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Insulin Treatment for Diabetes

[ Excerpt from Diabetes ]

Insulin Treatment for type 1& type 2 diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes must have daily injections of insulin to keep their blood sugar level within normal ranges as part of an overall treatment protocol:

Advances in diabetes research have led to improved methods of managing diabetes and treating its complications. However, scientists continue to explore the causes of diabetes and ways to prevent and treat the disorder. Other methods of administering insulin through inhalers and pills are currently being studied. Scientists are investigating gene involvement in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and some genetic markers for type 1 diabetes have been identified. Pancreas and islet cell transplants are also being performed.

Insulin Treatment for type 2 diabetes:

Often, type 2 diabetes can be controlled through losing weight, improved nutrition, and exercise alone. However, in some cases, these measures are not enough and either oral or injected medications and/or insulin must be used.

Oral medications, other medications, and/or insulin replacement therapy, as directed by your physician. There are various types of medications that may be used to treat type 2 diabetes when lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and weight loss are not effective. Oral medications of several different types are available, with each type working in a different manner to lower blood sugar. One medication may be combined with another one to improve blood sugar control. When oral medications are no longer effective, insulin may be required.

New medications for treating diabetes are in development. GLP-1 agonists are one of the new types of medications. GLP-1 agonists work by stimulating insulin production by the pancreas, slowing the emptying of food from the stomach, and inhibiting the production of glucagon in the pancreas (glucagon is a hormone produced by the pancreas that stimulates release of glucose by the liver). Byetta®, a GLP-1 agonist approved by the FDA in 2005, is given by injection.

Untreated or inappropriately-treated diabetes can cause problems with the kidneys, legs, feet, eyes, heart, nerves, and blood flow, which could lead to kidney failure, gangrene, amputation, blindness, or stroke. For these reasons, it is important to follow a strict treatment plan.

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