Treatments for Type 2 diabetes


Treatment list for Type 2 diabetes: The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Type 2 diabetes includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

Treatment of Type 2 diabetes: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to treatment of Type 2 diabetes:

Treatments of Type 2 diabetes discussion: Healthy eating, physical activity, and blood glucose testing are the basic management tools for type 2 diabetes. In addition, many people with type 2 diabetes require oral medication and insulin to control their blood glucose levels. 1

Treatment of type 2 diabetes: Treatment typically includes diet control, exercise, home blood glucose testing, and, in some cases, oral medication and/or insulin. Approximately 40 percent of people with type 2 diabetes require insulin injections. 2

Healthy eating, exercise, and losing weight may help you lower your blood glucose (also called blood sugar) when you find out you have type 2 diabetes. If these treatments do not work, you may need one or more types of diabetes pills to lower your blood glucose. After a few more years, you may need to take insulin shots because your body is not making enough insulin.3

Many types of diabetes pills can help people with type 2 diabetes lower their blood glucose. Each type of pill helps lower blood glucose in a different way. The diabetes pill (or pills) you take is from one of these groups. You might know your pill (or pills) by a different name.

  • Sulfonylureas (SUL-fah-nil-YOO-ree-ahs). Stimulate your pancreas to make more insulin.

  • Biguanides (by-GWAN-ides). Decrease the amount of glucose made by your liver.

  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (AL-fa gloo-KOS-ih-dayss in-HIB-it-ers). Slow the absorption of the starches you eat.

  • Thiazolidinediones(THIGH-ah-ZO-li-deen-DYE-owns). Make you more sensitive to insulin.

  • Meglitinides (meh-GLIT-in-ides). Stimulate your pancreas to make more insulin.

  • D-phenylalanine (dee-fen-nel-AL-ah-neen) derivatives. Help your pancreas make more insulin quickly.

  • Combination oral medicines. Put together different kinds of pills.

Your doctor might prescribe one pill. If the pill does not lower your blood glucose, your doctor may

  • ask you to take more of the same pills, or
  • add a new pill or insulin, or

  • ask you to change to another pill or insulin.

Your doctor may ask you to take more than one diabetes medicine at a time. Some diabetes medicines that lower blood glucose work well together. Here are examples: 3

Your doctor might ask you to take insulin and one of these diabetes pills:

  • a sulfonylurea
  • metformin
  • pioglitazone

In March 2001, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a noninvasive blood glucose monitoring device for adults with diabetes. Noninvasive monitoring means checking blood glucose levels without puncturing the skin for a blood sample. The GlucoWatch Biographer, manufactured by Cygnus Inc., was approved to detect glucose level trends and patterns in adults age 18 and older with diabetes. It must be used along with conventional blood glucose monitoring of blood samples. The device, which looks like a wristwatch, pulls body fluid from the skin using small electric currents. It checks blood glucose levels every 20 minutes.4

Early in the disease, many people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood glucose levels near normal by controlling their weight, exercising, and following a sensible diet. Often, people with type 2 diabetes must take oral anti-diabetic medications to control their glucose. For some people, insulin may also be needed.5

Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Good control requires a careful blend of diet, exercise, blood sugar monitoring, and medication. People with type 1 diabetes control their blood sugar with insulin injections and frequent self-monitoring of blood glucose. People with type 2 diabetes generally control their blood sugar with oral medications. In some cases, insulin injections are needed to keep type 2 diabetes under control.

Diet is very important to lowering blood glucose levels. In planning a diet, the doctor considers the patient's weight and daily physical activity. For overweight patients, a weight loss plan is a must for proper blood glucose control. Food exchange lists to help with meal planning are available from your doctor and the American Diabetes Association.

Exercise is very important because it helps the body burn off some of the excess glucose as energy. Taking part in a regular fitness program has been shown to improve blood glucose levels in older people with high levels. A doctor can help plan an exercise program that balances the diet and medication needs and your general health.

Drugs may not be needed for type 2 diabetes if good control can be achieved through diet and exercise. But when these measures fail, oral drugs, insulin, or a combination of the two may be prescribed. A person who normally does well without drugs will need to take medication during acute illnesses.

Foot care is very important for people with diabetes. The disease can lower blood supply to the limbs and reduce feeling in the feet. People with diabetes should check their feet every day and watch for any redness or patches of heat. Sores, blisters, breaks in the skin, infections or buildup of calluses should be reported right away to a podiatrist or family doctor.

Skin care is very important. Because people with diabetes may have more injuries and infections, they should protect their skin by keeping it clean, using skin softeners to treat dryness, and taking care of minor cuts and bruises.

Teeth and gums need special attention to avoid serious infections. People with diabetes should tell their dentist about their condition and schedule regular checkups.5

1. excerpt from Diabetes Overview: NIDDK
2. excerpt from Diabetes Statistics in the United States: NIDDK
3. excerpt from Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK
4. excerpt from Noninvasive Blood Glucose Monitors: NIDDK
5. excerpt from Dealing With Diabetes - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

Last revision: April 10, 2003

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