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Diabetes - Treatment Methods for Diabetes

Jul 23, 2008
Exactly how diabetes is treated depends on a number of factors: which type the patient has, how severe it is, the age of the patient and others.

For instance, gestational diabetes which can affect pregnant women, usually during the third trimester, generally disappears after delivery. Depending on its severity, gestational diabetes may be treated with only with diet or with mild medication; in a mild case, the physician may simply monitor it with no treatment. By contrast, Type 1 diabetes is presently incurable and usually needs lifelong insulin treatment.

There are many other forms of treatment, most of them based on self-care.

While more advanced treatments rely on medications besides insulin.

For instance, Sulfonylureas (Micronase and Glucotrol) prompt the body to make sufficient insulin. These medications are used for Type 1 diabetes, which stems from low insulin production. Since Type 2 involves the inefficient use of insulin, Biguanides (Glocphage, and others), which increase the efficient use of insulin are helpful. Type 2 can also be treated with Thiazolidinediones (Avedia, and others) which increase the cells' insulin sensitivity.

Drugs which act on the glucose levels are also used. Meglitinides (Prandin) are used to control the blood glucose level after eating. The absorption of sugars during digestion can be slowed with Alpha-glucosiadase inhibitors (Precose).

Every treatment option must be accompanied by careful monitoring of the blood glucose levels. This is important so that the patient and his or her health care provider can concentrate on finding the right treatment regimen.

Sometimes diet and exercise alone are sufficient to control diabetes; this more frequent in the case of Type 2 diabetics. Pre-diabetic cases are most amenable to this kind of treatment. Pre-diabetes means the patient's glucose levels are elevated, but on not at the diabetic level.

Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are strongly correlated. People with excess fat primarily in the middle are especially at risk for diabetes. These people may be able to control their disease without drugs simply by losing enough weight or they may be able to go off diabetes medication once they have lost the weight.

Many factors play into such a lifestyle adjustment and they tend to have other beneficial effects. Careful control of the amount and type of carbohydrates, adjustment of alcohol intake and other dietary changes aid in reducing cardiovascular problems of many types, including heart attack and stroke.

Physical exercise lowers blood sugar levels, having a direct effect on the condition. But exercise also helps the body's immune system along with having other positive benefits. That helps reduce the odds of subsidiary problems produced by diabetes. Stress, in particular, can produce changes that affect how hormones, including insulin, are used by the body. Exercise and an overall attitude adjustment can bring that under control.

If insulin becomes necessary, there are other forms apart from traditional injections. Oral insulin is now in widespread use. Insulin inhalers have recently been approved by the FDA for treatment of diabetes. An insulin pump, which injects the appropriate amount automatically as needed, may be appropriate for some patients.

If you suspect diabetes, don't wait to get tested. Only a doctor can give the tests needed and determine if you have diabetes and what treatment you may need. The early you are diagnosed the easier diabetes is to treat.
About the Author
Julia Hanf author of the book How To Play the Diabetes Diet Game and Win Through a real life crisis Julia figured out how to live diabetes free. Visit http://www.yourdiabetescure.com and learn more about your solution for diabetes.
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