Different treatments are available for diabetes depending on the type of diabetes you have. Everybody is very different, and the treatment depends on your individual needs. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you will need to constantly inject yourself with insulin to manage your sugar levels or use a sugar pump.
If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may need to use insulin or tablets to manage your glucose levels. You will also be required to eat and move more to improve your health.
Here is a closer look at the different treatment options available for people with diabetes:
Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin. If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, your body is not producing enough insulin to regulate your sugar levels.
You can inject insulin with an insulin pen or opt for an insulin pump that gives you more flexibility with diabetes management.
There are different types of insulin used to treat type 1 diabetes. They differ based on how fast they start to work and how long their effects last. They include:
- Rapid-acting insulin: Works within the first 15 minutes, and the effect can last for an average of 3 hours
- Short-acting insulin: Works within the first 30 minutes, and the effect can last for an average of 5 hours
- Intermediate-acting insulin: Works within the first 3 hours, and its effects can last up to 18 hours
- Long-acting insulin: Works within 2 hours, and its effect can last up to 24 hours
- Ultra-long-acting insulin: Works within the first 6 hours and can last for more than 36 hours
- Premixed insulin: Works within 5 to 60 minutes, and its effects can last up to 16 hours
Some people opt for a pancreas transplant. With a successful transplant, you will no longer need insulin injections. However, it is important to note that transplants are not always successful and often pose serious risks.
With a pancreas transplant, you will need a lifetime supply of immune-suppressing drugs. The drugs help prevent organ rejection and often have serious side effects. For this reason, this treatment is reserved for patients whose diabetes cannot be controlled and those who need a kidney transplant.
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is often caused by leading a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, a lifestyle change can reverse some damage and help you lead a healthier and happier life. Here is a look at how type 2 diabetes is treated:
Diet and Exercise
Most patients with type 2 diabetes do not take any medication. They treat the conditions by moving more and eating well. Studies have shown that reducing weight can put type 2 diabetes into remission, and a healthy lifestyle can easily cure type 2 diabetes when it is diagnosed early.
Medication and Tablets
If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you might need medication to help manage your blood sugar levels. The most common medication is metformin, but there are other types of medication you can be prescribed depending on your conditions.
Some medications you will receive will stimulate your pancreas to produce insulin, while others will help you reduce weight. If you need medication to treat your type 2 diabetes, your doctor will help you decide the best treatment.
Weight Loss Surgery
There are a variety of weight loss surgeries to the intestines or stomach that will help you lose weight. Studies have shown that they help treat type 2 diabetes.
If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you might not need to use insulin immediately. However, some patients have high sugar levels when they are first diagnosed, and insulin can be used as a form of short-term treatment to reduce sugar levels quickly.
Other patients may need insulin for a particular reason, such as severe illness, pregnancy or surgery. Others may need insulin because other medications used to manage diabetes are not ideal.
Diabetes does not only affect your physical well-being but your emotional well-being as well. You will need emotional support whether you have lived with diabetes for a long time or have just been diagnosed with the condition.
Type 1 diabetes is caused by reasons beyond your control and can be managed with insulin. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is caused by lifestyle changes and can be reversed by regular exercise and making better food choices.