Diabetes - Choosing treatments

Management of your diabetes may involve: [1]

  • Diet and lifestyle changes
  • Insulin
  • Other antidiabetic medications
  • Surgery
  • Additional care.

However, your diabetes is treated, it is important to have regular reviews to improve and maintain glucoseA simple sugar that is an important source of energy in the body. control.[2]

Because diabetes involves treatment over a long period of time, some people find it difficult to manage their condition as well as possible. Still, it is very important to follow your doctor's advice consistently and to take any long-term medication as prescribed.[3]

An important concern for people taking insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. and other antidiabetic medication is the risk of hypoglycaemiaLow blood glucose levels., when glucoseA simple sugar that is an important source of energy in the body. levels are lowered too much. It is important to be aware of the symptoms and management of this condition.

Learn more about hypoglycaemia.

Regular exercise - for example, half an hour every day - improves the body's response to insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels., and lowers blood pressure and lipidOne of a group of compounds that are an important energy source. levels in the bloodA fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid.

Diet and lifestyle changes

Managing your weight is very important in the treatment of diabetes. This is because being overweight or obese worsens insulin resistanceA reduced response of the body to the hormone insulin, resulting in raised blood glucose levels. and increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Losing weight involves reducing your energy intake by managing what you eat, and using up more energy through regular exercise and enjoying an active lifestyle.[1]

A healthy diet and moderate calorie reduction are helpful, and slimming clubs may give you additional motivation. If you need to lose a lot of weight, it may help to ask your doctor's advice. Very low-calorie diets are difficult to keep up over the long term and may cause nutritional deficiencies.

Your alcohol intake should be limited, as drinking too much can increase the risk of hypoglycaemiaLow blood glucose levels. - and also, alcohol contains a lot of calories.[1]

Learn more about diet and diabetes.

If you are on antidiabetic medication such as insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. or tablets, you may need to adjust this when changing your diet.[1]

Regular exercise - for example, half an hour every day - improves the body's response to insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels., and lowers blood pressure and lipidOne of a group of compounds that are an important energy source. levels in the bloodA fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid..[1] Exercise does not have to involve going to the gym, it may just mean leading a more active lifestyle.[4]

Insulin

All people with type 1 diabetes are treated with insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels., which is also used in advanced type 2 diabetes. Various insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. formulations are available and choosing the best insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. regimen is important.

More detail on insulin in the treatment of diabetes.

Other antidiabetic medications

There are a number of antidiabetic medications available. Most of these rely on some level of natural insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. in the body, and so are less effective in type 1 diabetes.[1]

The various classes of antidiabetic medications include:

  • Biguanides
  • Sulphonylureas
  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Meglitinides
  • Pramlintide
  • Incretin therapy.

More detail about these other antidiabetic medications.

Surgery

Surgical treatment for type 1 diabetes involves transplantation of the whole pancreas, or the area of the pancreas that produces insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels., the pancreaticRelating to the pancreas. islets.[5]

More detail about surgery for type 1 diabetes.

Additional care

Additional care for people with diabetes includes: [6,7]

  • Blood pressure control
  • Lipid-lowering medication
  • Pneumococcal and influenzaA viral infection affecting the respiratory system. vaccination
  • Help with stopping smoking.

More detail about additional care.

References: 
  1. Boon NA, Colledge NR and Walker BR. Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. 2006; 20th edition.
  2. Griffin S. Diabetes care in general practice: meta analysis of randomised control trials. BMJ 1998; 317: 390-6.
  3. Cramer JA, Benedict A, Muszbek N et al. The significance of compliance and persistence in the treatment of diabetes, hypertensionHigh blood pressure. and dyslipidaemiaAbnormal levels of lipids (fats) in the blood.: a review. Int J Clin Pract 2008; 62: 76-87.
  4. Lindström J, Louheranta A, Mannelin M et al. The Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS). Lifestyle intervention and 3-year results on diet and physical activity. Diabetes Care 2003; 26: 3230-6.
  5. Meloche RM. Transplantation for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. World J Gastroenterol 2007; 13: 6347-55.
  6. Harris M. Challenges in diabetes management. Australian Family Physician 2008; 37: 716-20.
  7. Ahmann AJ. Guidelines and performance measures for diabetes. Am J Manag Care 2007; 3: S41-6.