How do you treat type 1 diabetes? As I mentioned before, type 1 diabetics are not resistant to insulin. They just don’t have any. All we have to do is give them insulin. Easy right?
Well, yes, it’s easy in the sense that it is very straightforward but challenging in the accomplishment of that task. It takes constant checking of blood sugar levels throughout the day, adjusting insulin doses, and counting nutrients in each meal or anything ingested. It’s a full-time job managing it.
Type 2 diabetes treatment is very complex. First and foremost, it can be affected GREATLY by what the patient eats and does with respect to activity. If they lose 10 or 20% of their body weight and start a persistent physical activity program, they can benefit themselves greatly. As far as medicinal treatments go, there are dozens of options.
The first medication therapy for all type 2 diabetics is metformin. It stops the liver from dumping sugar into the bloodstream, decreases insulin resistance, and stimulates tissues of the body, like the muscles, to take sugar out of the bloodstream, amongst other things.
Many other therapies can be started after that, each with pros and cons. Some drugs mimic other hormones and help the pancreas produce more insulin while decreasing hunger (causing weight loss). However, some drugs force the pancreas to make more insulin but ultimately harm the pancreas while doing so. And some drugs cause your kidneys to dump sugar into your urine so that you pee it out (yes, I’m not joking). Ultimately, once the pancreas just gives out altogether and we cannot keep helping it, then we give insulin even in type 2 diabetics.