Treating diabetes

Years ago, before we understood about controlling blood glucose levels, people got terribly sick with diabetes and often didn't live very long. New treatment plans for diabetes today have certain things in common that apply to both main types of diabetes.

With the help of their diabetes team, people with diabetes can live normal, healthy lives by combining the elements of diet, exercise and medicine (if needed), along with regular blood glucose testing.

Nutrition

You don't have to be on a strict diet. There are plenty of great choices.

The main things to watch are:

  • The types of food you choose
  • The amount of food you eat
  • The spacing of your meals and snacks

Exercise

We have learned that regular exercise helps insulin to work better. It also keeps you healthier and able to fight off illness. Exercise is a great help if you're trying to lose weight.

Treating diabetes - nutrition, exercise and medicine

Medicine

Insulin today is much safer and easier to use than when it was first developed in 1921.

There are new ways of taking injections that are relatively painless and so simple that you can actually carry the equipment with you, just like you would a pen.

Some people with type 2 diabetes take oral medication or pills to control their blood sugar levels. The pills are not insulin but they work by helping make your own natural insulin work better.

Blood glucose testing

These tests are simple to do and can be done anytime you need to know your glucose level. It will help you find out how well your treatment is working.

With proper education and guidance from your doctor and diabetes educator, you can learn to take care of diabetes yourself.

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