Long-Term Care

Trainer’s tip: The four parts to diabetic treatment

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, May 19, 2011

There are four main parts to treating diabetes:

1. Diet. There is no one diabetic diet designed for every diabetic person. There are guidelines to help diabetics with food choices. These guidelines are very similar to the kind of eating that is healthy for anyone. The main rules that diabetics should follow include eating few sugary foods, limited fat (especially saturated fat), a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and fish, and consuming just enough calories to maintain a healthy weight.

2. Exercise. Exercise usually lowers blood sugar and may help the efficiency of insulin. It helps control weight, improves blood flow, and strengthens the heart. People with diabetes should exercise at least three times a week. Before a diabetic starts a new exercise program, a doctor should approve what kind of exercises are used and for how long. It is important that a diabetic not develop low blood sugar while exercising. Since the body burns sugar during exercise, the diabetic should “fuel up” with a piece of fruit or half a sandwich within an hour of starting any exercise.

3. Medication. Diabetics might receive insulin shots or they may take pills by mouth. Only a doctor can decide what medication (and how much of it) a diabetic should receive. It can be very dangerous to change a diabetic’s medication in any way unless it is ordered by a doctor. Diabetics must receive the exact amount of medicine their doctor has ordered, at the times the doctor has ordered. Timing of medicine and meals is important to prevent low blood sugar.

4. Monitoring. Close monitoring of a diabetic’s blood sugar level is one of the best ways for him or her to prevent long-term complications from the disease. Most diabetics need their blood sugar level tested at least once a day, usually in the morning before breakfast. Depending on the type of diabetes, the age of the person, and other factors, the individual may need his or her blood glucose tested as much as five times per day. Sometimes insulin dosages are adjusted depending on the blood sugar level. A doctor must set the acceptable blood sugar level range for each person, as an individual’s unique needs may be different from what is considered normal ranges of 80-130 before meals and 100-150 at bedtime.

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The CNA Training Solution, Second Edition.

Most Popular