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Diabetes Guidance: How do Diabetics Control Their Illness?

written by: DaniellaNicole • edited by: lrohner • updated: 8/26/2010

How do people with diabetes control their disease? Learn the tips, tricks and facts that combine to help diabetics successfully manage their disease.

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    The diagnosis of diabetes can be frightening and overwhelming. How do people with diabetes control their disease? The best way is to closely follow the plan outlined by their physician and nutritionist. Diabetes may be accompanied by other conditions, so each patient may have their own unique medical and health factors to consider. The general guidance includes the following:

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    Medication

    There are two types of medications that may be used to help diabetics control their blood glucose levels: oral medications or insulin injections. The prescribed medication will depend on the type of diabetes the patient has, as well as other medications or medical conditions present in the patient.

    Following the physician's recommendaitons closely in relation to when to take the medication and how much. If there are continued problems with blood glucose management, the treating physician may opt to change the medication or to alter the dosage.

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    Diet

    The diagnosis of diabetes comes with a strict diet. Newly-diagnosed diabetics are referred to a nutritionist, who teach them how to create a balanced meal plan, what foods to avoid and what type of meal schedule they should be on.

    Diabetes is a prevalent disesase, affecting almost 8 percent of the United States population, according to the American Diabetes Association. With so many people affected by the disease, sugar-free foods have become much more available. Diabetics are also cautioned to watch the types of carbohydrates that they eat, and limit the amount that they consume. The market has responded to this with a variety of products and recipes available for healthy, nutritious foods and meals.

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    Exercise

    Diabetics should participate in physical activity on a regular basis to help with their circulation, maintain a healthy weight, lose weight and help to control their blood glucose levels. Many type 2 diabetics, particularly those suffering from obesity, experience a reduction or elimination of the symptoms of diabetes through weight loss.

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    Lifestyle

    Diabetics must learn to control their diabetes so that the disease does not control them. Although some lifestyle changes are unavoidable, they are not complicated or difficult.

    Friends, family and co-workers should be educated on what to do in emergencies to ensure the diabetic's ongoing safety and well-being.

    Monitor blood glucose levels daily, and see your physician at least two to four times per year so that any complications can be spotted and treated early.

    How do people with diabetes control their disease? The short answer is by following a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity, a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight. In addition, take medications as directed and monitor your health.

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    References

    Diabetes Guide: Living & Managing. WebMD. http://diabetes.webmd.com/guide/diabetes_living_managing

    Living with Diabetes: Treatment & Care. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/

    Diabetes: Lifestyle and Home Remedies. Mayo Clinic Staff. March 17, 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes/DS01121/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies