What All Is Required to Manage Diabetes?

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Following the doctor's dietary recommendations, exercising regularly and taking insulin and other medications as directed are three parts of successful diabetes management. It can be difficult to keep blood sugar within the desired range, but managing these elements helps many people maintain a high quality of life, notes Mayo Clinic.

A key element with diet for diabetics is managing portion sizes and counting carbohydrates. Knowing the amount of carbs in each meal or snack is important for the dosage of insulin. Doctors refer diabetic patients to nutritionists, who help them find the portion sizes appropriate to their individual nutritional needs. Writing down the right portion sizes simplifies preparing foods and ordering at restaurants. Blending fruits, vegetables, proteins, fats and carbohydrates -- as well as staying away from sugar-sweetened drinks -- is vital, as stated by Mayo Clinic.

When it comes to exercise, it is important to discuss proper levels with the doctor. Most adults need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day at least four days a week. Based on a patient's existing fitness level, doctors suggest a balance of aerobic and strength-training exercises. The doctor indicates what blood sugar levels should be before it is safe to begin exercise, and having a regular exercise schedule helps with sugar management, according to Mayo Clinic.

Taking care with insulin and other medications is also crucial for diabetes management. Insulin packaging contains directions for storage and an expiration date. Paying attention to both of those ensures the effectiveness and safety of the insulin. It is important to report any insulin problems to the doctor, so timing and/or dosage can change if necessary, notes Mayo Clinic.