Living with type 1 diabetes
While there is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes, it can be controlled by adopting a healthy lifestyle in addition to using injected insulin to manage your blood glucose levels. This will help slow down the progression of the disease and lessen the risk of developing diabetes complications.
But it’s not just about glucose. If you have diabetes, managing your blood pressure and cholesterol are just as important.
Diabetes can affect your body and your health in different ways. Keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol at your recommended target levels, making healthy lifestyle changes and using your medicines can help you reduce the risk of complications, like eye and kidney damage, heart attack and stroke.
A healthy lifestyle is vital for everyone with diabetes
Using injected insulin is only one part of managing your type 1 diabetes. You can improve your health and help keep your diabetes well controlled by:
- following a healthy diet
- being physically active (ideally for at least 30 minutes 5 days per week)
- regularly checking blood glucose levels
- having your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked
- having regular health checks
- avoiding alcohol
- quitting smoking.
For more information on diet, physical activity, avoiding alcohol and quitting smoking, click on the links above. A health professional, diabetes educator, or exercise physiologist can also provide guidance. Information and resources are also available from consumer organisations, such as Diabetes Australia. Find out who else can help you.
Read our booklet Keeping track of your diabetes: It’s not just about glucose to find out:
- what your glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol targets are
- which health checks you can have and how often to have them
- how medicines and a healthy lifestyle can help.
- Craig ME, Twigg SM, Donaghue KC, et al for the Australian Type 1 Diabetes Guidelines Expert Advisory Group. National evidence-based clinical care guidelines for type 1 diabetes in children, adolescents and adults. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, 2011. www.diabetessociety.com.au/downloads/ Type1guidelines14Nov2011.pdf (accessed 15 November 2011).
- Type 2 diabetes: priorities and targets. NPS NEWS (www.nps.org.au/health_professionals/publications/nps_news/current/type_2_diabetes_priorities_targets)
- Yudkin JS, Richter B, Gale EA. Intensified glucose lowering in type 2 diabetes: time for a reappraisal. Diabetologia 2010;53:2079–85.
- Turnbull FM, Abraira C, Anderson RJ, et al. Intensive glucose control and macrovascular outcomes in type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia 2009;52:2288–98.
- Kearney PM, Blackwell L, Collins R, et al. Efficacy of cholesterol-lowering therapy in 18,686 people with diabetes in 14 randomised trials of statins: a meta-analysis. Lancet 2008;371:117–25.
- Law MR, Morris JK, Wald NJ. Use of blood pressure lowering drugs in the prevention of cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis of 147 randomised trials in the context of expectations from prospective epidemiological studies. BMJ 2009;338:b1665.