If you can keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible it can be a lifesaver. Tight control can prevent or slow the progress of many complications of diabetes, giving you extra years of healthy, active life.
But tight control is not for everyone and it involves hard work.
Your physician will tell you that means you need to get between 70 and 130 mg/dl before meals, and less than 180 two hours after starting a meal.
In real life, maintaining a normal level all the time is not practical. And it’s not needed to get results, but everything you can do to lower your blood glucose level helps to prevent complications.
It is unknown why high sugar levels cause complications in people with diabetes but research has proved that if people keep a tight rein on their glucose levels they lower their chances of diabetic eye disease, kidney disease, and nerve disease, and also far fewer people who already had early forms of these three complications got worse.
If your goal is to live a healthier life with this disease you must pay more attention to your diet and exercise, measure your blood glucose levels, and if you take insulin, change how much you use and your injection schedule.
In intensive therapy, you provide yourself with a low level of insulin at all times and take extra insulin when you eat. This pattern mimics the release of insulin from the normal pancreas.
What many people choose is multiple daily injections of insulin while others choose an insulin pump (both work fine).
With multiple daily injection therapy, you take three or more insulin shots per day. Usually, you take a shot of short-acting or Regular insulin before each meal and a shot of intermediate- or long-acting insulin at bedtime.
With an insulin pump, you wear a tiny pump that releases insulin into your body through a plastic tube. Usually, it gives you a constant small dose of Regular insulin. You also have the pump release extra insulin when you need it, such as before a meal. Your health care team will set this up with you.
When you first begin to get things under control it’s kind of exciting. but overwhelming also. The trick is to be like the Energizer Bunny and keep going and going. Start out with your goals in mind and take things a step at a time.
Start slowly. Start by looking at yourself honestly. If you are still angry and depressed that you have diabetes, you’ll have to adjust to the changes you will have to make in your life.
Keep your goals realistic. No matter how hard you try, your blood glucose readings will not be perfect every time. If they are often too high or too low, talk to your doctor, but if “wrong” levels happen only sometimes, that’s falls under the category of things happen, you’ll get better over time.
Doctors believe that tight diabetes control can also prevent complications in people with type 2 diabetes.
One way is to lose weight. Shedding excess pounds may bring your glucose levels down to normal. The key to losing weight and keeping it off is changing your behavior so that you eat less and exercise more.
Even if you don’t need to lose weight, exercise is helpful in controlling your blood glucose levels. It makes your cells take glucose out of the blood.
If exercise and good eating habits are not enough to keep your glucose under control, you doctor may prescribe pills. And if these don’t work, you may need to take insulin.