How can I treat my diabetes?

January 07, 2022

Primary Care Diabetes Wellness
Diabetic checking blood sugar

If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you’re probably wondering how it’s treated. 

Diabetes treatment focuses on bringing blood sugar back into normal range. Treatment is personalized and may include more than one approach, including:

  • Changes to diet and physical activity
  • Medication
  • Diabetes education
  • Blood sugar monitoring 

Education is an important part of treating diabetes. Understanding how treatment works increases your motivation and the ability to follow your treatment plan. Blood sugar readings will let you know how the treatment is working.

Treatments vary by type

There are several types of diabetes. Even though they have different causes, they all result in excess sugar in the blood.

Your treatment plan will take into account your type of diabetes and any other health conditions you may have. Care plans for diabetes are designed to reduce blood sugar and help you live an active and enjoyable life.  

“It’s important to work with your primary care provider and a certified diabetes educator on a diabetes treatment plan that works for you,” says Eric B. Stone, M.D., family physician at Riverside Hayes Medical Center.

Diet and exercise are the foundation for treatment of diabetes

Lifestyle changes can reduce sugar in your blood in two ways:

  1. By eating less carbohydrates and sugar and more fiber, blood sugar doesn’t go up as high or as quickly.
  2. Exercise lowers blood sugar because muscles use it for fuel and exercise makes your cells more sensitive to the effects of insulin. This is especially helpful for Type 2 diabetes.

Changes that can lower blood sugar include:

  • Walking after meals
  • Choosing high fiber foods
  • Adding protein foods to your meals 
  • Avoiding drinking soda and juice 

Diet and exercise are also helpful in improving your cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, energy levels and sleep. They also have a positive impact on your cardiovascular health and overall well-being, according to Dr. Stone.

Medications to treat diabetes

Medications for diabetes usually fall into two categories: oral medications taken by mouth and injectable medications.

Oral medications may help the body produce more insulin, improve how tissues respond to insulin or increase sugar elimination through the urine. Insulin is the main hormone that helps your body use blood sugar for fuel.

Insulin is one example of an injectable medication to control blood sugar. There are also injectable medications for Type 2 diabetes that aid your body’s ability to metabolize sugar better, slow digestion to keep blood sugar from entering the blood too quickly, and sometimes aid in weight loss as well. 

The best plans are made with you in mind

The best diabetes treatment plan is one that you create with your doctors and a certified diabetes educator.

Our trained, compassionate providers are right in your backyard and here to help.

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