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Treatments for Type 2 diabetes

Treatments for Type 2 diabetes:

There currently is no cure for type 2 diabetes. Treating the disease requires a life-long commitment to maintain blood glucose levels at as normal a level as possible. With meticulous, medically monitored treatment, it can be successfully managed, minimizing complications and allowing people with type 2 diabetes to live a normal active lives.

Good treatment consists of 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 learning how to count carbohydrates and ensuring that an appropriated number of grams of carbohydrates are eaten as a part of a well-balanced diet.

Type 2 diabetes is also treated with a wide variety of oral medications called oral antidiabetic drugs. A drug regimen for type 2 diabetes is individualized to each person's specific case and may include a combination of medications. Some people with type 2 diabetes may also need insulin injections as well.

Commonly prescribed medications include glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride, which work to counteract insulin resistance by stimulating the pancreas to release higher amounts of insulin. Another medication is metformin, which works to lower blood glucose in several ways. It slows the absorption of glucose from food in the small intestine, and aids the body in using insulin more effectively. It also prevents the liver, which stores extra glucose, from releasing it into the bloodstream. Medications called thiazolidinediones help to lower blood glucose by improving the body's sensitivity to insulin.

A side effect of many drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes is hypoglycemia, in which the blood sugar becomes too low.

Treatment of type 2 diabetes also includes preventing and managing other health conditions, such as hypertension and high cholesterol. This helps to minimize serious long-term complications, such as heart disease and stroke.

Treatment List for Type 2 diabetes

The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Type 2 diabetes includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

  • Weight loss
  • Exercise
  • Diet changes
  • Home blood glucose testing
  • Oral medication
  • Insulin - not commonly required for Type 2 diabetes except after years or decades of using diet or pills; see treatment of Type 1 diabetes for more on insulin.
  • Diabetes complication prevention treatments
    • Vitamin E - some studies have shown a small benefit
    • Vitamin C - some studies have shown a small benefit
  • Insulin - may be used at time of diagnosis to gain rapid control while introducing oral hypoglycaemic agents, and then ceased. Also used alone or in combination with oral hypoglycaemic agents when control with oral agents is inadequate.
  • Diabetes complication prevention treatments
    • Vitamin E - some studies have shown a small benefit
    • Vitamin C - some studies have shown a small benefit
    • Low dose aspirin therapy -shown to benefit patients who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease
    • Statins - recommended in patients with and LDL> 3.4 for prevention of cardiovascular dsease
    • ACE inhibitors - good evidence that they provide renovascular protection in both hypertensive and non-hypertensive diabetic patients

Alternative Treatments for Type 2 diabetes

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Type 2 diabetes may include:

Type 2 diabetes: Is the Diagnosis Correct?

The first step in getting correct treatment is to get a correct diagnosis. Differential diagnosis list for Type 2 diabetes may include:

Hidden causes of Type 2 diabetes may be incorrectly diagnosed:

Type 2 diabetes: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers

Products, offers and promotion categories available for Type 2 diabetes:

Type 2 diabetes: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

Drugs and Medications used to treat Type 2 diabetes:

Note:You must always seek professional medical advice about any prescription drug, OTC drug, medication, treatment or change in treatment plans.

Some of the different medications used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes include:

Hospital statistics for Type 2 diabetes:

These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Type 2 diabetes:

  • 0.2% (25,174) of hospital consultant episodes were for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 74% of hospital consultant episodes for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 55% of hospital consultant episodes for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 45% of hospital consultant episodes for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • more hospital information...»

Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Type 2 diabetes

Research quality ratings and patient incidents/safety measures for hospitals and medical facilities in specialties related to Type 2 diabetes:

Hospital & Clinic quality ratings »

Choosing the Best Treatment Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Type 2 diabetes, on hospital and medical facility performance and surgical care quality:

Medical news summaries about treatments for Type 2 diabetes:

The following medical news items are relevant to treatment of Type 2 diabetes:

Discussion of treatments for Type 2 diabetes:

Diabetes Overview: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Healthy eating, physical activity, and blood glucose testing are the basic management tools for type 2 diabetes. In addition, many people with type 2 diabetes require oral medication and insulin to control their blood glucose levels. (Source: excerpt from Diabetes Overview: NIDDK)

Diabetes Statistics in the United States: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Treatment of type 2 diabetes: Treatment typically includes diet control, exercise, home blood glucose testing, and, in some cases, oral medication and/or insulin. Approximately 40 percent of people with type 2 diabetes require insulin injections. (Source: excerpt from Diabetes Statistics in the United States: NIDDK)

Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Healthy eating, exercise, and losing weight may help you lower your blood glucose (also called blood sugar) when you find out you have type 2 diabetes. If these treatments do not work, you may need one or more types of diabetes pills to lower your blood glucose. After a few more years, you may need to take insulin shots because your body is not making enough insulin. (Source: excerpt from Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK)

Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Many types of diabetes pills can help people with type 2 diabetes lower their blood glucose. Each type of pill helps lower blood glucose in a different way. The diabetes pill (or pills) you take is from one of these groups. You might know your pill (or pills) by a different name.

  • Sulfonylureas (SUL-fah-nil-YOO-ree-ahs). Stimulate your pancreas to make more insulin.

  • Biguanides (by-GWAN-ides). Decrease the amount of glucose made by your liver.

  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (AL-fa gloo-KOS-ih-dayss in-HIB-it-ers). Slow the absorption of the starches you eat.

  • Thiazolidinediones(THIGH-ah-ZO-li-deen-DYE-owns). Make you more sensitive to insulin.

  • Meglitinides (meh-GLIT-in-ides). Stimulate your pancreas to make more insulin.

  • D-phenylalanine (dee-fen-nel-AL-ah-neen) derivatives. Help your pancreas make more insulin quickly.

  • Combination oral medicines. Put together different kinds of pills.
(Source: excerpt from Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK)

Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Your doctor might prescribe one pill. If the pill does not lower your blood glucose, your doctor may

  • ask you to take more of the same pills, or
  • add a new pill or insulin, or

  • ask you to change to another pill or insulin.
(Source: excerpt from Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK)

Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Your doctor may ask you to take more than one diabetes medicine at a time. Some diabetes medicines that lower blood glucose work well together. Here are examples: (Source: excerpt from Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK)

Medicines for People With Diabetes: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Your doctor might ask you to take insulin and one of these diabetes pills:

  • a sulfonylurea
  • metformin
  • pioglitazone
(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)

Early in the disease, many people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood glucose levels near normal by controlling their weight, exercising, and following a sensible diet. Often, people with type 2 diabetes must take oral anti-diabetic medications to control their glucose. For some people, insulin may also be needed. (Source: excerpt from Dealing With Diabetes -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

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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