Controlling Your Diabetes While Going Through Breast Cancer Treatment
Controlling Your Diabetes While Going Through Breast Cancer Treatment

How Best to Treat Diabetes

  • Treatments for diabetes vary, depending on the person and how high their blood sugar is.
  • Efforts to bring the blood sugar down usually include some or all of the following:.
    • Diet and exercise.
    • Oral medication.
    • Combination of diet, exercise, and pill.
    • Insulin.
For More Difficult-to-Control Diabetes
  • If the blood sugar is not responding to pills, insulin may be prescribed.
  • More than one type of insulin may be recommended.
    • For some patients (usually young patients), an insulin pump might be prescribed.
    • Pumps are expensive (several thousand dollars) but some individuals are better able to control their blood sugar with a pump.
Insulin Pump

  • The pump is worn like a pager at the waist usually.
  • It has a tiny tube inserted under the skin.
  • The pump gives a basic dose of insulin throughout the day.
  • The person with diabetes can increase or decrease the amount of insulin depending on diet and activity.
The Glucose Meter
  • A glucose meter is a small device used to test for sugar levels.
  • A drop of blood is placed on a special strip that is inserted into the machine and the machine reads the sugar level.
  • A doctor will instruct you on.
    • How often you should test your blood sugar.
    • How to adjust your medication based on what results you have gotten on the test.

What is High or Low Blood Sugar?

  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) is when the test show:.
    • At or over 240 mg/dl.

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is when the test show:.
    • less than 70 mg/dl.
Dangers of High or Low Blood Sugars
  • Uncontrolled high blood sugar over a period of time can cause Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA).
    • When the body cannot use the glucose normally, it starts to break down fat and the blood becomes acidic.
    • Over time high blood sugars cause the complications of diabetes. These complications can be delayed or prevented by good blood sugar control.

  • Uncontrolled low blood sugar can cause insulin shock (from too much insulin or too little food), which can lead to unconsciousness, coma and even death.
Diabetes Medications

Diabetes medicines work in a number of different ways
  • May help the pancreas make more insulin (the hormone).
  • Helps open the cells so the glucose can enter and provide energy for the cell.
  • Helps the pancreas release more insulin after a meal.
  • Helps the cells become more sensitive to insulin.
  • Lowers sugar released by the liver.
  • Provides needed insulin for the body.

They also come in different strengths and have varying lengths of action

  • Some have rapid action.
  • Some are slow acting.
  • Some are long acting.
    • Many patients may require a combination of these different medicines.

  • It is not unusual to try a number of different medicines before finding the right combination and the combination may change as you experience the side effects of cancer treatment.

So if you have questions about how your diabetes is being treated, be sure to ask your health care provider. And it usually helps to take your home blood sugar record to the clinic with you.

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