In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin, which makes it challenging to control blood sugar. Typically, a treatment plan includes a carefully designed diet of three meals and at least two snacks daily, planned physical activity, home blood glucose testing several times a day, and multiple daily insulin injections. Meals and snacks are timed to match the effect of the insulin at its strongest level.
Many people with type 2 diabetes can control it without medication by following a specially designed meal plan and engaging in routine physical activity. Because 9 out of 10 people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight, the meal plan may be designed to help in weight loss. It also will help achieve or maintain healthy blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Home blood glucose testing and sometimes oral medication and/or insulin also are part of treating type 2 diabetes.