Treatments for Type 1 diabetes
Treatments for Type 1 diabetes:
Treating type 1 diabetes is a life-long challenge, because there currently is no cure. However, with careful, medically monitored treatment, diabetes can be successfully managed, minimizing complications and allowing people with diabetes to live a normal active life.
A major goal for people with type 1 diabetes is to maintain blood glucose levels at as normal a level as possible. Successfully doing this requires a well integrated treatment plan that includes regular monitoring of blood glucose levels with a home glucose monitoring system and regular aerobic exercise. It also includes counting carbohydrates and ensuring that an appropriated number of grams of carbohydrates are eaten as a part of a well-balanced diet.
Type 1 diabetes is also always treated with insulin injections. At this time people with type 1 diabetes have to take insulin for the rest of their lives. Insulin injections must generally be given two to four times a day to maintain stable blood glucose levels. For some people, insulin may be given through as an infusion through an insulin pump. There are many different types of insulin available, and insulin prescriptions are individualized based on a person's specific case and often include a long-acting, short acting insulin, and/or intermediate insulins.
It is important also to prevent and treat coexisting conditions, such as hypertension and high cholesterol. An experimental treatment that is currently being researched for type 1 diabetes is pancreatic islet transplantation. This surgery transplants insulin-producing beta cells from a donor into the pancreas of a person with type 1 diabetes.
Treatment List for Type 1 diabetes
The list of treatments mentioned in various sources
for Type 1 diabetes
includes the following list.
Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment
or change in treatment plans.
- Insulin - the mainstay of treatment in Type 1 diabetes
- Insulin - and there are various types of insulin:
- Very rapid acting insulins - usually acting within less than 30 minutes and not lasting long
- Short-acting insulins - usually acting within 30 minutes and lasting a few hours only
- Long-acting insulins - usually acting for 12 to 24 hours
- NPH insulins
- Lente insulins
- Ultra-lente insulins
- Animal insulin - rarely used in modern days
- Beef insulin
- Pork insulin
- Insulin combinations
- Combined insulin R and insulin NPH
- Insulin delivery devices
- Diet and exercise
- Close home monitoring of Blood sugar
- Frequent medical checks for complications of diabetes such as kidney disease, eye disease, peripheral vascular disease and peripheral neuropathy
- Aggressive treatment of complications such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia to attempt to prevent cardiovascular disease
Alternative Treatments for Type 1 diabetes
Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Type 1 diabetes may include:
- Eliminate cow's milk
- Eliminate gluten
- Niacinamide (vitamin B3)
- Complex carbohydrates (e.g. whole wheat pasta)
- more treatments »
Type 1 diabetes: Is the Diagnosis Correct?
The first step in getting correct treatment is
to get a correct diagnosis.
Differential diagnosis list for Type 1 diabetes may include:
Hidden causes of Type 1 diabetes may be incorrectly diagnosed:
Type 1 diabetes: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers
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Unlabeled Drugs and Medications to treat Type 1 diabetes:
Unlabelled alternative drug treatments for Type 1 diabetes include:
- Glucophage XR
Hospital statistics for Type 1 diabetes:
These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Type 1 diabetes:
- 0.26% (32,968) of hospital consultant episodes were for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 78% of hospital consultant episodes for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 53% of hospital consultant episodes for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 47% of hospital consultant episodes for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
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Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Type 1 diabetes
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Medical news summaries about treatments for Type 1 diabetes:
The following medical news items
are relevant to treatment of Type 1 diabetes:
Discussion of treatments for Type 1 diabetes:
Diabetes Overview: NIDDK (Excerpt)
Before the discovery of insulin in 1921, everyone with type 1 diabetes
died within a few years after diagnosis. Although insulin is not
considered a cure, its discovery was the first major breakthrough in
Today, healthy eating, physical activity, and insulin via injection or
an insulin pump are the basic therapies for type 1 diabetes. The amount of
insulin must be balanced with food intake and daily activities. Blood
glucose levels must be closely monitored through frequent blood glucose
(Source: excerpt from Diabetes Overview: NIDDK)
Devices for Taking Insulin: NIDDK (Excerpt)
Today, most people who take insulin to manage diabetes inject the
insulin with a needle and syringe that delivers insulin just under the
skin. Several other devices for taking insulin are available, and new
approaches are under development.
Insulin pens can be helpful if you want the convenience of
carrying insulin with you in a discreet way. An insulin pen is a device
that looks like a pen with a cartridge. Some pens use replacable
cartridges of insulin; other pen models are totally disposable. A fine,
short needle, similar to the needle on an insulin syringe, is on the tip
of the pen. Users turn a dial to select the desired dose of insulin and
press a plunger on the end to deliver the insulin just under the skin.
Insulin jet injectors send a fine spray of insulin through the
skin by a high-pressure air mechanism instead of needles.
