The Worldwide Lifelong Affliction

Diabetes Management

Lifelong Care

Diabetes is a lifelong disease that cannot be cured with exceptions being extremely rare. Patients are, therefore, advised to manage their condition.

If diabetes is left untreated or mismanaged for a long time, it can create numerous complications. For example, diabetes can cause stiffening of the blood vessels, and a consequent reduction in oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. This could happen to the large blood vessels (macro vascular) to the heart, brain and legs, and to the small vessel networks (micro vascular) such as those to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

The long-term complications of diabetes include strokes, cardiovascular attacks, poor blood circulation in legs, eye problems like retinopathy, kidney issues like nephropathy, and nerve ailments in lower limbs.

Diet and Exercise

Managing the Disease

Without Insulin

Due to the severe complications of diabetes, it is imperative that patients manage their condition. Most patients of type 2 diabetes try to manage their condition without using insulin, and their bodies respond well to dietary changes. Overweight people especially feel a dramatic improvement in their health condition once they manage to lower their weight and maintain it.

Sometimes, however, dietary changes do not prove sufficient to keep diabetes in check. Such patients resort to medical tablets, which constitute a temporary measure and will stop working eventually. Once that happens, the only recourse is to take insulin. A small portion of patients whose condition is too severe upon diagnosis are recommended to take insulin right away.


For patients who adopt the non-insulin method, it is important that they learn what type of food they should include in their diet and how much of a specific food item they should eat. Patients should also keep track of what they eat and how that impacts their medical condition.

One good course of action in this regard is to consult a dietitian, a diabetes specialist, or a doctor and strictly follow their guidance and advice. Patients can also help themselves to recipe books written specifically for diabetics and come up with a meal plan that suits both their conditional requirements and taste buds. A local diabetes organization may offer tremendous help in this regard and make appropriate recommendations.

Apart from dietary considerations, exercising and physical activity can do wonders for diabetics as well as those who are in the prediabetes phase. Exercise is shown to significantly decrease the chances of being afflicted with diabetes.


Patients should think and determine what type of exercise suits their lifestyle. It can simply be regular brisk walking, mild jogging, or a full body workout with comfortable weights. A fitness expert or trainer at the local gymnasium can offer useful tips in this regard. The expert can perhaps formulate an exercise plan for the patient. The patient can discuss the plan later with his/her diabetes counselor, who can make appropriate changes.

If the patient does not want to join a fitness center, there are many physical activities that he/she can engage in on their own. Here are a few tips: Walk as much as you can and if you are going to a place nearby, ditch the car keys. Take the stairs instead of the lift. If you have a pet dog, take it out for long walks several times a week. Engage regularly in swimming sessions. Consider investing in a bicycle for commute or perhaps buy a stationary bike for home workouts.


With Insulin

While managing diabetes without insulin is very much a possibility, some patients unfortunately do not have that choice. People who suffer from acute insulin deficiencies, especially type 1 patients, may not survive without insulin injections. Furthermore, people who have had type 2 diabetes for a long time are eventually advised to take insulin due to the progressive nature of this disease.

Insulin cannot be taken by mouth because it gets inactivated long before it reaches the bloodstream where it is actually needed. Insulin, therefore, needs to be administered through an injection. There is, however, a type of insulin that is inhalable, but it may not be readily available.

Around one-fourth of diabetics are known to seek the insulin treatment. All the children diagnosed with diabetes are directly placed on the insulin treatment method. Adult patients of diabetes, who have satisfactorily manage their condition for years, eventually need to take insulin injections to make up for the dwindling amount of insulin released from their pancreas.


Most diabetics do not feel comfortable with the idea of self-injection. However, technology has brought us a long way from the use of traditional syringes. There are now sophisticated pens and needles that are used specifically for administering insulin. These modern devices are so ingenious that the patient’s fear of needles disappears after only a few uses and, before long, they become part of the patient’s routine.

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