Treatment for type 1 diabetes is an ongoing process that requires careful management of your condition. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you will usually be required to make some lifestyle changes involving your diet and physical activity levels, insulin therapy, and glucose monitoring. Immediately following a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, the main goal in the short term is to reduce the high blood glucose levels to a more acceptable range, which may be done in hospital for some people.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes causes glucose or sugar levels in your blood to become too high. It occurs when your body is unable to produce enough of the insulin hormone, which controls the glucose in the blood. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will be required to take insulin daily to keep your blood glucose levels at an acceptable range.
Once your blood glucose levels have been stabilised, you will need to consider any lifestyle changes that you can make to keep them that way over the long term. Making healthy lifestyle changes with your condition in mind will help you reduce the risk of complications that can affect your heart and blood vessels, vision, nerves, and kidneys. Meal planning is often a key lifestyle change to make since food increases your glucose levels while insulin reduces it. You will usually need to put together a balanced meal plan that involves measuring your carbs and reducing salt while eating lots of natural, unprocessed foods and non-starchy vegetables.
Exercising is a good way to reduce the glucose levels in your blood. While you shouldn’t use exercise as a substitute for insulin, it will help with managing your blood sugar and improving your health overall. Along with this, regular exercise will help you reach an optimal weight, which in turn means your body will put the daily insulin you take to better use. You’ll need to pay attention to your blood sugar levels before, during, and after exercise to avoid a sudden drop.
Insulin lowers the glucose levels in your blood by allowing it to enter the cells where it is used for energy. Since having Type 1 diabetes means that you can’t rely on your pancreas to produce enough insulin, you’ll need to use an accu-check insulin pumps or take daily injections to get enough of it. The accu chek pump from The London Diabetes Centre is designed to help you manage your diabetes more easily at home. The London Diabetes Centre has more information on using insulin pumps and other diabetes topics.
Finally, you will need to prepare for regular blood glucose monitoring if you have type 1 diabetes. Your doctor will usually provide you with an at-home testing kit. You can use this to check your glucose levels and get a better idea of how well you are balancing your meals, exercise, and insulin therapy to manage your diabetes. You can also use the results to help you figure out the best times to eat, or exercise, depending on how high or low they are.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition that will require ongoing management and a few key lifestyle changes to keep under control.