External insulin pumps connect to narrow, flexible plastic
tubing that ends with a needle inserted just under the skin near the
abdomen. The insulin pump is about the size of a deck of cards, weighs
about 3 ounces, and can be worn on a belt or in a pocket. Users set the
pump to give a steady trickle or "basal" amount of insulin continuously
throughout the day. Most pumps today have the option for setting several
basal rates. Pumps release "bolus" doses of insulin (several units at a
time) at meals and at times when blood sugar is too high based on the
users' programming. Frequent blood glucose monitoring is essential to
determine insulin dosages and to ensure that insulin is delivered. (Source: excerpt from Devices for Taking Insulin: NIDDK)
Diabetes Statistics in the United States: NIDDK (Excerpt)
Treatment of type 1 diabetes: Lack of insulin production by
the pancreas makes type 1 diabetes particularly difficult to control.
Treatment requires a strict regimen that typically includes a carefully
calculated diet, planned physical activity, home blood glucose testing
several times a day, and multiple daily insulin injections.
(Source: excerpt from Diabetes Statistics in the United States: NIDDK)
Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK (Excerpt)
All people with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin
(IN-suh-lin) because their bodies do not make enough of it. Insulin
helps turn food into energy for the body to work. (Source: excerpt from Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK)
Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK (Excerpt)
If your pancreas no longer makes enough insulin, then you need to take
insulin as a shot. You inject the insulin just under the skin with a
small, short needle.
Can insulin be taken as a pill?
Insulin is a protein. If you took insulin as a pill, your body would
break it down and digest it before it got into your blood to lower your
How does insulin work?
Insulin lowers blood glucose by moving glucose from the blood into the
cells of your body. Once inside the cells, glucose provides energy.
Insulin lowers your blood glucose whether you eat or not. You should eat
on time if you take insulin.
How often should I take insulin?
Most people with diabetes need at least two insulin shots a day for
good blood glucose control. Some people take three or four shots a day to
have a more flexible diabetes plan.
When should I take insulin?
You should take insulin 30 minutes before a meal if you take regular
insulin alone or with a longer-acting insulin. If you take a rapid-acting
insulin, you should take your shot just before you eat.
Are there several types of insulin?
Yes. There are five main types of insulin. They each work at different
speeds. Many people take two types of insulin.
Does insulin work the same all the time?
After a short time, you will get to know when your insulin starts to
work, when it works its hardest to lower blood glucose, and when it
You will learn to match your mealtimes and exercise times to the time
when each insulin dose you take works in your body.
How quickly or slowly insulin works in your body depends on
- your own response
- the place on your body where you inject insulin.
- the type and amount of exercise you do and the length of time
between your shot and exercise.
Where on my body should I inject insulin?
You can inject insulin into several places on your body. Insulin
injected near the stomach works fastest. Insulin injected into the thigh
works slowest. Insulin injected into the arm works at medium speed. Ask
your doctor or diabetes teacher to show you the right way to take insulin
and in which parts of the body to inject it. (Source: excerpt from Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK)
Noninvasive Blood Glucose Monitors: NIDDK (Excerpt)
In March 2001, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a
noninvasive blood glucose monitoring device for adults with diabetes.
Noninvasive monitoring means checking blood glucose levels without
puncturing the skin for a blood sample. The GlucoWatch Biographer,
manufactured by Cygnus Inc., was approved to detect glucose level trends
and patterns in adults age 18 and older with diabetes. It must be used
along with conventional blood glucose monitoring of blood samples. The
device, which looks like a wristwatch, pulls body fluid from the skin
using small electric currents. It checks blood glucose levels every 20
minutes. (Source: excerpt from Noninvasive Blood Glucose Monitors: NIDDK)
Dealing With Diabetes -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA (Excerpt)
Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Good control
requires a careful blend of diet, exercise, blood sugar monitoring,
and medication. People with type 1 diabetes control their
blood sugar with insulin injections and frequent self-monitoring of
blood glucose. People with type 2 diabetes generally control
their blood sugar with oral medications. In some cases, insulin
injections are needed to keep type 2 diabetes under
Diet is very important to lowering blood glucose levels.
In planning a diet, the doctor considers the patient's weight and
daily physical activity. For overweight patients, a weight loss plan
is a must for proper blood glucose control. Food exchange lists to
help with meal planning are available from your doctor and the
American Diabetes Association.
Exercise is very important because it helps the body burn
off some of the excess glucose as energy. Taking part in a regular
fitness program has been shown to improve blood glucose levels in
older people with high levels. A doctor can help plan an exercise
program that balances the diet and medication needs and your general
Drugs may not be needed for type 2 diabetes if good
control can be achieved through diet and exercise. But when these
measures fail, oral drugs, insulin, or a combination of the two may
be prescribed. A person who normally does well without drugs will
need to take medication during acute illnesses.
Foot care is very important for people with diabetes. The
disease can lower blood supply to the limbs and reduce feeling in
the feet. People with diabetes should check their feet every day and
watch for any redness or patches of heat. Sores, blisters, breaks in
the skin, infections or buildup of calluses should be reported right
away to a podiatrist or family doctor.
Skin care is very important. Because people with diabetes
may have more injuries and infections, they should protect their
skin by keeping it clean, using skin softeners to treat dryness, and
taking care of minor cuts and bruises.
Teeth and gums need special attention to avoid serious
infections. People with diabetes should tell their dentist about
their condition and schedule regular checkups. (Source: excerpt from Dealing With Diabetes -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)
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