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Have you or a loved one been newly diagnosed? You probably feel overwhelmed and confused. You are not alone. More than 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with diabetes this year, according to the American Diabetes Association.

The good news is there is a community to fall back on. And the diagnosis is simply the first step on the path to managing diabetes—through diet, exercise, medical support, and emotional help. Dig in. Take action. 

Getting started with type 2

To use glucose as energy, the body needs insulin. With type 2 diabetes— the most common form of the disease—the body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use it well and cells can’t use glucose for the energy it needs. When glucose stays in the blood, it can cause serious problems. While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, there are ways to manage the condition—through a balanced diet, an active lifestyle, and (in some cases) medicine.

A key part of managing type 2 diabetes is maintaining a healthy diet that includes foods that help you feel better. Work to find helpful tips and diet plans that best suit your lifestyle—and how you can make your nutritional intake work the hardest for you.

Fitness is another key to managing type 2. And the good news, all you have to do is get moving. The key is to find activities you love and do them as often as you can. No matter how fit you are, a little activity every day can help you put yourself in charge of your life.

Medicine can be another key to managing type 2 diabetes. Work with your doctor to see what medicines can help you keep your blood sugar in your target range. Some people take both pills and insulin or insulin by itself. If you’re starting new medicines, ask your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator the following questions:

• How many pills do I take?

• How often should I take them, and when?

• Should I take my medicine on an empty stomach or with food?

• What if I forget to take my medicine and remember later?

• What side effects could I have?

• What should I do if I have side effects?

• Will my diabetes medicine cause a problem with any of my other medicines?

Living with type 1

Type 1 diabetes occurs at every age and in people of every race, shape, and size. Learning as much as you can about it and working closely with your diabetes care team can give you everything you need to thrive.

if you have type 1 diabetes, it means that your pancreas does not produce insulin. It requires monitoring your blood sugar and administering multiple daily insulin injections with a pen, syringe or a pump.

This is a condition that can be managed. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments along with living a healthy lifestyle filled with exercise and proper diet, you can live a normal life and do everything you set out to do.

Remember, millions of people live healthy lives with type 1. Find others with type 1 and ask them what they do to stay healthy. You may be curious about an insulin pump, and find someone who uses one. You can get tips and tricks that will make life just a little bit easier.