Finding diabetic patients in your neighborhood, family, or even office, is not a rare occurrence anymore. Most of us know someone or another, who is suffering from this condition, and may also be able to empathize with them.
Diabetes is a medical condition, which has taken around 6 percent of the world’s total population in its ambit, and the number is increasing each day. With this disease becoming an epidemic, it is almost inevitable to get more knowledge about this condition and its treatments.
There are basically two categories of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. While Type 1 diabetes is caused by the destruction of insulin producing Islet cells of pancreas, leading to insulin deficiency, Type 2 diabetes is caused due to resistance of body cells to insulin.
The type-2 diabetes is the most common condition of diabetes mellitus, with 90% of the total population of the world, suffering from diabetes, having this condition.
In the condition of type 2 diabetes, the body cells of the patient are not able to respond correctly to the insulin. Now, since insulin acts as the transporter of glucose, from blood stream to the inside of body cells, so this insulin resistance results into the deficiency of glucose within the cells.
The glucose remains outside of the cells, into the bloodstream, thereby increasing the blood sugar levels, called as Hyperglycemia and thus, resulting into diabetes.
Before you start treatment for diabetes, you need to get it properly diagnosed and for that purpose, you will be required to get your blood sugar levels tested. The most effective tests to establish the presence of type 2 diabetes, include, Fasting Glucose levels test, Hemoglobin A1c test, and Oral Glucose tolerance test.
If your fasting glucose level is beyond 126mg/dL, or Hemoglobin A1c test results into 6.5 or above, or if the glucose level is seen to be above 200mg/dL, in oral glucose tolerance tests, then diabetes is established.
The worst part of type 2 diabetes is that, it is not normally curable with the help of medications and so, the patient has to depend on medications for his/her entire life.
In case you are overweight, or have a family history of diabetes, or aged above 45 years, then you are at a greater risk and so, you should get your blood sugar levels tested at regular intervals.
This would help you in avoiding the onset of this condition, and in case, you already have developed type 2 diabetes, then you can start treatment immediately. There are many treatments available, which can help you, fight this condition, and lead a trouble free life.
This may not look like a treatment, but in fact, it is the first recommendation in case of any person getting diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. A person diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has to bring some immediate changes in his lifestyle and diet.
You need to engage in physical activities and lose weight, as obese people are more likely to develop further complications. You can lose weight, with regular physical activity and by following a controlled, but balanced diet plan.
You should also reduce the intake of foods high in sugars and carbohydrates, like, potatoes, and start consuming more of fresh fruits, whole grains and vegetables, having low glycemic index.
Many doctors and physicians, all over the world, recommend Metformin to their diabetic patients. It is a biguanide drug and is very effective in lowering the blood glucose levels. Metformin works by controlling the amount of glucose, released into the blood stream, by liver, thereby reducing the blood sugar levels.
It also decreases the insulin resistance of our cells, and makes them more sensitive, thereby stimulating enhanced absorption of glucose in the cells, with the same amount of blood insulin.
Other advantages of Metformin, include, its ability to control diabetes induced cardiovascular conditions and having least possible side effects. Initially, when starting with Metformin, you may feel sick or get mild diarrhea, but these symptoms subside with time, and may not even appear at all, if you have started with low dosage.
Metformin manages to keep the blood sugar levels in control, without causing hypoglycemia or inducing weight gain. This drug is usually prescribed as soon as the diabetic problems are diagnosed and the patient is not able to control them, with lifestyle and diet changes.
Glimepiride, Gliclazide and Glipizide are some of the sulphonylurea drugs that are prescribed to diabetic patients, if their body does not accept Metformin or if they are not overweight.
These drugs stimulate the islet cells of pancreas to produce more of insulin, thereby increasing the blood insulin level, leading to reduced blood sugar levels.
There is one most probable side effect of these medications, which is hypoglycemia, i.e. excessive reduction in blood glucose levels, due to over production of insulin. But, this can be controlled by taking regular meals and following doctor’s prescription.
Drugs like Nateglinide and repaglinide are also given in type-2 diabetes to boost insulin levels in blood. But, there affect does not lasts for very long, and have to be taken just before main meals.
Other medications that are normally given to the patients suffering from Type-2 diabetes, include, non-sulphonylurea secretagogues, thiazolidinediones, di-peptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, acarbose, exenatide and alpha glucosidase inhibitors.
The need to give insulin therapy arises only after the patient’s body stops reacting to other medications. This therapy is continued alongside other oral medications, and is started by giving one insulin shot, at night, after meals.
The doctors prescribe insulin shots to such patients, initially once a day and it may be later on increased, to more than one shot, in 24 hours. In case of pregnant women, insulin shots are the first choice, as they don’t have many side effects, either for fetus or the mother.
Type 2 diabetes is mainly a result of fluctuating blood sugar levels and therefore, the patient needs to maintain his glucose levels. You should go for HbA1c test after every two to six months, as advised by your doctor, to keep track of your blood glucose levels.
If your results are more than or below the level set by your doctor, you immediately need to consult your doctor and start the appropriate treatment plan. For instance, if your blood glucose level is high, you can increase your medication and vice versa, if the glucose levels are low.
The obese people having Type 2 Diabetes can also go for weight loss surgery, which promises to be quite effective. But, this surgery has to be conducted only under expert medical supervision, and appropriate precautions should be taken, before, during and after the surgery.
Type 2 Diabetes has ruined the life of many people, but still, there is no need to lose hope. If you manage to follow all the instructions, bring appropriate changes in your lifestyle, and keep a vigilant eye on your blood glucose levels, you can control this condition to a large extent. These treatments are very effective and if taken with proper diet and physical exercise, can increase the life of any diabetic patient.
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