You can't manage diabetes with medicine alone.
The next most important thing is healthy eating. There’s actually no such thing as a ‘diabetic diet’ (another misconception) – healthy eating for people with diabetes is, for the most part, the same as anyone else: plenty of vegetables, legumes, and lean protein; plus reduced salt, sugars, and saturated fats.
Blood glucose management is another important consideration. Reducing your meal portions will help with this (and help you lose weight). It’s also extremely important to eat regularly. I find it hard to wake up in the morning if my blood glucose levels get too low during the night, so I always make sure I have something to eat before I go to bed. During the day, I always carry chocolate, biscuits, and water with me.
It’s also important to get enough sleep – I find that fatigue tends to raise my blood glucose levels.
Exercise is also a crucial factor. Apart from improving your health, staying active helps manage your blood glucose levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure. It can also slow the development of diabetes complications.
Lastly, it’s important to educate yourself as much as possible about diabetes. For me, the fear of not knowing about the condition was one of the things that weighed on me when I was diagnosed. Groups like Diabetes NSW and ACT and Diabetes Australia have a wealth of handy resources, including lots of wonderful recipes. Thankfully, you’re not alone.