Lifestyle plays a vital role in keeping healthy and preventing many if not all kinds of diseases. We do know that type 1 diabetes, being genetic in nature, cannot be prevented, but prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, thanks to the advancements in science, there are treatments available that can help in getting rid of Diabetes.
One should get a blood sugar test at least once a year. A healthy lifestyle for diabetes management is a combination of eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and engaging in daily physical activity.
- Healthy Eating- There is no such thing as a diabetes diet. Prioritize fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and reduce the intake of saturated fats, processed carbs and sugary items. Add foods that are lower in fat and calories and rich in fibre.
Get in touch with a registered dietitian to help plan a diet that fits the body type and conditions according to your health goals.
- Physical Exertion- Exercising daily lowers one’s blood sugar level by moving sugar into one’s cells, where it is used for energy. Exercise also raises one’s sensitivity to insulin, which implies their body requires less insulin to transport sugar to its cells. One can opt for activities like walking, swimming or biking after the doctor’s approval. Start with 150 minutes of moderate aerobic per week or 30 minutes a day. If one hasn’t been active in a while, begin slowly and gradually increase the activity level.
- Reduce Extra Weight- Shredding as little as 7% of the extra body weight can reduce the risk of Diabetes. Being overweight is a threat not only to one but many diseases.
Treatment for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes can be treated by insulin injections or by the use of an insulin pump. Moreover, frequent blood sugar checks and carbohydrate counting are helpful in the treatment.
Type 2 diabetes is treated with a combination of lifestyle changes, blood sugar control, diabetes medications, insulin, or both.
- Monitoring Blood Sugar- One can check and record their blood sugar levels up to four times a day, depending on their treatment plan. The only way to ensure that blood sugar level stays within the target range is to track it closely.
- Insulin therapy can be used to treat type 1,2 and gestational diabetes. Several insulin types are available, including short-acting (regular insulin), rapid-acting insulin, long-acting insulin, and intermediate options, depending on their treatment plan. The doctors can prescribe a combination of insulin types to use during the day and night, depending on their needs.
Since stomach enzymes interfere with insulin’s function, they can’t be taken orally to lower blood sugar. Insulin is usually injected with a fine needle and syringe or an insulin pen. An insulin pump may also be a viable alternative. A pump is a small gadget, around the size of a small cellphone, that is worn on the outside of the body. An insulin pump is designed to inject unique quantities of insulin. Depending on the meals, activity level, and blood sugar level, it can be changed to produce more or less insulin.
Closed-loop insulin delivery is another term for an artificial pancreas. The implanted system connects an insulin pump to a continuous glucose monitor that checks blood sugar levels every five minutes. When the monitor indicates that insulin is needed, the system automatically delivers the correct amount.
- Medications can be administered orally or in other forms, like injected drugs. Some diabetes drugs increase the amount of insulin produced and released by the pancreas; others stop the liver from developing and releasing glucose, requiring less insulin to transport sugar into the cells. Some drugs stop stomach or intestinal enzymes from breaking down carbohydrates or making the tissues more sensitive to insulin.
- Transplantation is a process in which a person receives a new organ. A pancreas transplant could be an option for certain people with type 1 diabetes. There is a study on islet transplants that is ongoing. A patient wouldn’t need insulin therapy after a successful pancreas transplant.
However, transplants aren’t always effective, and they come with significant risks. To prevent organ rejection, one will have to take immunosuppressive medications for the rest of their life. Since these medications can have significant side effects, transplants are typically reserved only for patients whose Diabetes can’t be controlled or who also need a kidney transplant.