Managing diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic, progressive disease but people with diabetes can live long, healthy lives with good diabetes management. This includes managing not only blood glucose (glycaemia) but also risk factors for complications such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These can be managed with a healthy diet, regular physical activity and the correct use of medication as prescribed by a health provider. People with diabetes require access to regular and organised healthcare delivered by a team of skilled providers. 

  • People with type 1 diabetes require daily insulin treatment, regular blood glucose monitoring and a healthy diet and lifestyle to manage their condition effectively to delay or avoid many of the complications associated with diabetes.
  • The cornerstone of type 2 diabetes management is a healthy diet, increased physical activity and maintaining a healthy body weight. Oral medication and insulin are also frequently prescribed to help control blood glucose levels.

A healthy diet for people with diabetes includes reducing the amount of calories in people who are overweight, replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, eating dietary fibre, and avoiding tobacco use, excessive alcohol and added sugar.

Physical activity is most effective when it includes a combination of both aerobic (eg. jogging, swimming, cycling) exercise and resistance training, as well as reducing the amount of time spent being inactive.

For people with type 1 diabetes, an uninterrupted supply of high quality insulin is essential for survival. Regular short-acting and long-acting insulins should be available to everyone in all parts of the world. Unfortunately this is not the case in many countries

The full provision and availability of injection and monitoring equipment is even lower and the cost of blood glucose supplies often exceeds the cost of insulin, especially in some of the poorest countries.

 

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