Diabetic Home Care and Monitoring (cont.)

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Exercise therapy for diabetes

Regular aerobic exercise improves blood circulation and lowers blood glucose levels. Exercise also strengthens the heart and helps maintain an ideal body weight. The chosen aerobic exercise should use large muscle groups. Running, walking, biking, and swimming are excellent activities for most people. The frequency, type, and duration of exercise depend on the individual's age, treatment goals, and physical ability. An exercise program should be designed with the guidance of a health care professional.

Exercise usually decreases the blood glucose levels. If blood glucose is low or normal, exercise may cause hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) due to the utilization of glucose by the active muscles. Therefore, food intake and insulin doses should be adjusted based on the intensity and duration of the anticipated exercise.

Diet therapy for diabetes

Proper nutrition is critical to the management of all forms of diabetes. Some people with type 2 diabetes can control their disease with diet and exercise alone. The right nutrition can help control blood glucose levels, reduce blood cholesterol, maintain optimal body weight, and delay the complications of diabetes. Like exercise, diet therapy is tailored for each person. A successful diet should ideally consider the person’s ethnic background, financial situation, and lifestyle. It also should be simple, since it may be more difficult to follow diet plans with complex rules or food exchanges.

People with diabetes are often advised to use alternative (artificial) sweeteners. Sweeteners are either nutritive or non - nutritive. Nutritive sweeteners, such as sorbitol and fructose, provide calories but may not raise blood glucose levels as much as regular sugar. Non-nutritive sweeteners - such as sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame - do not contain significant calories. Both types of sweeteners are acceptable, but the caloric content of the nutritive sweeteners should be considered when calculating the daily intake of calories. In addition, large quantities of sorbitol can cause diarrhea, and fructose contributes to some diabetic complications.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/4/2014

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Diabetes Home Care Management - Diet Question: What type of diet to you follow to manage your diabetes?
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