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April 21, 2008

Treating, Managing and Possibly Curing Diabetes

Treating, Managing and Possibly Curing Diabetes

Diabetes affects an estimated 15 million Americans directly, with countless others being affected indirectly due to caring for loved ones or paying for their treatment. Such a wide-reaching and extensive disease deserves its fair share of the attention of researchers and medics who are looking to find ways to lessen the impact of diabetes on the American way of life. While an absolute cure is a complicated if not impossible endeavor, treatments and management techniques are available to help diabetes sufferers get through their disease.

One of the scariest aspects of diabetes comes not from the disease itself but from the increased risk for other health problems. For example, diabetes patients are twice as likely to be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease as those without diabetes. While diabetes cannot be completely treated, many of these secondary conditions can. For this reason, diabetics are strongly encouraged to practice good health habits and get regular checkups in regard to heart, kidney and other problems.

The primary treatment for diabetes is drug therapy. Different brands of drugs all offer the same thing: the hormone insulin in a form that can be injected into the body. Since diabetes is a result of a shortage of or a resistance to insulin, injecting one’s self with insulin can be a necessary part of treatment. Often injections are made directly before meals to counteract the amounts of sugar that will be found in the food being eaten. In addition, many diabetics require several more shots at other times during the day to keep sugar levels in check.

Monitoring blood sugar levels is a key part of treating them. Monitoring can be done from home or on the go, using a variety of available testing supplies. Testing is usually performed by pricking the finger and inputting the resulting blood sample into a testing machine which will then output the results, letting the user know their current blood sugar level and thus know whether they should take an injection.

Aside from insulin injections, there are other things that diabetics can do to manage their condition. Proper diet is essential to maintain good health with diabetes. In addition to the need to eat healthy foods that we all face, diabetics must also worry about the impact their food choices will have on their blood sugar levels. The primary focus of a proper diabetic diet is to reduce the amount of carbohydrates, which will then reduce the amount of insulin injections necessary to maintain blood sugar levels.

Diabetics have more health considerations to take, such as getting proper amounts of exercise and the need to quit smoking. By taking care to avoid these health pratfalls, they can reduce their risk for some of the secondary conditions of diabetes such as heart disease. Eye care and all-around body maintenance are also essential to reduce these risks.

So the keyword when it comes to diabetes is management. While continuing scientific research and endeavors may one day lead to the complete eradication of diabetes, such hopes is beyond us at this point right now. Our best bet now is to treat the symptoms of the disease and make life as easy as possible for its sufferers.

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