Diabetic Medical Treatments:

Your doctor may suggest taking oral medicine if your pancreas still can make some insulin. There are multiple classes of medicines with different effects. In general diabetes medications can work by helping your pancreas make more insulin, helping insulin in your body function properly, and decreasing the amount of glucose sugar in your blood stream. 

Type 1 Diabetes is treated with Insulin as well as with a healthy diet and exercise. Insulin is a substance that helps the body to properly use the sugar from the foods you eat. The Insulin injections are given multiple times daily and must be injected under the skin so that it can properly enter the bloodstream. There are varying types of insulin treatments depending on how severe the diabetes. Insulin treatments could be regular short-acting insulin, rapid-acting insulin, intermediate, and long-acting insulin. The Insulin treatment given to diabetic patients is a man-made drug, similar to the insulin produced by the pancreas. Short-acting insulin  is normally used along with initiating a healthy diet and exercise plan in order to control high blood sugar. The dosage for regular insulin is based on your blood sugar and activity levels. Common side effects for insulin are low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), changes in skin thickness around the injection site, weight gain, and swelling in the arms and legs [5]. Some rapid-acting insulins may include insulin aspart, insulin glulisine, and insulin lispro. Some long-acting insulins include insulin glargine, insulin determir, and degludec. All of these medications are insulin injections used to control blood sugar in diabetic patients. Pramlintide is another injectable drug used by Type 1 Diabetics alongside insulin. This drug is taken before mealtime and works to prolong the time it takes the stomach to empty itself and reduces glucagon secretions after meals [5]. Common side effects of this drug may include nausea, vomiting, and decreased appetite.

Type 2 Diabetes is treated with mostly oral medications rather than injections. Type 2 medications work to help your body use insulin better and rid your body of excess sugar. Some medications include alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, biguanides, DPP-4 inhibitors, Glucagon-like peptides, Meglitinides, and Thiazolidinediones [5]. Medication with alpha-glucosidase inhibitors is often taken before meals and works to break down starchy foods and sugars. Biguanides work to reduce the sugar production of the liver and the amount of sugar absorbed by the intestines. The most common type of biguanide is metformin. The role of  DPP-4 inhibitors are to help the pancreas continue to make insulin in diabetic patients by reducing blood sugar without causing hypoglycemia. Glucagon-like peptides function to not only slow down stomach emptying, but also decrease appetite and increase the amount of insulin your body uses as well. These are all critical strategies in improving the cell function of an individual with diabetes. Meglitinide medications on the other hand, help the body release the insulin that has been used. Lastly, drugs with Thiazolidinediones function to reduce glucose in the liver, but are known to potentially increase the risk for heart disease.

 

Additionally, individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes may use other medications in addition to their diabetes medications to treat other conditions that may coincide. These may include aspirin for any heart condition, high blood pressure medication, and treatment for high cholesterol.

 

Alternative Medicine:

In addition to exercise, proper diet, and managing your blood sugar, there may be other means for treating your diabetes. Studies have shown that biotin (Vitamin H) can improve glucose metabolism in those with diabetes. Vitamins B6 and B12 may help to treat diabetic nerve pain. Vitamin C may help maintain a good cholesterol and keep blood sugar under control. Magnesium supplements help control blood sugar due to the fact that individuals with diabetes have a magnesium deficiency. Although supplements may help one’s conditions, there are some cautionary warnings regarding using them. Supplements  can sometimes negatively affect or hinder certain medication treatments being already taken. On the other hand, the American Diabetes Association claims that there is no evidence that those known to be without vitamin deficiencies would benefit from any type of vitamin supplement if they are diabetic.