If you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it means that your pancreas is not producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is required to convert sugar and other foods into energy and for carrying out every day activities. Children and young adults are usually diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
With the help of insulin therapy, exercise, medication, nutrition and other treatments and support, anyone, even young children, can keep diabetes under control and lead healthy and long lives.
Monitor Your Blood Glucose Level
Though treatment for type 1 diabetes needs a life long commitment, but you can manage it by taking the following steps.
• Taking insulin injection daily
• Monitor your blood glucose level
• Maintaining healthy weight by exercising regularly
• Eating a healthy balanced diet.
Your aim should be to keep the glucose level close to normal so that you can prevent complications. Take your health care providers’ help to know which insulin will best suit your body. Day time blood sugar level should be in between 80 and 120 mg and at night time the glucose level should be in between 100 and 140 mg.
Insulin and Medication
Insulin therapy is essential for anyone having type 1 diabetes. There are various types of insulin like rapid action insulin, intermediate insulin and long acting insulin. Depending on your condition, your doctor will prescribe appropriate insulin for you which you can be administered using a thin needle and syringe or an insulin pen.
An insulin pump is also used which is a small device worn outside the body. A tube connects the device to a catheter which is inserted somewhere under the skin of the abdomen. Pumps are programmed automatically to dispense specific amounts of insulin.
Type1 diabetes often leads to long term complications like increased risk of contracting heart disease and kidney disease. To reduce the risk, your doctor may prescribe some oral medications like:
• Anti-hypertensive medications for controlling blood pressure
• Medications for controlling cholesterol level
• Medication for keeping kidney healthy
• Low dose of regular or baby aspirin to avoid stroke.
Your diet is the most important for controlling diabetes. It is necessary for you to understand how the foods you eat affect your blood glucose level. You need to develop a solid and nutritious meal plan by working with your diabetes care team and apply it in your daily routine. Healthy eating is crucial for controlling diabetes.
This doesn’t mean that you have to restrict yourself to boring, bland foods for your lifetime. You just have to incorporate healthy nutritious, high fiber and low fat foods in your diet such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You need to avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread and sweets.
Exercise is another key component for treating diabetes. Physical activity moves sugar from the blood into the cells. To lower and keep the blood sugar level stable, you need to become active. You can choose aerobic exercises you enjoy like walking, cycling, and swimming. But the physical activity you choose should be part of your daily routine.
Stretching and strength training exercises are important too. Gradually build up your stamina and make these exercises a part of your regular routine.