Until the creation of insulin in 1921, all patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes died within years of being diagnosed. Today, although insulin is not a cure, it is certainly a historic breakthrough. Diabetes patients are encouraged to eat healthy and balance insulin with daily diet and activities. Patients will also monitor their blood glucose levels daily. Because 65% of people with diabetes die from heart problems, they are also encouraged to manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels to lower their risk. People who let their blood glucose levels get too low can suffer from hypoglycemia, which causes the patient to become nervous, confused and impair judgment. Those whose blood glucose levels get too high will suffer from hyperglycemia.
Although many people with diabetes will seek their health care from their primary care physicians, some patients will develop a team of professionals to help manage diabetes more carefully. The professionals can include doctors specializing in endocrinology, dietitians, nurses, certified diabetes educators, podiatrists, and even ophthalmologists to help deal with every aspect of diabetic symptoms. Patients who keep their blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible will reduce their risk of developing major complications of type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.