Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes
First, some bad news… type 2 diabetes cannot be cured!
No matter what you read online, don’t waste your money on any book or product that claims to sell you the secret cure for diabetes, becuase they are just taking advantage of you.
OK, now that the truth has hit home, here is the good news: reducing your weight, even by a little, eating healthily and exercising more regularly can signifigantly slow or halt the progression of the disease.
The important part is recognising that you are at risk of diabetes early and doing something about it before it becomes too late.
Medical Treatments Available to Type 2 Diabetes
However, once the disease has progressed past a certain point or if the patient is unwilling to change their lifestyle, there are a number of medical treatments that are available to type 2 diabetes.
Depending on individual circumstances, treatment of diabetes involves some combination of lifestyle modification, insulin injections, andtidiabetic medications and blood glucose monitoring.
Insulin is usually the last resort, with most doctors preferring to try other options first.
These medications help lower blood sugar and make it easier for insulin to do it’s job.
They are highly effective at controlling type 2 diabetes in its early stages, but are not effective enough if the disease has progressed too far.
There are two main types of antidiabetic medication.
- Tablets to stimulate the production of insulin (sulphonylurea drugs)
- Tablets to reduce insulin resistance (biguanides and thiazolidinediones)
Metformin is the most commonly used antidiabetic drug, and in fact the most commonly prescribed drug in the US (with 40 million prescriptions in 2008 alone).
It is of the biguanide class and works in several ways.
First, it inhibits the release of glucose stores from the liver, second it improves insulin resistance by cells more sensitive to insulin, and thirdly it reduces the amount of sugar that is absorbed from the food that you eat.
Blood Glucose Monitoring
Diabetics need to be constantly aware of their blood glucose level.
This is achieved through regular use of a glucometer.
This involves pricking your finger with a small lance and taking a samle of the blood that accumulates on the finger. Results are displayed on the screen of the glucometer within a few seconds.
You should record your blood glucose at least once a day, and your doctor will advise what adjustments should be made to your treatment plan for optimum management of your blood glucose.
Good glycemic control will help ensure a long and healthy life, free of the complications of diabetes.
Fasting blood sugar levels should be maintained strictly between 4-9 mmol/L.
Levels below 3 mmol/L will result in hypoglycemia.
You can avoid this by always looking out for the signs of hypoglycemia, which include increased sweating, trembling, confusion and eventually coma.
If you suspect that you have become hypoglycemic, emergency treatment is to eat something sugary, preferrably a sugary drink (as it gets absorbed into the blood faster).
If a person has become unconscious due to hypoglycemia, an emergency shot of glucagon must be given immediately to prevent long term brain damage.
Glucagon is a hormone similar to insulin.
You could think of glucagon as insulin’s arch nemesis… it does the exact opposite of what insulin does, that is, it increases the amount of sugar in the blood.