Type 1 diabetes is managed with insulin replacement through lifelong insulin injections (up to 6 every day) or delivery of insulin through a pump, by following a healthy diet and eating plan, taking regular exercise and monitoring of blood glucose levels regularly (up to 6 times every day or as directed by a doctor or diabetes educator).
The aim of treating your diabetes is to keep blood glucose levels as close to ‘normal’ as possible, that is between 4 to 6 mmol/L (fasting).
Keeping blood glucose levels in a healthy range will help prevent both short-term and long-term complications.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommends that if you have type 2 diabetes and take oral medication only, you should talk to your doctor or specialist about the need to test your blood sugar levels at home, as many people in this situation do not need to do this type of monitoring. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
Type 2 diabetes can sometimes initially be managed through lifestyle modification including a healthy diet and regular exercise. However, as the disease progresses, people with type 2 diabetes are often prescribed tablets to control their blood glucose levels. These tablets are intended to be used in conjunction with healthy eating and regular physical activity, not as a substitute. Diabetes tablets are not an oral form of insulin and they require insulin to be present in the body to be effective.
Eventually it may be necessary to start taking insulin to control blood glucose levels. Often tablets may be continued in addition to insulin.
In type 2 diabetes, as in type 1, the aim of management is to keep blood glucose levels as close to ‘normal’ as possible, that is between 4 to 6 mmol/L (fasting), as this will help prevent both short-term and long-term complications.
For more information about the treatment and management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, go to the Diabetes Australia website.
You can also call the National Diabetes Services Scheme helpline on 1800 637 700.
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Last reviewed: July 2018