If you have type 1 diabetes, your goal is to keep your blood glucose or sugar within a normal range. Your doctor may suggest a combination of insulin therapy, other medicines, checking your blood sugar regularly, eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Because your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, you will need to take insulin. It will replace what your body should be making. People with type 2 diabetes also need insulin if healthy habits and other medications aren’t enough.
A healthcare professional can train you to inject the insulin just under the skin. You may need to give yourself injections several times each day, and you will need to rotate between injection sites. This helps avoid damage to your tissues and helps make sure you get the best results from your insulin.
There are 2 types of insulin, so ask your doctor which kind is right for you.
• Long-acting or basal insulin
• Short-acting or meal time insulin
You can also get insulin through an insulin pump that sends insulin to your body through a tube under your skin. The pump is attached to your body.
Oral diabetes medications
Oral medications in pill or tablet forms are prescribed exclusively for people with type 2 diabetes. However, oral medications don’t work for everyone with type 2 diabetes, especially for those who have had the disease for more than 10 years or who take more than 20 units of insulin a day.
Some oral medications include:
• DPP-IV inhibitors
• SGLT-2 inhibitors
• Thiazolidinediones (TZD)
• Bromocriptine and colesevelam
• Alpha-glucosidase inhibitor
All of these oral diabetes medications reduce blood sugar in a variety of ways:
• Produce more insulin by stimulating the pancreas
• Move glucose into the cells from the blood
• Stabilize blood sugar by slowing the digestion of carbohydrates.
Non-insulin diabetes medication
There are two kinds of injectable diabetes medications. They are usually taken before meals to help control your blood sugar level.
These medications delay stomach emptying to make you feel full. They also promote weight loss. Your doctor may prescribe this type of medication in combined with other to help control your blood glucose level.
Something To Keep in Mind…
Over time, medications often become less effective. Your doctor may not switch your medication to a different one, but instead you may be prescribed a combination of two different medications.
Sometimes in cases where your blood glucose cannot be controlled by pills alone, your doctor may even prescribe you insulin along with your current medication combination. Like any drug, you may experience side effects from taking diabetes medications
• Skin rashes
• Stomach upset
• Hypoglycemia (happens when the level of your blood sugar drops too low)
• Weight gain
Though, most of these side effects tend to get better over time. Talk to your doctor about ways to minimize and reduce side effects. It’s important to follow your doctor’s medication order. Do not go off your medication unless your doctor tells you to do so.