If you or someone you know has diabetes, it’s important to understand all you can about the disease and its treatment. The more information you have, the more successful you’ll be at controlling diabetes. Tell your loved ones about diabetes so they have a better idea of how they can help you control diabetes and support you in staying healthy.
If you have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, you will need to take insulin to manage your blood sugar levels. Following a diabetic diet and getting enough exercise are also important actions that will be prescribed by your doctor. Because your body is not making insulin, for diabetes control you’ll need to either inject it or use an insulin pump to provide your body with what it needs. The type of insulin, amount of the dosage and frequency of administration will be determined by your doctor depending on your blood glucose levels.
If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, it is likely that your doctor will recommend that you follow a diabetic diet, lose weight (if you are overweight) and exercise daily. If these diabetes control efforts are not enough to bring down your elevated blood sugar levels, oral medicines may be prescribed. If your blood sugar levels are still not within healthy ranges, you may have to inject insulin to control diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease requiring changes in medication over time to help keep blood sugar as close to normal as possible. Some people with Type 2 diabetes eventually require insulin for the best blood sugar management.
Diabetes control through diet and exercise
For insulin to be most effective, it needs to be combined with a healthy, balanced diet. Your blood glucose levels are directly affected by the food you eat and the medicine or insulin you’re taking. Blood sugar levels can become too high or too low if your diet is not balanced. A dietitian who specializes in diabetes can help you create an eating program that’s just right for you.
Physical activity is another key to controlling blood sugar levels. Ask your doctor what exercises you should do to burn off calories and keep your weight within a healthy range.
Diabetes control through monitoring blood glucose
Your health care provider will ask you to monitor your blood sugar levels throughout the day. You’ll be taught how to use a self-monitoring glucose meter. Your health care team will give you target glucose levels so that you’ll know when your levels are within a healthy range. It’s important to record your levels each time you monitor your blood sugar.
Accurately recording your glucose levels is a critical step in managing your diabetes. You and your doctor will refer to these records to see how your body is being affected by the food you eat, your physical activity and any medicines you’re taking. In fact, these records are crucial to establishing your overall treatment program.
In addition to at-home monitoring, your doctor will run a hemoglobin A1C test, also known as glycated hemoglobin. The test provides an average of your blood sugar levels over a 2- to 3-month period and is an indicator of how well your diabetes treatment is working.
Diabetes control and chronic kidney disease
Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease in the United States. Diabetes control can help keep your kidneys healthy. By dieting, exercising, taking medicines as prescribed and regularly tracking your glucose levels you can help preserve kidney function.
Diabetes occurs when your pancreas is either not making enough insulin or the body cannot use insulin the way that it should, resulting in a build-up of sugar in your blood. Although there is no cure for diabetes, there are many things you can do for diabetes control. Daily self-monitoring is one critical step in controlling diabetes. Treatment may include taking insulin or oral medications, following a diabetic diet and getting proper exercise.
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