Diabetes Management

The treatment of diabetes is very similar to the ongoing management of the disease. Both will involve the control of diet, exercise and insulin levels and both will take into consideration the method of insulin delivery that a type 1 diabetic chooses. Long-term management however must take into consideration regular physical examinations, any drastic alterations in lifestyle and the social and health effects of the condition.
Everyone diagnosed with diabetes will need to develop a method of controlling their Blood sugar levels. This is best accomplished through a strict daily regimen of blood sugar level testing and Insulin delivered into the body. How often testing is done and how much insulin is required can vary greatly from person to person. This is caused by a huge number of factors, from the amount of physical exercise to the overall nutritional level of the individual.

The diet of a patient with diabetes can be quite flexible, but a focus should be on maintaining a healthy weight through a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, proteins, and high-fiber carbohydrates delivered throughout the day.

Many diabetics take five smaller meals during the day to accommodate the need for a target blood sugar level, and some will have several snacks to address this issue as well. There will still be times and occasions when an adjustment to insulin will be required, due to a sugary or high-Carbohydrate food or treat, and this is perfectly fine as long as a diabetic does not make a frequent habit of such indulgences.
Overeating and unbalanced insulin can lead to weight gain that makes insulin management even more difficult.

The exercise habits vary widely, from long-distance cyclists to casual walkers. Exercise is good for weight management, for helping the body to use insulin more efficiently and it helps to combat many heart and blood vessel issues that are common complications of diabetes. Each individual situation will need to be examined and insulin may need adjustment.
It is recommended for anyone with diabetes to check their blood sugar levels prior to exercise, and perhaps make an insulin adjustment to allow for the amount of glucose that will be burned off during the activity. This can be a tricky and difficult decision since factors such as weather, food and liquid consumption, length of the activity and general health can play strong roles in the amount of glucose used. A general recommendation is for the diabetic to self-monitor their glucose levels before, during and especially after exercise to best determine how their body responds.

Long-term management of diabetes will also deal with lifestyle, social and health issues. Diabetics may be limited in career choice by their disease, or may have to deal with some situations that they find unfair and frustrating – such as the constant maintenance of their insulin.

Because diabetes can be diagnosed at any age it is a good idea for a diabetic and their family or loved ones to openly discuss the impact of the condition on the life of the individual, allowing them to vent any frustrations or emotions about it, and it is a great idea for everyone in a household to participate in the treatment plan’s exercise and dietary guidelines.

If it is a young person who is diagnosed there may be some social issues to consider, such as acceptance by classmates or peers, teasing or even isolation. School administrators, teachers and nurses should be made aware of any diagnosis and encouraged to educate students and classes about the condition. This will work to make everyone involved more understanding, compassionate and supportive.

There can be some long-term health effects from diabetes, but regular visits to a physician will alert a doctor or patient to any pending problems. Many of the complications of diabetes may also be avoided or eliminated by following a daily treatment plan that includes diet, exercise and insulin used to manage Blood glucose levels.

Today there is not yet a cure for diabetes, but medical professionals are experimenting with a large variety of equipment, medicines and treatment methods. Physicians and their patients should stay aware of all developments in the treatment of diabetes and take an active role in living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining control of their diabetes.