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Type 1 Diabetes - Home Treatment

Type 1 diabetes requires daily attention to diet, exercise, and insulin. You may have times when this job feels overwhelming, but getting into a daily routine can help. And taking good care of yourself will also help you feel better, have a better quality of life, and prevent or delay complications from diabetes.

Spread carbohydrate throughout the day

Carbohydrate is the one nutrient in your diet that most affects blood sugar levels. A registered dietitian can help you learn about what foods contain carbohydrate and how to manage it in your diet.

actionset.gif Diabetes: Coping With Your Feelings About Your Diet
actionset.gif Diabetes: Counting Carbs if You Use Insulin
actionset.gif Healthy Eating: Using a Plate Format to Plan Meals
Quick Tips: Smart Snacking When You Have Diabetes

Take insulin

You need to take injections every day, because your pancreas no longer produces insulin. To learn more, see Medications.

Check your blood sugar often

Your doctor will want you to test your blood sugar level several times a day.

actionset.gif Diabetes: Checking Your Blood Sugar

It's also important to know how to recognize and treat high or low blood sugar quickly.

actionset.gif Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar From Insulin
actionset.gif Diabetes: Preventing High Blood Sugar Emergencies

Exercise regularly

Try to do moderate activity at least 2½ hours a week.1 One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week.

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. You can also try keeping track of your exercise on an activity log(What is a PDF document?).

Protect your feet

Daily foot care can prevent serious problems. Foot problems caused by diabetes are the most common cause of amputations.

actionset.gif Diabetes: Taking Care of Your Feet

Limit alcohol

In addition to exercising, it is a good idea to limit the amount of alcohol you drink. The American Diabetes Association recommends that women with diabetes have no more than 1 drink a day and men with diabetes have no more than 2 drinks a day.2

One drink is 12 fl oz (0.4 L) of beer, 5 fl oz (0.2 L) of wine, or 1.5 fl oz (44.4 mL) liquor.

Do not smoke

Having type 1 diabetes can cause a lot of problems in your body. Smoking can make many of these problems worse, especially heart and blood vessel disease.

Smoking raises your cholesterol and makes it harder for your body to heal.

No matter how long you've smoked, your health will improve after you quit.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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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