What should I do if I am diagnosed with diabetes?

Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
If you've just been diagnosed with diabetes, what should you do? In this video, Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD, an endocrinologist Scripps Health, discusses the top three things you should do to control your blood sugar and prevent future complications.
The following are the first steps you need to take if you are diagnosed with diabetes:

Step 1: Learn more -- and follow up.  Knowledge is power. Learn more from diabetes books, websites, or classes. Just be sure to get your information from trusted sources like the American Diabetes Association. Most important is to follow up with a healthcare provider -- schedule an appointment now if you haven't already. A doctor or diabetes educator needs to see you regularly to provide information, support, and guidance.

Step 2: Track your habits. To create your plan, your providers need to know about your daily habits and routines. You can help by gathering some information beforehand. Record information about your medications, physical activity, and eating habits. Bring this information to your next visit with a diabetes educator or doctor.

Step 3: Take care of yourself today. You don't need to wait until your appointment. Here are a few ways you can improve your health today -- and lay the groundwork for more healthy changes ahead:
  • Choose healthy foods in reasonable portions, at regular times throughout the day. This will help stabilize your blood glucose levels.
  • If you exercise regularly, keep it up. Activity will help you manage the stress you may feel right now.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Being well rested is the foundation of good health at any time.
  • Reach out for emotional support. It's easy to feel alone right now. So stay socially active. Seek out people who will listen and sympathize. Consider contacting a professional counselor -- you may need extra support.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.