Treatment of Diabetes

What is the treatment for diabetes?

Treatment for diabetes will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on the type of diabetes. And on how severe the condition is.

Type 1 diabetes

With type 1 diabetes, your body doesn't make insulin. The cells inside the pancreas that make insulin have been destroyed. When this happens, the insulin must be replaced. Then your body can use the sugar (glucose) that you get from eating.

People with type 1 diabetes must use insulin every day. It can be injected with a needle and syringe. Or it can be given by an insulin pump or insulin pen. Or by a jet injector or inhaler. Extra insulin may be taken before meals. This depends on your blood sugar level. It also depends on what you're eating.

The amount of insulin needed varies for each person. It depends on your height, weight, and age. It also depends on your food intake. And your activity level. Insulin doses must be balanced with mealtimes and activities. Illness or stress can affect your dosage levels. And so can unplanned events. People with type 1 must check their blood sugars a few times a day. This is to be sure the sugar level stays in the normal range. A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) may also be used. A CGM device works automatically. And it's always on. It checks your blood sugar all day and night. Remote glucose monitoring may also be advised. This helps your healthcare team keep track of your blood sugar level between office visits.

Type 2 diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes may keep making insulin. But their bodies can't use it correctly. This is called insulin resistance. Medicine may be needed. Some medicines help the pancreas to make more insulin. Others help the body use the insulin that's made. These medicines are taken as pills. Or they may be injected. People with type 2 may need to take insulin when they're sick. Some people need to take both insulin and other medicines.

Diet and exercise

Diet and exercise can often help bring blood sugar levels down to normal. But sometimes more help is needed. Then the next step is taking medicines that lower blood sugar levels.

Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Robert Hurd MD
Date Last Reviewed: 4/1/2022
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