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Diabetes Treatment

Treating Type 1 Diabetes

Before the discovery of insulin in 1921, everyone with type 1 diabetes died within a few years after diagnosis. Although insulin is not considered a cure, its discovery was the first major breakthrough in diabetes treatment.
Today, treatment for type 1 diabetes includes:
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Taking insulin through injection or an insulin pump.
The amount of insulin must be balanced with food intake and daily activities. Blood glucose levels must be closely monitored through frequent testing.

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Treatment for this type of diabetes includes:
  • Healthy living
  • Physical activity
  • Blood glucose testing.
In addition, many people with type 2 diabetes require oral medication, insulin, or both to control their blood glucose levels (see Diabetes Drugs).

Daily Treatment

People with diabetes must take responsibility for their day-to-day care. Much of the daily care involves keeping blood glucose levels from getting too low or too high. When blood glucose levels drop too low -- a condition known as hypoglycemia -- a person can become:
  • Nervous
  • Shaky
  • Confused.
Judgment can be impaired, and, if blood glucose falls too low, fainting can occur. A person can also become ill if blood glucose levels rise too high, a condition known as hyperglycemia.
Daily diabetes treatment includes:
  • Following the healthy eating plan (diabetes diet) that you and your doctor or dietitian have created.
  • Engaging in physical activity for a total of 30 minutes most days. Ask your doctor which activities are best for you.
  • Taking your medicines at the same time each day.
  • Checking your blood glucose every day. Each time you check your blood glucose, write the number in your record book.
  • Checking your feet every day for cuts, blisters, sores, swelling, redness, or sore toenails.
  • Brushing and flossing your teeth and gums every day.
  • Quitting smoking (or not starting in the first place).
Type 2 Diabetes: Fact or Fiction

Diabetes Treatments

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