Making healthy diet and exercise choices are important no matter what type of diabetes you have. Depending on the type, insulin or medication may also be part of your treatment. Your WellStar physician will determine the best course of treatment based on the type of diabetes you have.
Healthy dietary and exercise choices by those with pre-diabetes can help bring blood sugar levels into the normal range or keep levels from rising into the type 2 diabetes range. For people at high risk of diabetes or whose pre-diabetes is getting worse, diabetes drugs are an option.
Type 1 and Type 2
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes you must monitor your blood sugar. In addition, insulin and/or diabetes medications may be part of your treatment.
Monitoring your blood sugar - You will need to check and record your blood sugar from several times a day to several times a week depending on your treatment plan. Regular monitoring is the only way to ensure your blood sugar level remains in your target range. Blood sugar levels can change in response to a variety of influences, including food, physical activity, medication, illness, alcohol, stress and — for women — fluctuations in hormone levels.
A1C testing may also be part of your treatment plan. Daily testing gives your blood sugar level at that moment. A1C measures your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months, which provides a good indication of how well your treatment is working.
Insulin - Everyone who has type 1 diabetes must take insulin to survive. Some people with type 2 diabetes also need insulin. Insulin can be delivered into the body in several ways, including:
- Injecting with a needle and syringe
- Using an insulin pen, which looks like an ink pen with an insulin-filled cartridge
- Using an insulin pump, which is a small device worn on your body. The pump delivers specific amounts of insulin automatically through a catheter under the skin of your abdomen
Medications - Other medications may be prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes who still produce some insulin. Some of these medications stimulate your pancreas to produce and release insulin. Some inhibit the production and release of glucose, which means your body needs less insulin. Some block the stomach enzymes that break down carbohydrates or make your tissues more sensitive to insulin. These drugs may be given in combination as needed.
Pancreas transplant - Because the side effects of transplant can be worse than diabetes, pancreas transplants are not considered except in cases where type 1 diabetes can’t be controlled or where complications are serious.
In addition to a healthy diet and exercise, treatment for gestational diabetes may include blood sugar monitoring and insulin. Your blood sugar level will also be monitored during labor.