Diabetes is a chronic or lifelong disease that is characterized by high levels of blood sugar. Although there is no permanent cure for the disease, there are diabetes treatment guidelines to control ones blood sugar levels, to prevent its complications and promote better healthy living.
People who have noninsulin-dependent diabetes are said to have type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes. This is an acquired condition which usually occurs in adulthood, although more adolescents are now being diagnosed with the disease.
The immediate goal of diabetes type 2 treatment is to lower high blood sugar levels and maintain these within normal limits. Its long term goal is to prevent complications that may arise from the disease.
Diabetes Treatment Guidelines
Type 2 diabetes is initially treated with weight reduction, maintaining a diabetic diet, and physical activity. If high blood sugar levels are not controlled by these measures, oral medications may be prescribed. If these medications still fail to control the patients glucose (sugar) levels, injectable insulin may be considered. Blood glucose monitoring is an essential part of treatment to ensure the adequacy of treatment.
Studies have shown that people who are diabetic and overweight significantly reduce their blood sugar levels when they lose even as little as 5-10 percent of their body weight. According to the American Diabetes Association, 10-15 pounds weight loss can result in lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and increased energy levels. But before trying to undergo a weight loss program one must consult a doctor for proper diabetes treatment guidelines.
A healthy diabetic diet includes fewer calories, a moderate amount of carbohydrates (30-45 grams per meal) and healthy monounsaturated fats. It is advisable to seek the help of a registered dietitian to be able to plan meals which can help reduce blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight.
An important element of maintaining a healthy weight and lowering blood sugar levels is regular exercise. Aside from these, physical activity also improves blood pressure and blood flow, increases energy levels and reduces stress.
Doctors usually prescribe oral medications to diabetics who are not able to control blood sugar levels through diet and exercise. Usually, a combination of medications is used, and these include drugs like metformin, glimepiride, repaglinide and acarbose. An important element of diabetes type 2 treatment is blood sugar monitoring to ensure adequate reductions without resulting in abnormally low sugar levels.
In some patients, diet, exercise and oral medications are insufficient to maintain normal blood sugar levels. In order to prevent complications from the disease, injectable insulin may be needed in addition to these treatments. Since its effects are more pronounced, stricter blood sugar monitoring may be required to guide treatment.
Blood Glucose Monitoring
Adequacy of diabetes type 2 treatment may be monitored by measuring blood glucose levels using a blood glucose meter. It may be done at least once a day, or as often as necessary (3-10 times) in people using insulin. This helps in tracking changes in blood sugar levels in response to treatment and aids in the planning of meals and timing of medications.