Treating Diabetes with Insulin and Lifestyle Changes

Treatment plans for diabetes depend on the type of a disease afflicting a patient but often include the use of insulin, blood sugar monitoring, dietary changes, maintaining a healthy weight and increasing regular activity.

TREATING DIABETES WITH INSULIN

People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes may benefit from insulin therapy. This hormone is normally produced by the pancreas and helps the body store or use blood glucose obtained from food, but diabetes affects the way the body produces or responds to insulin. People with type 1 diabetes no longer produce insulin, and those with type 2 diabetes may require insulin therapy to help their bodies process glucose to use as energy.

Insulin is most commonly injected using a special pen-like device or a syringe and fine needle, but an insulin pump may be prescribed to patients. The pump is worn outside the body and is connected to a catheter inserted below the abdomen’s skin. Insulin is depended in specific amounts and may be adjusted according to one’s meals, blood sugar levels and activities.

LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO TREAT DIABETES

One of the most important aspects of managing diabetes is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The following lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of the disease and allow patients a greater quality of life:

Increasing Exercise. Getting regular aerobic exercise is important for everyone, but it is especially vital for people with diabetes. Increasing physical activity decreases blood sugar levels and encourages the body to use sugar for energy. Physical activity also boosts the body’s sensitivity to insulin, reducing the amount of the hormone needed to move sugar into the cells. People with diabetes should get at least 30 minutes of aerobic physical activity five times a week to enjoy these benefits.

Dietary Changes to Treat DiabetesA healthy diet can help people with diabetes manage and control their disease. People with diabetes should choose slow-release, high-fibre carbs, like brown rice or whole-wheat pasta, limit the consumption of sweets, choose healthier fats, like those in avocados and nuts, and eat regularly to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Reaching and Maintaining a Healthy WeightBeing overweight is the single biggest risk factor for developing the disease, and the risk is greatest when weight is carried around the abdomen. Losing weight can significantly reduce one’s risk of developing diabetes, and people who have the disease can reduce the risk of complications by shedding pounds. The following dietary tips can help diabetics achieve their weight loss goals:

Eat more vegetables, particularly non-starchy varieties.Swap whole grain foods for refined flours and grains.Choose lean proteins, including fish, vegetarian sources, eggs, skinless turkey and chicken, and lean cuts of pork or beef.Curb sweet cravings with fresh fruit.Choose low-fat dairy products.Limit unhealthy fats and instead choose healthier sources like nuts, seeds, avocados and vegetable oils.Making these lifestyle changes can greatly reduce one’s symptoms of diabetes and help patients control the disease to live long, healthy lives.

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