Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Diabetes Treatment

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:

Basic goals for treating diabetes:

For more information:

Diabetes Drugs

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:

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?
  • 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?

Diabetes Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat diabetes:

Continue to Diabetes Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 10, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Diabetes References
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  2. Monnier L, Benichou M, Charra-Ebrard S, Boegner C, Colette C. An overview of the rationale for pharmacological strategies in type 2 diabetes: from the evidence to new perspectives. Diabetes Metab. 2005 Apr;31(2):101-9. [15959415]
  3. Olson DE, Norris SL. Diabetes in older adults. Overview of AGS guidelines for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in geriatric populations. Geriatrics. 2004 Apr;59(4):18-24. [15086070]
  4. Ratner RE. Type 2 diabetes mellitus: the grand overview. Diabet Med. 1998;15 Suppl 4:S4-7. [9868984]
  5. Ulbrecht JS, Cavanagh PR, Caputo GM. Foot problems in diabetes: an overview. Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Aug 1;39 Suppl 2:S73-82. [15306983]
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