Healthy Living

Treatment for Diabetes

Treatment for Diabetes

Diabetes is a common disease, but it may turn extremely chronic if left untreated without taking necessary precautions. Thus, every individual needs to offer unique care towards their health. It is recommended that diabetic patients and their families increase their awareness with respect to the latest medical therapies, home remedies and practice a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, good and detailed communication with a team of medical experts may help diabetics to control their increased glucose levels and respond optimistically to the changing needs.

The prime intent of diabetes treatment is to maintain the blood sugar levels in the patient and prevent future complications in his or her life. Thus, the following are recommended as treatment:

  1. Diet
  2. Exercise
  3. Oral medicines
  4. Insulin


  • A healthy diet is important for all, especially for those who are diabetic. A healthy diet includes foods that are high in fiber and nutrition but low on glycemic index and calories. For example, fresh fruits, vegetables, whole wheat, brown rice, oats, beans, lentils, etc.
  • Foods that are rich in fiber keep you full for a long time. They prevent hunger pangs. Thus, you end up eating less. This process will prevent weight gain and may also help you shed excess pounds. This is very important for diabetes.
  • Losing weight helps insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that helps you control your blood sugar levels/BSL. In diabetes type 2 and gestational diabetes there is sufficient insulin production, but, your body is not able to utilize that insulin properly. This condition is called an insulin resistance or insulin insensitivity. Losing up to seven percent of your body weight brings in great improvements in your BSL.
  • A healthy diet is also important for type 1 diabetics. It will prevent blood sugar shoot ups. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin at all.
  • A healthy diet also reduces complications of diabetes such as heart, kidney and eye diseases.
  • Roasted chickpeas, nuts, seeds, blueberries, avocados, bitter gourd and green leafy vegetables are all extremely healthy.
  • In diabetes, portion size is key. Counting calories can also be helpful.
  • By following a healthy diet, you can improve your diabetes to a great extent.


  • Regular physical activity is also an extremely important parameter of diabetes treatment.
  • At least 150 minutes of activity such as jogging or walking per week is a must.
  • 40 minutes of brisk walking or 20 minutes of jogging boosts up your HDL/good cholesterol and removes LDL/ bad cholesterol. Both help your heart and sugar levels.
  • Start small. Start with five to 10 minutes per day. After a week or two you can keep gradually increase your exercise levels.
  • Stay active as much as possible. Take stairs instead of elevators. Do household chores.
  • Walking after meals is a good idea. It will help you utilize your blood sugar well.
  • If you are have, don’t exert yourself too much. 
  • If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to balance your activity levels with the amount of insulin you take. If not, it will lead to hypoglycemia, a condition wherein BSL is lower than 70 mg/dl. It’s more dangerous than hyperglycemia or high BSL.
  • Check your BSL before exercise and have a small snack if your BSL is low. Check your BSL while exercising if you are doing a high intensity workout. Check your BSL post exercise to know if your BSL needs a boost.
  • Exercise also helps you shed excess pounds.
  • It improves Insulin sensitivity, and your body is able to utilize glucose better. This brings BSL under control.

Oral medicines

  • Type 2 diabetes can be managed with diet and exercise. But if lifestyle changes aren't enough, your doctor may prescribe oral medicines to be taken twice or thrice a day.
  • Oral medicines are also prescribed for gestational diabetes sometimes.
  • Some medicines stop the production of glucose by the liver, some medicines may stimulate the production of insulin, and there are others which increase insulin sensitivity. Thus, they help you bring your blood sugar to normal levels.
  • Your doctor may prescribe you a combination of various medicines.
  • Be sure to note the time and frequency of medicines to be taken and special precautions like foods to avoid.


  • Insulin helps your body utilize glucose to carry out various functions. Unused glucose is stored as glycogen.
  • There are many types of Insulin based on how they are manufactured, how they work, and sources. 
  • Based on the onset, peak time and duration, there are four types of insulin available.

Onset is the time which insulin takes to act.

Peak time is when insulin works to its maximum efficiency and controls blood sugar level.

Acting time is the amount of time insulin is active.

Sl No




Acting Time


Rapid acting

15 minutes after injection

1 hour

2 to 4 hours


Short acting

30 minutes

2 to 3 hours

3 to 6 hours


Intermediate/short acting

2 to 4 hours

4 to 12 hours

12 to 18 hours


Long acting

Long time


24 hours

Inhaled insulin is another type of insulin that’s available, but it can be used only in combination with long acting insulin.

  • Insulin can be taken in the form of injections, pumps and pens.
  • It cannot be taken through the mouth, because when it is taken through the mouth it goes through the digestive system and will not be useful.
  • The best way to utilize insulin is to inject it into the fat which is under skin. 
  • Insulin is a must for type 1 diabetes.
  • For type 2, it’s prescribed only when it cannot be managed with diet, exercise and oral medicines.
  • For gestational diabetes, insulin is usually prescribed. But sometimes both oral medicines and insulin both may be prescribed.

Other treatment options that are available are: injection medicines, supplements, complementary and alternative therapies.

Regular glucose monitoring

Regular BSL monitoring is extremely important to know how you are progressing in your treatment plan, to know if there is a need to modify your treatment, and to prevent complications. Follow your doctor’s advice.