Type 1 Diabetes: Living With the Disease - Home Treatment
Type 1 diabetes
requires daily attention to diet, exercise, and insulin. You may have times
when this job feels overwhelming, but taking good care of yourself will help
you will feel better, have a better quality of life, and prevent or delay
complications from diabetes.
Eat well and count carbohydrate grams
of these meal-planning methods to help you eat a healthful diet and spread
carbohydrate through the day. This will help prevent high blood sugar levels
after meals. For more information, see:
- Diabetes: Counting Carbs if You Use Insulin.
- Diabetes: Using a Plate Format for Eating.
- Diabetes: Eating a Low Glycemic Diet.
Focus on the type of carbohydrate as well as the amount. This might help you stay at your target blood sugar level. Foods with a low
glycemic index (GI) may help prevent spikes in blood sugar. It is not yet known if these foods help prevent complications. Low glycemic foods
do not raise blood sugar as quickly as high glycemic foods. Foods with a low GI
include high-fiber whole grains, lentils, and beans. High GI foods include
potatoes and white bread.
Using fat replacers-nonfat
substances that act like fat in a food-may seem like a good idea, but talk with
registered dietitian before you do. Some people may
eat more food, and therefore more calories, if they know a food contains a fat
Make sure you know how to give
- Diabetes: Giving Yourself an Insulin Shot
If you are using an
insulin pump or an
insulin pen, make sure you know how to use them
- Diabetes: Should I Get an Insulin Pump?
- Diabetes: Living With an Insulin Pump
Try to do at least 2½ hours a week of
moderate activity. One way to do this is to be active
30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. Be sure to
exercise safely. Drink plenty of water before, during,
and after you are active. This is very important when it’s hot out and when you
do intense exercise. It may help to keep track of your exercise on an
activity log(What is a PDF document?).
Monitor your blood sugar
Checking your blood sugar
level is a major part of controlling your blood sugar level and keeping it in a
target range you set with your doctor. For more
information, see the topic Continuous Glucose Monitoring or see:
- Diabetes: Checking Your Blood Sugar.
- For people who have diabetes, the blood pressure goal is 130/80. But your goal may be different. Your doctor will help you set a blood pressure goal that is based on your health. Moderate exercise,
such as 30 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week, can help lower blood
pressure. But you may need to take one or more medicines, such as
angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or
angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) to achieve
- A low-fat diet, exercise, and
weight loss can lower your cholesterol. Your body needs insulin to process
fats, as it does with carbohydrate. If your diabetes is poorly controlled, the
fats in your blood (especially triglycerides) can rise a lot. You should strive
for a goal of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or aim for keeping
it at 70 mg/dL, for low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol. HDL,
or "good," cholesterol should be more than 40 mg/dL for men and more than 50
mg/dL for women. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dL. You may need to
take lipid-lowering medicines, such as statins, to reach your goals.5