Treatments for Diabetes
A diagnosis of diabetes can mean many new challenges. Depending on what type of diabetes you have, you may need medication or insulin. You may need to make dietary and other lifestyle changes. There are glucometers, and insulin pumps to learn about. How do you know what to do to manage your diabetes successfully?
Medication Reference Chart for Type 2 Diabetes
There are new medications approved to treat Type 2 diabetes. They are completely new categories of drugs. Januvia, Byetta, and Symlin work in completely different ways than the standard medications. The older classifications of drugs are still being used, sometimes in combination with the newest ones.
Everything You Need to Know about Insulin
Insulin is the only treatment for type 1 diabetes. It replaces what the body can no longer produce on it's own. Some people with type 2 diabetes also benefit from insulin therapy. Understanding insulin can be complicated. There's a lot to learn and a lot to know.
Insulin: Who Needs It and Who Doesn’t?
People with type 1 diabetes require supplemental insulin because their bodies can no longer produce insulin themselves. However, type 2 diabetes is different. Less than one third of those with type 2 diabetes take insulin.
Diabetes and Insulin
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are conditions in which the body lacks a normal supply of insulin to remove glucose from the blood. This creates two problems: high blood glucose levels and a depletion of stored glucose, the body’s major fuel source. A health care professional is probably the best person to help a patient assess whether he or she needs insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Treatment
Most people think Type 2 diabetes is only treated with pills. However, Type 2 diabetes and insulin are more common than you might think. Here is a basic overview of why treatment may be needed and an introduction to insulin.
Medications for Diabetes
For many who have been diagnosed with diabetes, healthy habits can’t do it all. Medications are also required to help manage the disease and its associated effects. Diabetics require anywhere from zero to six or more medications.
Oral Medications: What's Out There?
These six classes of oral drugs manage most type 2 diabetes patients: sulfonylureas, biguanides, thiazolidinediones, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, meglitinides and DPP-4 inhibitors. Each of these classes of drugs works in different ways to help diabetes patients maintain good glucose control.
Metformin: Oral Medication for Type 2 Diabetes
Metformin (brand names Fortamet, Glucophage, Glumteza, Glucophage XR, Riomet) is an oral medication used alone or with other medications to treat type 2 diabetes. It is also available as the combination drug rosiglitazone/metformin (Avandamet).
Meglitinides: Oral Medication for Type 2 Diabetes
Meglitinides are oral medications used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Medications in this class include Prandin (repaglinide) and Starlix (nateglinide).
Sulfonylureas: Oral Medication for Type 2 Diabetes
Sulfonylureas are oral medications that help lower blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Thiazolidinediones: Oral Medication for Type 2 Diabetes
Thiazolidinediones are oral medications that help lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. In addition to a healthy diet and exercise, they are another way to control blood sugar levels. Thiazolidinediones currently available in the United States include Actos (pioglitazone), Avandia (rosiglitazone) and a combination drug, Avandamet (rosiglitazone and metformin).
Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors Help Lower Blood Sugar
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, which can benefit people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, work by reducing the amount of glucose that the intestines absorb from food. This prevents the sharp rise in blood sugar levels that people with diabetes typically experience after meals.
Januvia - A New Drug For Type 2
A new oral medication called Januvia (sitagliptin phosphate) has been approved by the FDA for management of Type 2 diabetes. It's the first in a new class of drugs called DPP-4 Inhibitors.
Byetta - A New Approach For Type 2 Diabetes
Byetta is the first of a new class of drugs available for Type 2 diabetes management. It's been on the market for about a year. It is meant to be a supplemental drug, used in conjunction with Metformin or sulfonylureas or a combination of both to help improve glycemic control in people who have had trouble maintaining good blood glucose levels.
Symlin - A New Class of Diabetes Medication
Symlin (pramlintide) is a new class of diabetes drug to manage both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is a synthetic form of amylin, which is a hormone usually produced in the pancreas. Pramlintide can help control postprandial blood sugar, when combined with insulin therapy.
Insulin Action Reference Chart
All insulins are not created equal. There are many different kinds of insulin available and each kind has it's own unique action. They are not interchangeable. Each type of insulin has a specific job to do. Which insulin is right for you? This chart will help you understand how the various insulins work and why your doctor has prescribed them for you.
Insulin Pump Therapy
Insulin pumps first came on the medical scene over 20 years ago. In the last decade, they have evolved into an effective way to help people with diabetes achieve more flexibility in their lifestyles while maintaining tighter control of their blood glucose levels.
Give An Insulin Injection
A person with Type 1 diabetes requires daily doses of insulin to keep blood glucose levels from going too high. This means learning to inject the insulin with a small needle into specific sites on the body. Follow this "how to" to refresh your technique.
Use a Glucometer
At-home blood sugar monitoring devices called glucometers provide instant feedback and let you know immediately what your blood sugar is. This can give you valuable information about whether your blood sugar is too low or too high or in a good range for you. Here's how to use a glucometer.
Advances in Diabetes Care
It’s possible for the person with diabetes today to live a full and healthy life. Advances in treatment have made control and management of the disease easier, and have taken much of the guesswork out of it.
Diabetes Medications When You're Sick and Not Eating
When suffering from a cold, flu, or just about any other illness, the body is placed under tremendous physical stress in an effort to fight the infection. As part of the infection-fighting process, the body produces more glucose in the form of glucagon, a hormone that raises blood sugar levels.
Cold and Flu Season and Diabetes
Cold and flu season comes upon us with a vengeance, at this time of year. Dealing with aches and pains, fevers, sore throats and runny noses is hard enough. Add a few more challenges like diabetes, and perhaps it's complications such as cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, and there can be a real concern about which over-the-counter (OTC) medications to use.
Medications for Neuropathic Pain
Diabetic neuropathy is a long-term complication of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The nerves in the extremities become damaged from many years of exposure to abnormal levels of glucose in the blood. It typically causes numbness, tingling and sometimes intense burning pain as it progresses. What are some of the medications that are offered for neuropathic pain?
Using Aspirin to Prevent Heart Disease in People With Diabetes
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is a common, over-the-counter drug that is used to relieve minor aches, pains and fever. It also has a blood-thinning effect shown to benefit people with heart disease, including those with diabetes.
Angiotensin Receptor Blockers Treat High Blood Pressure
Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are oral medications that treat high blood pressure by helping to lower a person's blood pressure. ARBs are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart failure. ARBs also protect the kidneys of patients with diabetic nephropathy.
Bipolar Disorder Meds Increase Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions, including insulin resistance, that can often lead to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes if it is not reversed with diet and exercise. But sometimes factors beyond our control may cause metabolic syndrome.
ACE Inhibitors: Blood Pressure Control in Diabetes
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are oral medications that lower blood pressure. ACE inhibitors are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary artery disease and heart failure, and to help to control the progression of diabetes and kidney disease.
Exubera - An Inhaled Insulin
Pfizer Inc. has announced that it will discontinue manufacturing Exubera, an inhaled form of insulin. According to a press release from Pfizer, the decision to stop making Exubera had nothing to do with the safety of the drug. There simply are not enough people who take Exubera, to justify the expense of making the drug.
New Medications Under Development
The Diabetes Monitor offers a list of up and coming medications. Some are recently approved by the FDA and some still in trials. This site also gives information about the FDA's drug approval process in the United States.
Type 2 Diabetes Medications That Increase Risk for Hypoglycemia
The longer you have type 2 diabetes, the greater the chance you may require treatments that increase the risk for hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Here is a list of medications that increase risk.