There is no cure for diabetes. Treatment for diabetes depends on whether a person has type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes. General treatment includes a diabetic diet, weight reduction for obesity, regular exercise, and blood sugar monitoring. Type 1 diabetes requires treatment with insulin. Type 2 diabetes is usually managed with oral medications, but may also require treatment with insulin. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes require life-long treatment.
Most women with gestational diabetes do not require treatment with medications, but some may require insulin therapy or oral medication. Gestational diabetes resolves after the baby is delivered.
Treatment of diabetes may include:
- Diabetic diet
- Insulin therapy:
- Intermittent injections
- Insulin pump
- Oral medications for diabetes
- Exercise plan
- ACE inhibitor medications
- To control high blood pressure
- To reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and premature death in people with diabetes
- Weight loss
- Blood sugar monitoring
Basic goals for treating diabetes:
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain blood glucose level between 70 and 140 mg/dl:
- Maintain fasting blood sugars less than 100 mg/dl
- Glycosylated hemoglobin levels less than 6.5%.
For more information:
Type 1 Diabetes Drugs
Insulin is the primary drug therapy for type 1 diabetes. Insulin is the human hormone that keeps blood glucose under control. Insulin is given by injection or through an automatic insulin pump. Both methods can work well when managed properly.
Insulin pumps are small devices that that deliver insulin through a tiny needle that remains in the skin. This provides a constant dose of regular insulin at all times. The pump can be adjusted to release extra insulin before a meal. Wearing a pump does not avoid regular blood sugar testing.
Insulin injection therapy uses combinations of short, intermediate, and long-acting insulin at different times of the day. These injections can be given 2 to 4 times per day. Doses will vary depending on a person's size, blood sugar level, meals and activity.
Type 2 Diabetes Drugs
Most type 2 diabetics require one or more oral medications to control their blood sugar levels. Some people with type 2 diabetes also require treatment with insulin.
Oral medications for type 2 diabetes:
- Acetohexamide (Dymelor)
- Chlorpropamide (Diabinese)
- Glimepiride (Amaryl)
- Glipizide (Glucotrol)
- Glyburide (DiaBeta, Micronase)
- Tolazamide (Tolinase)
- Tolbutamide (Orinase)
- Alpha-glucosidase Inhibitors:
- Amylin mimetics:
- Incretin mimetics:
For more information:
Diabetes Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of diabetes.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- How do I change my diet?
- What is a diabetes diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for complications?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat diabetes:
Continue to Diabetes Home Care
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