When you are diagnosed with diabetes, there is a lot to learn. Luckily, there are many people that can help. Building your healthcare team with the right members will ensure a healthy understanding of diabetes management. Your team members will help you learn what to eat, how to exercise, how to manage your emotions, which medicines to take and much more. Who should be in your healthcare team?
The newly diagnosed section.
By Rick Mendosa
It's important (and sometimes difficult) to stay motivated when dealing with diabetes. Take a look at some great "staying motivated tips."
Currently there are five classes of oral diabetes medications, all of which help in lowering blood glucose levels. These different classes of diabetes medications can be used in combination or with insulin to achieve control the blood sugar.
Insulin is a hormone made by the beta cells in the pancreas and used by the body so that glucose can enter the cells for energy. With Type 1 diabetes, the beta cells are no longer active so insulin injections replace the body's insulin. With Type 2 diabetes, the body is usually producing insulin but insulin resistance means that the insulin produced is not enough to keep the blood sugar normal.
Proper nutrition management, or a food plan, is essential for better glucose control. This in turn helps reduce the risk of diabetes complications. An individualized food nutrition plan based on exchanges or carb counting should meet your nutritional needs, while including a variety of foods without being overly restrictive. Daily consistency regarding the types of foods included in the meal, their nutritional information, and the time at which they are consumed will help to normalize blood glucose levels.
Blood sugar testing is essential for all people with diabetes. Typically a person measures their own glucose level with a meter and strips at home. The goal is to reach a sugar level closest to the non-diabetic range as safely as possible. Testing is essential because the blood sugar level cannot be accurately determined by symptoms alone. See also, HbA1c.