It is important to treat diabetes for two reasons. First, you want to gain relief from the immediate symptoms caused by hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Second, your diabetes treatment can promote a state of physical well-being and vigor, you can help prevent or minimize the long-term complications that can result if your blood sugar remains high for months and years.
Whatever treatment program is designed for your diabetes, the overall goal is the same – to keep your blood sugar “in control.” In order to accomplish that, your diabetes treatment program will involve three basic approaches:
- Regular exercise. Exercise helps everyone, whether you have diabetes or not. Not only does it make you feel better, but it also preserves arid increases muscle tone and strength, gives your heart a workout, increases lung efficiency, and helps you maintain a desired weight. If you have diabetes, you will gain an extra benefit from exercise. It enables you to use insulin better, thereby lowering the amount of sugar in your blood, generally enabling you to use smaller doses of insulin or oral medication.
- Meal planning. This consists of the proper balance of foods and nutrients that you need to maintain good health and manage your blood sugar levels. It will also help you manage the level of fats or “lipids” in your blood, which are frequently too high in people with diabetes. Your meal plan will also take into consideration the timing of your meals in conjunction with your daily diabetes medications, goal you may have for weight loss and the types of foods you like or dislike.
- Medications. Type 1 diabetic need insulin injections to stay alive. Type 2 diabetic can often manage their condition with meal planning and exercise, and, sometimes, by taking pills that stimulate the body to produce additional insulin and use insulin better. But many people with Type 2 diabetes those who cannot produce enough insulin – must also rely on insulin injections to bring their blood sugar into a healthy range.
Diabetes – Video Guide
Another important part of your treatment program is monitoring, which involves testing your blood or urine for substances that tell you how well you are managing your diabetes. All people with diabetes both Type 1 and Type 2âshould carefully monitor the effectiveness and progress of their treatment.
To one degree or another, Type I diabetes or Type 2 diabetes will affect nearly all aspects of your life. That’s why your treatment program should be “customized” to meet your particular needs and lifestyle. Your treatment should include professional support to deal with the impact of diabetes on your emotional and social well-being. You and your family should try to participate in support groups. Talk with mental health professionals about your concerns. Attend educational programs offered at your local hospital or diabetes center. By gaining the appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes, you’ll be able to manage your diabetes with competence and confidence. (see Blood Glucose Monitoring)
Your Place in the Treatment Program
Unlike other serious illnesses, diabetes is a condition in which you must an active part in the treatment. In fact, you will provide much of your own primary care. This doesn’t mean you will be left alone to provide your own treatment. It does mean, however, that you will play an important role in the design of your treatment program. And once that treatment program has been determined, you’ll be the one responsible for actually carrying it out. You’ll have the job of maintaining and monitoring the program. And whenever you have questions or problems, you will alert your health-care team so that adjustments can be made in your meal plan, exercise program, or medication.
By taking an active role in your treatment program, you can reduce the risks of developing complications. This doesn’t mean that by being totally faithful to your treatment plan you won’t develop any complications. Research suggests that some people may develop complications despite their best efforts, for genetic or other inexplicable reasons. But you still will have a lot to say about preventing or slowing the long-term problems that can arise when diabetes is improperly treated. If you are faithful to a well-designed program, you are less likely to face these complications.(see Diabetes Complications)
By actively participating in your diabetes treatment, you’ll also be able to achieve a far greater level of freedom and control in your everyday life. You will not have to depend on other people to carry out your daily tasks. Also, you will find it easier to cope with your concerns. Think of your diabetes treatment program as a ship. With the best equipment on board and with the help of an experienced crew – there will be smooth sailing ahead.