Importance of Following a Diabetes Treatment Plan
Diabetes is a metabolic disease that is unfortunately becoming more common in the U.S. Some of the health complications it can cause down the road are kidney failure, vision loss, and even the loss of a limb; this is due to changes with blood circulation. That is why it is imperative for diabetics to follow their doctors’ instructions to help control glucose levels and to help prevent complications that could occur later in life.
For all diabetics, the first and foremost action to take is to check their glucose regularly. Follow a doctor’s instructions as to how often this monitoring may be; this may mean only checking it once per day, or four times per day. Doctors appreciate when patients bring in a record of their results in during appointments as this may prompt them to change medications or their dosages around to better the diabetic’s treatment plan.
In addition, it is important for diabetics to manage the equipment they use to take their glucose level. Diabetics need to keep track of how many lancets and test strips they have and to make sure they are not expired. If this number is getting low or they are expired, patients need to request a refill on their supplies. Finally, keep the glucometer in good condition; for example, dropping the glucometer may mess with its calibration and will therefore give erroneous results.
Type 1 and sometimes type 2 diabetics need to inject themselves with insulin. These injections help the body’s cells to store excess glucose from the bloodstream; therefore, the diabetic’s level will not be as high. Some types are a standard dose, meaning that it’s the same dose that needs to be taken at the same time every day. On the other hand, there are times where a doctor may prescribe a sliding scale for the insulin; all this means is that the dosage of it changes based on the patient’s glucose level. Again, it is important to follow the doctor’s instructions on what type to take, when, and how much.
Finally, some type 2 diabetics are prescribed oral medications instead; metformin (or Glucophage) is one common example. If a patient is prescribed an oral medicine, this means that the body is still producing some insulin on its own. If following the prescribed treatment by the doctor and controlling their levels appropriately with oral medications, this type 2 diabetic may avoid ever having to inject themselves.
In order to prevent the progression of diabetes, it is important for a diabetic patient to follow their treatments carefully. If done correctly, a diabetic patient can live longer, healthier, and happier.