Currently, type 1 diabetes is not preventable. However, studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented by adopting lifestyle changes that include eating a healthy diet and exercising.
In addition, some studies have shown that certain oral antidiabetes medications may play a role in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes for people who are at high risk of developing it. Lifestyle changes and medications may prevent approximately 30% to 60% of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic condition, and it can last an entire life. The goal of treating diabetes is to keep blood glucose levels as close to a normal range as possible. This prevents the symptoms of diabetes and the long-term complications of the condition. If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor – working with the members of your diabetes care team – will help you find your target blood glucose levels.
More than most conditions, treating diabetes requires a significant amount of real effort on the person's part. Coping with diabetes is a lifelong challenge, so people with diabetes should not be afraid to speak with a doctor or pharmacist if they feel overwhelmed.
Part of a treatment plan for diabetes will involve learning about diabetes, how to manage it, and how to prevent complications. Your doctor, diabetes educator, or other health care professional will help you learn what you need to know so you are able to manage your diabetes as effectively as possible. Keep in mind that learning about diabetes and its treatment will take time. Involving family members or other people who are significant in your life can also help you manage your diabetes.
Although up to 30% of people with diabetes use herbal products to help control blood sugar, there are not enough good quality studies to show that these treatments are safe and effective.
People with type 1 diabetes need insulin* continuously to survive.
There are three important things a person can do to treat type 2 diabetes:
- make lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise
- use medication
- monitor blood glucose levels
As with many conditions, treatment of type 2 diabetes begins with lifestyle changes, particularly in your diet and exercise. If you have type 2 diabetes, speak to your doctor and diabetes educator about an appropriate diet. You may be referred to a dietitian. It is also a good idea to speak with your doctor before beginning an exercise program to determine how much and what kind of exercise is appropriate.
If lifestyle changes don't put blood glucose levels in the target range, medications may be required. Medications for type 2 diabetes include antidiabetes pills, insulin injections, or a combination of both.
Medications are very effective at treating diabetes and reducing the symptoms and long-term effects of the condition. However, you may experience hypoglycemia (a blood glucose level that is too low) when taking certain medications for diabetes.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- difficulty concentrating
- pale skin
- tremors or shakiness
- visual changes
If your blood glucose level is extremely low, it is possible to have a seizure or lose consciousness. A health care professional can teach you how to recognize the warning signs of hypoglycemia. People with diabetes should carry candy, sugar, or glucose tablets to treat hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia is a side effect of many medications for type 1 and 2 diabetes, but it is never a reason to avoid treatment. The best way to avoid hypoglycemia is to monitor your blood glucose.
Measurement of blood glucose levels is the best way to know whether blood glucose levels are in the target range. This is easily done at home with a blood glucose monitor.
In recent guidelines, the CDA says it's important for people with diabetes to self-monitor blood glucose levels. The number of times you should test your blood glucose will be based on the type of diabetes you have and your diabetes treatment.
It is important to record blood glucose readings taken at different times of the day – after fasting as well as 2 hours after a meal. This allows your doctor to see a snapshot of how your blood glucose levels vary during the day and to recommend treatments accordingly. Most blood glucose meters now have "memory" that stores a number of blood glucose tests along with the time and date they were taken. Some even allow for graphs and charts of the results to be created when the monitor is connected to a computer.
Your doctor can also follow your A1C results to see how well your blood glucose has been in control overall. This allows your doctor to manage your diabetes more effectively. A1C is usually measured every 3 to 6 months.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Diabetes