Access to quality health care services and programs to assist patients with proper diabetes management is essential for achieving good health outcomes and preventing complications associated with undertreated or unmanaged diabetes. Undermanaged or untreated diabetes can have debilitating and/or deadly outcomes for both type 1 and type 2 patients. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to kidney disease, eye disease, nerve damage resulting in limb loss, heart disease, pregnancy complications and osteoporosis.1,2
Management and Treatment
There are several options for managing and treating diabetes. Regular monitoring of hemoglobin A1C using a glucose meter and test strips will help an individual control blood sugar levels and is fundamental for managing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.3 Self-monitoring of blood glucose should be carried out three or more times daily for many people with diabetes. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle including a low-fat, nutrient-rich diet and regular physical activity, (at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week) can manage both forms of the disease and reduce the risk of severe health complications.
Type 1 diabetes always requires insulin treatment while people living with type 2 diabetes only sometimes require this as a treatment option.4 Oral medications can also be prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes if diet and lifestyle changes do not improve blood sugar control.
Ongoing disease education, nutrition therapy and psychological care can all be important services for helping an individual appropriately manage diabetes.4
1 (December 2005) Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke. Retrieved from http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/stroke/index.htm
2 Mayo Clinic staff. (June 13, 2009) Complications. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/type-1-diabetes/DS00329/DSECTION=complications
3 Torpy, J. et. Al. (2009) JAMA, 301 (15).
4 (2008). Executive Summary: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 31(1).
Diabetes disproportionately affects minority populations — nearly 13 percent of African-Americans and 12 percent of Hispanics in the U.S. suffer from diabetes compared with just 7 percent of Caucasians.2