So you or your child have just been diagnosed with diabetes and you’re scared. How do you find the information you need to deal with this chronic illness? How do you know what to expect, and how can you improve your situation? Where can you get financial aid?
There are basically two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes generally occurs in children and young adults and can be quite serious. Type 2 diabetes used to be called “adult-onset” diabetes and generally occurs in older adults. If you need more information about these types of diabetes, the American Diabetes Association is a great place to start. This Website lists everything from the simplest articles with basic information about types of diabetes, to diet suggestions and fitness tips, to a comprehensive list of research programs.
Knowing the terminology your doctor uses is crucial for understanding the care you can receive. One of the best articles on the American Diabetes website outlines current Standards of Care in Diabetes – 2013. This is a complicated but comprehensive article where you can see what processes medical personnel use to diagnose and treat the disease.
Your doctor will no doubt advise you to lose weight and increase exercise – something everyone probably needs to do. How do you know which diets are best, and which ones will work for you? The 2014 U.S. News and World Report annual report of various diets lists 32 different diets that can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Controlling your blood pressure is a crucial step in controlling your diabetes. One of the simplest diets to follow is the DASH diet, created by the US National Institutes of Health. The DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is a simple plan that involves adding fruits and vegetables, eating low fat options and using very little salt. The DASH diet also includes at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.
While it is alarming for an adult to be diagnosed with diabetes, if your child has Type I Diabetes, you may be feeling overwhelmed. The Health Central Web site has a great step-by-step list of processes for dealing with this scary diagnosis. The first step – Don’t panic! Your child will take their cues from your behavior – if you are calm and learn to adapt to the treatment plan, your child will be reassured and follow your example.
So you’re learning to care for yourself appropriately, following a diet, getting the exercise you need, or helping your child learn to adapt to necessary changes. Now, how do you pay for all those medical bills related to the diagnosis? For children, you can go to the Insure Kids Now site for information on individual state coverage and help with Medicaid.
The National Conference of State Legislatures provides links to state programs that provide assistance to diabetics. The site also lists diabetics’ supplies and procedures covered by Medicare and Medicaid in each state. Ask your doctor or healthcare provider for information about other local or state programs to assist with payments.
A diagnosis of diabetes can represent a difficult, life-changing situation. As with any chronic condition, it’s easy to get depressed at diagnosis. But you can find the information you need to make changes. And often these changes will result in a healthier lifestyle overall.
“Standards of Care in Diabetes – 2013″ – American Diabetes Association
“Best Diets 2014: What’s New” – U.S. News and World Report “What Is the DASH Eating Plan?” – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “My Child Has Diabetes” – Health Central “Connecting Kids to Coverage” – Insure Kids Now “Providing Diabetes Health Coverage: State Laws & Programs” – National Council of State Legislatures