Depending on what type of diabetes you have, your diabetes healthcare team will work with you to decide which type of treatment is best for you. Basically, they will focus on these three areas to help you achieve optimum health.
An important part of managing your blood sugar is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. People who have diabetes should aim to eat a diet low in fat and high in fibre with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Your diabetes care team will create a meal plan that fits your health goals, food preferences and lifestyle. This will likely include carbohydrate counting, particularly if you have type 1 diabetes.
People who have diabetes are advised to exercise at least five times a week. Ideally, you should do an activity that gets you at least mildly out of breath and mildly sweaty, such as jogging, cycling, running, and swimming. Aim for at least 30 minutes or more of aerobic exercise. If you haven’t been active for a while, start slowly and build up gradually.
If you have type 2 diabetes, sometimes eating healthy and engaging in physical activity is not enough. Your doctor may give you oral medication to help control your blood glucose levels. Metformin is generally the first medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes. It helps lower blood glucose levels by reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver, and by increasing the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin. In some cases, insulin injections are needed if the blood glucose level remains too high despite taking medication.
People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin injection as a part of their treatment. Since their bodies can not produce insulin anymore, they need to take insulin everyday to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
Insulin injections are usually given by an injection pen, which is also known as an insulin pen or auto-injector. Sometimes, injections are given using a syringe. Most people need two to four injections a day.
An insulin pump may also be an option. It is a small device that allows insulin to continuously flow into your bloodstream at a rate you can control. This means you no longer need to give yourself injections, although you’ll need to monitor your blood glucose levels very closely to ensure you’re receiving the right amount of insulin.