Treatment for Diabetes
Controlling blood sugar is the single most important thing you can do to prevent long-term complications of diabetes.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin. Before its discovery in 1921, people with type 1 diabetes usually died within a year or two. Today, most people use synthetic insulin, which is chemically identical to human insulin.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be able to control your blood sugar with weight control, diet and exercise. Or, you may need to combine these approaches with medication.
Medications to treat type 2 diabetes include:
Sulfonylurea drugs. These medications lower blood sugar levels by stimulating your pancreas to produce and release more insulin. Sulfonylurea drugs that doctors commonly prescribe include glipizide and glyburide.
Metformin This drug decreases the release of glucose stored in your liver.
Acarbose This medication helps decrease the after-meal spike in your blood sugar level by slowing the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates in your intestine.
Insulin sensitizers. These new oral drugs improve your body's response to insulin, making your body more sensitive to the insulin that's already available. These medications can help reduce or eliminate the need for insulin injections in some people.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you may need to start taking insulin if fasting blood glucose levels stay above goals set by your doctor. How much insulin you need depends on your age, weight, exercise level, type of diabetes and how difficult your blood sugar is to control.