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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
  • 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:

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

Products, offers and promotion categories available for Type 1 diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

Unlabeled Drugs and Medications to treat Type 1 diabetes:

Unlabelled alternative drug treatments for Type 1 diabetes include:

  • Acarbose
  • Glucobay
  • Precose
  • Prandase
  • Metformin
  • Apo-Metoformin
  • Dom-Metformin
  • Glucophage
  • Glucophage XR
  • Glucovance
  • Glycon
  • Novo-Metformin
  • PMS-Metformin
  • Riva-Metformin

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)
  • 73% of hospital consultant episodes for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus required emergency hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • more hospital information...»

Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Type 1 diabetes

Research quality ratings and patient incidents/safety measures for hospitals and medical facilities in specialties related to Type 1 diabetes:

Hospital & Clinic quality ratings »

Choosing the Best Treatment Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Type 1 diabetes, on hospital and medical facility performance and surgical care quality:

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 diabetes treatment.

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 checking. (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 blood glucose.

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 finishes working.

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 control.

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 health.

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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