Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

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: January 28, 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.
    1
    Next Article:

    Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

    Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
    What type of diabetes do you have?
    Your gender:

    Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


    or
    Answer:
    Low
    0-69
    Normal
    70-130
    High
    131+

    Your level is currently

    If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

    People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

    Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

    However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

    Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

    Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

    One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

    Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
    Affect Your Blood Sugar?

    Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
    how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

    Get Started

    This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

    Start Over

    Step:  of 

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    Woman serving fast food from window
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Video
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    are battery operated toothbrushes really better
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
    Article