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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 how severe the condition is.

Type 1 diabetes

With type 1 diabetes, your body doesn't make insulin. The cells that make insulin have been destroyed. So 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. Insulin can be injected with a needle and syringe. Or it can be given by an insulin pump, insulin pen, jet injector, or inhaler. Extra insulin may be taken before meals. This depends on your blood sugar level. It also depends on what you are eating.

The amount of insulin needed is different for each person. It depends on your height, weight, age, food intake, and activity level. Insulin doses must be balanced with mealtimes and activities. Dosage levels can be affected by illness or stress. Or by unplanned events. People with type 1 must check their blood sugars several 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 automatically checks your blood sugar all day and night.

Type 2 diabetes

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

Diet and exercise

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

Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Robert Hurd MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2018
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