DIABETES: Part 3

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Treatment of Diabetes.

The treatment of diabetes can be complicated and may require specialist care. Treatment involves a combination of measures such as healthy eating, exercise, and use of glucose lowering medications.

Controlling what you eat and how much you eat is a very important component of managing diabetes. A good diabetic diet should be a well-balanced meal. There is no specific diabetic diet, people should adjust their diet based on what is available, and most importantly they should be portion control. It is advisable to eat meals that are high in fiber such as whole grains, fruits and non-starchy vegetables.

They should be fewer refined grains, starchy vegetables and sweets. They must be modest servings of low-fat meats and fish. It is important to cook food using healthy oils such as olive oil or canola. Food should ideally not be deep fried rather be boiled, grilled or steamed. It is also important to have a regular schedule of meals and snacks in between meals, this is to avoid getting low blood glucose in between. When available a dietician can assist with developing of well-balanced meal plans.

Exercise is important for losing or maintaining a healthy weight. Weight loss results in better control of blood sugar levels, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. If you’re overweight, you may begin to see improvements in these factors after losing as little as 5% of your body weight.

Exercise is also important for regulating the blood glucose. Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your muscle cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after exercise therefore lowering the blood glucose. Adults should aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate aerobic exercise on most days of the week, or at least 150 minutes a week. Choose an aerobic exercise that you enjoy, such as walking, swimming, biking or running.

Medications is recommended in those patients who have very high blood glucose levels of are unable to control their diabetes with diet and exercise. In type one diabetes which is usually diagnosed in young children and adults the treatment of choice is insulin.

Type 2 diabetes on the other hand can be managed by diet and exercise in the initial stages. When required the are different types of medications available that are taken as tablets. These can control the glucose in the majority of people. Over time however they may be a requirement to add insulin if glucose is not controlled.

Diabetes can be controlled if there is good compliance to medications as well as adhering to a strict diet and exercise. These measures achieve the best results if done together. 

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