What is Diabetes
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Diabetes Treatment

Treatment Overview

Treatment for diabetes varies on a number of factors, including weight, age and any complications you may encounter

Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Strict control of blood glucose, or blood sugar, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol is the best defense against the serious complications of diabetes.

People with type 1 diabetes control their blood sugar with insulin injections and frequent self-monitoring of blood glucose. People with type 2 diabetes generally control their blood sugar with oral medications and, in some cases, insulin. Sometimes a person with type 2 diabetes can control blood glucose levels with diet and exercise alone.

Patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes will need insulin shots each day to replace insulin the pancreas can't produce. Gestational diabetes is usually treated with diet and insulin shots as needed.

Type 2 diabetes may be treated with oral medication and insulin shots. Oral medication can stimulate the pancreas to make more insulin, help the cells in the body use insulin, keep starches from being broken down into glucose in the intestines, and reduce the amount of glucose released from the liver.

You can?t eliminate risk factors such as age, family history or ethnicity, but you can incorporate a healthy diet and increased physical activity into your day-to-day activities. Lifestyle changes are the most effective treatment for type 2 diabetes and can prevent the need for medicine.

Weight loss tops the list of recommended lifestyle changes (as little as 10 to 15 pounds can make a difference). Controlling high blood pressure, quitting smoking and drug use, and limiting alcohol consumption are also important.

A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health and published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that obesity was the single most important factor in predicting who would develop type 2 diabetes. The study found that at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and a diet low in fat and high in fiber significantly cut the risk for participants of developing type 2 diabetes.

Another study by the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study Group showed that a high-risk group that lost weight and improved physical activity reduced their risk of developing diabetes by more than 50 percent.

The diabetes plan that you and your doctor or diabetes educator work out should include the following:
  • a list of short- and long-term goals
  • a prioritized list of the changes you'll need to make, such as stopping smoking, being more active, or losing weight
  • a list of medications, including how, why, and when to take them
  • advice on eating and meal planning from a qualified diabetes educator
  • a list of classes on how to manage your diabetes that are available for you and your family
  • a set of instructions to teach you:
    • how to check and record your blood glucose levels
    • what to do if you have a low blood glucose reaction
    • how to test your urine for ketones
  • guidelines for how often and when to see your doctor
  • a schedule for when you need to see other specialists, if you need to, including an eye doctor, foot doctor, and dentist
  • guidelines and plans for how to respond when you are sick
  • a birth control and pregnancy plan for women
There are so many other Treatment Options which you wil find in the Diabetes Health Care Kit
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