Diabetes is a chronic condition that develops when your pancreas is unable to produce insulin sufficiently, or when your body becomes less sensitive to the insulin you produce. Without insulin, it is very easy for the glucose (sugar) levels in your blood to get out of control. This is why when you have diabetes, controlling your blood sugar levels is at the heart of managing your condition.
If you don’t control your blood sugar effectively, it could lead to further complications such as eye damage, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, skin and gum infections, joint problems, and diabetic coma. Here are some of the top treatment options for controlling blood sugar.
Changing your diet is usually one of the first steps you make once you are diagnosed with diabetes. One of the best ways to formulate a healthy diabetes diet is to concentrate on low glycemic index (GI) foods, because these are the least likely to increase your blood sugar. Some examples of good low-GI foods include steel cut oats, non-starchy vegetables, beans, and stone-ground wheat. You should avoid foods that have high GI levels, including white rice, white bread, popcorn, instant oatmeal, and pumpkin.
You should also try to limit junk foods and processed foods as well pay attention to portion control because overeating can lead to spikes in your blood sugar. For most people with diabetes, even losing just five or ten pounds can make a big difference in controlling and stabilizing it.
Monitoring Blood Sugar
Depending on your specific treatment plan, your doctor may recommend that you check and record your blood sugar levels several times a day. Checking your blood sugar before and after meals and exercise will give you a better idea of how well your treatment plan is working, as well as if you are successful at keeping your blood sugar within the target range.
Medications and Insulin Therapy
It is possible to achieve your target blood sugar levels with diet and exercise alone. However, many people also need diabetes medications and insulin therapy in order to effectively control it. There are many different types of diabetes medications that your doctor may prescribe, depending on your blood sugar levels and any other health problems you may have.
The most common medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes is metformin, but there is also sulfonlureas, meglitinides, thiazolidinediones, DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1 receptor agonists, and SGL T2 inhibitors. There are many different types of insulin therapy as well. Most insulin is delivered using a fine needle and syringe or an insulin pen injector to deliver insulin to your body.
After discussing the pros and cons of your different medication options with your doctor, you can decide which treatment plan will work the best for your health and your financial situation.