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Learn about the best tools
for diabetes control
By Nina Nazor
No matter what type of diabetes you have, there are 6 tools to help you achieve good diabetes
- Diabetes education
- Self glucose monitoring
- Exercise and
- Stress Management
1. Diabetes Education
Diabetes education is a learning process that aims to help you make behavioral changes that will allow you to follow
your treatment and keep diabetes under control.
Learning how to manage diabetes will help you improve your quality of
life and prevent or delay the development of short and long term complications.
2. Self-Glucose Monitoring
Blood sugar testing is one of
the best tools for keeping diabetes in control. Frequent testing and good record-keeping will give you and your health care
team the most accurate information about your diabetes control to adjust the other parts of your treatment such as diet, exercise
and medications. Learn more about self-glucose monitoring and find out how to check your glucose levels.
3. Nutrition and Diet
Nutrition plays a
very important role in diabetes prevention and treatment. The main goal of your diet is to help you attain and maintain the
best metabolic control. That means having near-normal values of blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin levels; LDL (good)
and HDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels; blood pressure and body weight. Read more about diet and diabetes.
Exercise is like taking a pill for diabetes. When
you exercise, you burn up the glucose in your blood and your blood glucose levels drop. Exercise also helps your cells be more sensitive to the action of insulin, which is produced by the
pancreas. Normally, when the pancreas releases insulin, the insulin links to certain receptors in your liver, fat and liver
cells that function like doormen to let glucose come in and be converted into energy or be stored as fat. Exercise helps these
receptors work properly and allow glucose to enter your cells. Learn more about exercise and diabetes.
Medications are very important to keep diabetes
under control and delay or avoid complications. People with type 1 diabetes must replace the insulin their body does not produce.
Some people with type 2 diabetes may use diet and exercise only, but others need the additional help of oral medications,
insulin or a combination of both. Read more about insulin and pills.
6. Stress Management
Stress levels in our daily life can affect our health and even increase blood sugar levels,
blood pressure and alter many other processes in our bodies. Stress is the response of our body to an emergency situation.
This response can be generated by happiness, like wining the lottery, or by a sad event like losing someone we love. Learn how to reduce your stress levels.
American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical
Care in Diabetes–2006. Position Statement. Diabetes Care 29:S4-S42, 2006
Marion j. Franz, MS, RD, LD, CDE. A Core Curriculum for Diabetes Education.
American Association of Diabetes Educators. Fifth edition, USA 2003:3-5,95-156,189-214.