The immediate goals are to treat
The long-term goals of treatment are to:
- Prolong life
- Reduce symptoms
- Prevent diabetes-related complications such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and amputation of limbs
These goals are accomplished through:
- Blood pressure and cholesterol control
- Careful self testing of blood glucose levels
- Foot care
- Meal planning and weight control
- Medication or insulin use
There is no cure for diabetes. Treatment involves medicines, diet, and exercise to control blood sugar and prevent symptoms.
LEARN THESE SKILLS
Basic diabetes management skills will help prevent the need for emergency care. These skills include:
- How to recognize and treat low blood sugar (
hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
- What to eat and when
- How to take insulin or oral medication
- How to test and record blood glucose
- How to test urine for
ketones(type 1 diabetes only)
- How to adjust insulin or food intake when changing exercise and eating habits
- How to handle sick days
- Where to buy diabetes supplies and how to store them
After you learn the basics of diabetes care, learn how the disease can cause long-term health problems and the best ways to prevent these problems. Review and update your knowledge, because new research and improved ways to treat diabetes are constantly being developed.
If you have diabetes, your doctor may tell you to regularly check your blood sugar levels at home. There are a number of devices available, and they use only a drop of blood. Self-monitoring tells you how well diet, medication, and exercise are working together to control your diabetes. It can help your doctor prevent complications.
The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping blood sugar levels in a range based on your age. Discuss these goals with your doctor and diabetes educator.
- 70 - 130 mg/dL for adults
- 100 - 180 mg/dL for children under age 6
- 90 - 180 mg/dL for children 6 - 12 years old
- 90 - 130 mg/dL for children 13 - 19 years old
Review Date: 05/10/2010
Reviewed By: Ari S. Eckman, MD, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.