Diabetes Treatment Guidelines: Diet, Exercise, and Medication Awareness

Diabetes has become a growing concern among people across the world. Almost 463 million people at the moment are diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes can even lead to other grave diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and more. While this chronic disease can change people’s lives, there are simple yet effective diabetes treatment guidelines that people can follow to lower their risk of facing further complications. Therefore to help you understand the guidelines better, we have handpicked preventive measures for each diabetes type, respectively. 

The article would entail, 

  1. Type 1 Diabetes
  2. Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Diabetes Treatment Guidelines: What You Can Follow

Type 1 Diabetes:

It is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by hyperglycemia and insulin deficiency. At first, type 1 diabetes was taken as a disease where the T-cells would attack the β cells that produce insulin. However, over the years, doctors have recognized that type 1 diabetes can result from the complicated interplay between immune systems, metabolism, genome, and microbe and environmental factors (1). Although there are genetic underlinings of this disease, some patients do not have any relatives with this disease.  

Type 2 Diabetes:

Type 2 diabetes, less popularly known as diabetes mellitus 2, is another chronic metabolic disorder that is caused by persistent hyperglycemia. Almost 90% of diabetes patients suffer from type 2 diabetes. In this case, the body fails to adequately produce insulin, which makes it feel less energized. People above 45 years of age mostly show the symptoms of type 2 diabetes (2). But over the past few years, it can be witnessed increasing among younger adults, adolescents, and children. Most researchers feel that this is caused due to the rising energy-dense diets, physical inactivity, and obesity.  

Diabetes Treatment Guidelines: What You Can Follow

The diabetes treatment guidelines for type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different. Apart from drugs, there are various other treatment options that one can opt for. 

Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

Diet

The ADA (American Diet Association) has recommended that children and young adults not take more than seven percent of calories when consuming saturated fats (3). For type 1 diabetes treatment, balancing carbohydrate intake is crucial as it offers better glycemic control. 

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans further state that a healthful diet can prevent and control diabetes symptoms. The diet should incorporate low-fat foods, whole-grain foods, starchy vegetables, and fruits. Children can also drink 3 cups of milk daily as a preventive measure. 

Exercise

Adults with type 1 diabetes must perform aerobic exercises of moderate-to-heavy intensity for 45 minutes daily. Individuals can also perform resistance and sprint training for their type 1 diabetes treatment. The duration, power, and type of exercise that an individual follows will impact the glucose homeostasis (4). Therefore, one should always ask their doctor first about the kind of training that they should do. A highly trained individual will have different requirements than the one who never exercised in their life before.  

Insulin Therapy 

Insulin therapy has become the most popular and viable method that doctors prescribe for type 1 diabetes. Patients are injected with insulin under their skin. This keeps the level of blood sugar controlled inside the body. The insulin is soluble, and it gets easily mixed with the fat present inside the body. 

Even young adults and children with type 1 diabetes showed improved life expectancies after being treated with insulin therapy (5)

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment 

Diet

Researchers have suggested that individuals should follow a low carbohydrate diet, low-fat diet, DASH diet, Mediterranean diet, or vegan diet for their type 2 diabetes treatment. Following these diets would help you to regulate your total calorie intake. This would further assist you in maintaining your body mass index and prevent risks of obesity. 

Since most patients have underlying health issues like obesity as the primary cause of diabetes, maintaining BMI and calorie intake are an effective preventive measure. You can try out foods like lentils, beans, vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, and brown rice. 

Exercise

Doctors often ask their patients to engage in physical exercise and activities for their type 2 diabetes treatment. Following an exercise routine offers primary benefits that include improved glycaemic control and increased insulin sensitivity. Other benefits include psychological well-being, quality life, cardiovascular benefits, weight management, and blood pressure and lipid profile maintenance. All these collectively help in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. 

Aerobic exercises are recommended as a method of treatment. They decrease insulin resistance and increase glucose uptake. Activities like cycling, running, swimming, and brisk walking can help (6). Apart from that, people can combine both resistance and aerobic exercises for the best results. 

Oral Agents

The first and most preferred line of type 2 diabetes treatment is Metformin (7). Apart from this, some of the other oral medications for type 2 diabetes patients include,

  • Glinides or meglitinides
  • Sulfonylureas
  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors

Your life can turn upside down after you get diagnosed with diabetes. However, if you take good care of yourself and set goals, you would live a healthy and risk-free life. 

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