How to Treat Diabetes

Treatment of Diabetes Depends on if it Is Type 1 or Type 2

The treatment of Diabetes depends upon which type of Diabetes a person has. type 1 diabetes generally occurs in young people and is considered an autoimmune disease. In Type 1 diabetes, the beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed and are no longer able to produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, which generally occurs in older individuals who are overweight, the body becomes insensitive to the effects of insulin. A normal amount of insulin is released from the pancreas but the body doesn't respond to it properly.

Treatment of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes involves proper diet and exercise. Diet is important because the type and amount of food consumed influences how much insulin is released in Type 2 diabetics and how much is required for Type 1 diabetics. Exercise is important because exercise helps insulin complete its function. Exercise moves sugar from the blood stream into the muscles.
The main problem in both types of diabetes is that insulin is either not present or working properly and this causes glucose, the main sugar used by the body, to accumulate in high levels in the blood. Over time, this can lead to a variety of negative sequalae such as kidney failure, blindness, circulatory insufficiency, amputation, infections, and neuralgia.

Insulin is used to Treat Both Types of Diabetes

The mainstay of how to treat diabetes Type 1 is insulin injected subcutaneously. Insulin can be given as bolus shots prior to meals and snacks, and for even tighter control, Type 1 diabetics may employ the use of an insulin pump which releases a basal level of insulin throughout the day and can be programmed to release a bolus of insulin prior to meals. A dose of insulin is calculated upon the approximate grams of carbohydrate, protein, and fat to be consumed.

Insulin may also be given to type 2 diabetics, but this usually happens later in treatment once the disease has progressed. To begin, dietary and exercise measures should be tried in an attempt to shed excess weight, and increase the body's sensitivity to insulin.

There Are Many Types of Medications Used to Manage Diabetes

If dietary measures fail to control blood sugar, in type 2 diabetics, a variety of oral and injectable medications may be employed. Most of them work to increase insulin production in the pancreas but some interfere with carbohydrate absorption from the gut and others mimic other hormones involved in energy regulation. One of the main medications used to treat Type 2 diabetes is called metformin. It is from a class of medications called Metformin and works by suppressing glucose synthesis in the liver as well as increasing sensitivity to insulin. In addition, glyburide is commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes. It, and nateglinide, another drug, both work by increasing insulin synthesis in the pancreas. From another class of medications, pioglitazone works by increasing peripheral sensitivity to insulin. Exenatide and liraglutide are newer injectable medications that augment the effect of insulin. In addition, there are many different forms of insulin that range from ultra-quick acting for right before a meal, to long acting, providing a basal level of coverage.

Besides diets, exercise, and medications, how to treat diabetes also involves testing diabetes blood sugar level regularly to monitor how well treatment is working, and to allow a person to adjust their insulin dosages as necessary. To test the blood a diabetic person uses a sharp lancet to puncture the skin on the fingers or forearm, collects a drop of blood on a test strip, and inserts the test strip into a glucometer, a machine that can detect the concentration of glucose in the blood. Levels of 120mg per deciliter of blood and higher are considered abnormal.

A comprehensive plan for how to treat diabetes is necessary to properly manage the disease whether Type 1 or Type 2. Treatment will involve diet, exercise, medication, insulin, and monitoring.

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