Treatment with Medication
Many type 2 diabetes take oral medications to help control their blood glucose levels, while type 1 diabetics take daily injections of insulin. The first thing to do when learning to take control of your diabetes is to adhere to your medication regimen without exception. You must check your blood glucose levels several times per day, and talk to your physician if and as problems arise.
Re-Learning How to Eat
A newly diagnosed diabetic will be referred to a nutritionist and it is important to keep that appointment. There is a lot to learn about how food affects diabetes, what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to eating, food and portions.Even a patient who has had diabetes for a while can benefit from reviewing the materials from time to time, and asking about updates to the information they were given.
Eating according to the plan laid out specifically for you is crucial, as is learning how to determine appropriate portion sizes for various foods. WebMD has provided a sample meal plan for diabetes on their website of a 1600 calorie, 220 gram of carbs menu for one day.
A good visual aid for portion sizes is available from the State of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Remember that it is only a guide, as hand size will vary from person to person.
Diabetes Control through Exercise
Exercise is not only helpful in the control of diabetes, it can help the diabetic who is overweight lose that excess weight. Many type II diabetics who lose weight actually find that their diabetes symptoms ease up or disappear completely.
Walking, swimming and yoga are just a few of the things that can become part of a diabetic’s exercise plan. They are all low-impact, simple ways for those who do not regularly exercise to get started.
A Change in Lifestyle
While diabetes can create changes in your day-to-day life, they need not be stressful or difficult. It can take time to get used to a new way of eating, making sure to exercise, regularly taking medication and testing blood glucose levels. Once the routine is established, however, it becomes much simpler to stay on track and adapt life to the new routine.
Having diabetes does not mean life is over or that you cannot continue to have fun, but it does involve some changes. But the prevalence of diabetes in the country has made finding sugar-free foods in grocery stores and in restaurants a much easier task. Many companies label their foods and menus with special symbols or notices to indicate they are ‘diabetic-friendly’. This helps patients with diabetes more quickly identify foods they can enjoy.
Monitoring and logging will be new parts of daily life that can help you more quickly identify what makes you feel better or worse, as well as help you formulate goals for losing weight, if needed. This monitoring and logging routine will also better enable your physician to identify any potential problems, as well as those things that are working for you as you take control of your diabetes.
Diabetes Guide: Living & Managing. WebMD. https://diabetes.webmd.com/guide/diabetes_living_managing
Living with Diabetes: Treatment & Care. American Diabetes Association. https://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/
Diabetes: Lifestyle and Home Remedies. Mayo Clinic Staff. March 17, 2010. https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes/DS01121/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies