team or doctor is your primary resource for getting the care you need to live well with diabetes. Your treatment may include:
3. Track your Diabetes ABCs
Diabetes raises your risk for conditions that may affect your eyes, nerves, heart, teeth, and more. This is why you want to keep track of your diabetes ABCs.
4. Learn how to Manage Your Diabetes
Once you know more about living with diabetes, it's important to put that knowledge into practice. A healthy lifestyle with diabetes includes:
5. Stop Diabetes Complications before they start
Complications don't have to be part of living with diabetes. You can help prevent problems by controlling your diabetes with diet, medication, exercise, and regular checkups. It's important to also know the signs of some common diabetes complications, which include:
6. Get Help from Your Diabetes Health Care Team
Catching diabetes complications early can dramatically boost your chances of successful treatment. So if you're worried about your health, don't wait for things to get worse. Talk to your doctor. Treatment may be as simple as a lifestyle change or an adjustment in medication.
Whether you have questions about diabetes or think you're experiencing diabetes complications, your diabetes health care team is there to help you continue to do the things you love with the people you care about.