Management is different for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Managing type 1 diabetes involves:
- taking insulin on a daily basis (through injections or an insulin pump) so that your body can regulate and use sugar
- following your doctor's advice about regulating your diet and getting appropriate exercise
- monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly. Home blood-glucose monitors that analyze a single drop of blood are very convenient for this purpose.
- monitoring A1C, which measures your blood sugar control over time. Your doctor will do this test every 3 months (or every 6 months if your blood sugar is consistently controlled) to see how effectively you're managing your blood sugar levels.
Your dose of insulin will be tailored to your individual needs based on several factors, including your body weight, food intake, and activity level. The goal is to try and maintain blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible.
Managing type 2 diabetes involves:
- oral medications
- insulin injections (in some cases)
- dietary modifications
- weight control and exercise
- monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly
- monitoring A1C
If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor may prescribe oral medications (tablets or capsules taken by mouth). There are many kinds of oral diabetes medications. All of them work differently, but each lowers blood glucose. Ask your doctor which medication or combination of medications is most appropriate for you.
Eating an appropriate, well-balanced diet and exercising regularly is especially important in managing type 2 diabetes. Read more about this in "Nutrition and exercise to control diabetes" in this health feature.
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