Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes can prevent or delay complications caused by the disease. The aim of treatment is to keep blood glucose levels normal.
Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes can prevent or delay complications due to diabetes. Appropriate treatment of high blood sugar can decrease the risk of complications like heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease and truly prolong life. This makes it very important that your blood sugar level is maintained as normal as possible.
When selecting a medicinal therapy for diabetes, consideration should be given to:
- The magnitude of change in blood sugar control that each medication will provide;
- Other coexisting medical conditions (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.);
- Adverse effects of the therapy;
- Contraindications to therapy;
- Issues that may affect compliance (timing of medication, frequency of dosing); and
- Cost to the patient and the health care system.
Medications can help to control blood sugar levels but besides them, lifestyle changes are recommended. These include:
- Maintain your body weight as healthy as possible (or body mass index of 18.5 -24.9). If you are obese, try to lose weight.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet- try to include a variety of foods from each major food group in your diet.
- Limit intake of sweets and salt, and alcoholic beverages.
- Take care of your portion sizes. Do not take more calories than required as; even proteins and carbohydrates taken in excess are converted into fats and stored in the body. Excessive calories cause blood sugar levels to rise.
- Exercise regularly- moderate physical activity for 30-40 minutes five days a week is considered adequate.
If your blood sugar, is not maintained within the normal range with lifestyle modifications, your doctor will prescribe medications. Along with medications, you should follow the advised lifestyle changes as these improve your blood sugar control and the decrease the dose of medication needed to control blood sugar levels. You will need regular blood sugar testing. In case you have diabetes, you should follow up regularly with your doctor and take your medications as advised.
Dr Poonam Sachdeva, is our in-house medical expert.
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