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Treatment Overview

Type 1 diabetes requires treatment to keep blood sugar levels within a target range. Treatment includes:

  • Taking several insulin injections every day or using an insulin pump.
  • Monitoring blood sugar levels several times a day.
  • Eating a healthy diet that spreads carbohydrate throughout the day.
  • Regular physical activity or exercise. Exercise helps the body to use insulin more efficiently. It may also lower your risk for heart and blood vessel disease.
  • Regular medical checkups. You will get routine screening tests and exams to watch for signs of complications, such as eye, kidney, heart, blood vessel, and nerve diseases.
  • Not smoking.
  • Not drinking alcohol if you are at risk for periods of low blood sugar.

Blood sugars are easier to predict and control when mealtimes, amounts of food, and exercise are similar every day. So getting into a daily routine helps a lot.

Diabetic ketoacidosis

Some people find out that they have type 1 diabetes when they are admitted to a hospital for diabetic ketoacidosis. If their symptoms are severe, they may need to be treated in an intensive care unit.

Treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis includes fluids given through a vein (intravenous, or IV) to treat dehydration and to balance electrolytes, and insulin to lower the blood sugar level and stop the body from producing ketones.

The honeymoon period

If your blood sugar levels return to the normal range soon after diagnosis, you are in what is called the "honeymoon period."

This is a time when the remaining insulin-producing cells in your pancreascamera.gif are working harder to supply enough insulin for your body.

Treatment during this time may include:

  • Keeping in close touch with your doctor.
  • Testing your blood sugar level often, to see if it is rising.
  • Taking very small amounts of insulin or no insulin. Even though you may not need insulin, some doctors prefer that you take small doses of insulin daily throughout the honeymoon period. This may decrease the stress on the pancreas.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 29, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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