Diabetes is one of the most common conditions around the world as well as with many serious complications. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and even lead to death. Hence, it is important to test for diabetes and start treatment during its early onset. This reduces the chances of being affected by serious symptoms and complications. If left untreated the complications can reach an advanced stage leading to organ failures and other serious consequences.
The first step in diabetes treatment is testing. The treatments can vary according to the level of blood glucose and also according to the seriousness of the symptoms.
Test for diabetes
Doctors have different methods to test for prediabetes and diabetes. They don’t test for Insulin resistance as the tests are complicated and are usually used for research purposes. The testing starts with:
- Questions related to family history: Doctors ask this to know if there are blood relatives who are/were diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes or insulin resistance.
- Physical exam: This is done to calculate the weight and height. Knowing this will make the doctors aware if the patient is obese or not.
The next step is the different tests, the different types of tests that can be done :
- Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG)
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)
- Random plasma glucose test
- A1c test
- Glucose screening test
- Urine testing
Diabetes Mellitus treatment:
The main purpose of diabetes treatment is to maintain blood sugar at an optimum level. Diabetes mellitus treatment is a combination of monitoring blood glucose, diet, exercise and medications. The type of treatment depends on the type of diabetes one is diagnosed with.
Type 1 diabetes treatment:
Insulin is the primary treatment for type 1 diabetes. Insulin shot is needed as the pancreas is unable to produce them in the case of type 1 diabetes.
There are different types of insulin that a doctor may prescribe depending on the time taken for the changes to occur.
The types of Insulin are:
- Rapid-acting insulin: Speed of onset is 0.25 hours
- Short-acting insulin: Speed of onset is 0.5 hours
- Intermediate-acting insulin: Speed of onset is 1 – 2 hours
- Long-acting insulin: Speed of onset is 2 – 4 hours
- Ultra-long-acting insulin: Speed of onset is 6 hours
- Inhaled Insulin: Speed of onset is 12 to 15 minutes
- Premixed/ combination of insulin
Speed of onset is the time it takes for the insulin to start working. There are also different ways of taking insulin dosage.
Patients usually self-administer insulin injections using a syringe. The syringe has markings on its body, it helps to use the correct level of dosage. There are other ways of taking insulin:
- Insulin Pens: they are more accurate and durable than syringes
- Insulin pumps: These are attached to a thin tube underneath one’s skin. They are usually motorized or computerized, also acting as a monitor.
- Jet Injector: It holds several doses of Insulin
- Inhalable Insulin: It comes in a premeasured inhaler. It is one of the newly approved methods.
Diet for type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes patients must have a balanced diet with a limited amount of carbohydrates. One should try to avoid a high sugar diet as it can suddenly elevate the blood sugar level. Avoiding fast foods is also a must. There is no one common universal diet, it may vary from person to person and one should monitor the blood sugar levels after diets to work on an appropriate diet. It is also vital to synchronise meal timings and insulin dosage.
Type 2 diabetes treatment
Type 2 diabetes treatment includes diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes. If these don’t work, one has to take medications.
- A balanced diet is vital in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. For a steady blood sugar level, it is necessary to intake small meals throughout the day. Patients should prepare a diet plan with the help of a dietician or doctor.
- Overweight patients should have a low carbohydrate and low-calorie diet.
- The carbohydrate intake should depend on the blood sugar level.
- It is vital to avoid sugary foods like cookies, candy, and ice creams.
- One should limit the total fat to less than 40% of the daily calories and saturated fat should be less than 10% of the total fat consumed.
- A balanced diet must also consist of 20-35 grams of fibre per day. Consuming a variety of foods will also help to get vitamins and minerals
- Proteins don’t have a direct effect on blood sugar levels, however, the food that it is present may have. Sometimes less protein is actually better. Plant-based proteins must be preferred over animal-based proteins. Protein must always be part of a snack or a meal.
Medications are one of the most common diabetes mellitus treatments. There are many kinds of drugs that lower the body sugar level in various ways. These are:
- Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors: These drugs slow down the body’s breakdown of sugars and starchy foods.
- Biguanides: This type of drugs reduce the amount of glucose produced by the liver.
- DPP-4 inhibitors: It improves blood sugar without letting it drop too low.
- Glucagon-like peptides: These drugs change the way the body produces insulin.
- Meglitinides: It stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin than normal.
- SGLT2 inhibitors: This type of drugs release essential amounts of glucose into the urine.
- Sulfonylureas: It stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin than normal.
- Thiazolidinediones: These drugs help insulin to work better.
Exercise improves the usage of insulin by the body. It is one of the essential components of diabetes treatment. It can also lower blood sugar levels. Diabetes patients are encouraged to do at least 150 minutes of some physical activity each week. One should also constantly measure the blood sugar levels before and after exercise because exercise can sometimes lower the blood sugar level leading to hypoglycemia. Exercise can also lead to weight loss, this reduces the complications of diabetes and prevents serious symptoms. Exercises are prescribed by doctors as part of diabetes treatment.
Other alternate forms of treatments:
Weight loss surgery:
It is also known as bariatric surgery. It is done to reduce a significant amount of weight in obese patients. This helps in lowering the blood sugar level. After this surgery, some patients won’t even have the need of taking diabetes medications. It can prove helpful to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients.
It is a newer form of diabetes treatment. The artificial pancreas continuously monitors the blood sugar level and automatically provides insulin or sometimes with another hormone, usually glucagon. This system can be controlled or monitored remotely.
Pancreatic islet transplantation:
It is a form of experimental treatment to treat type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes leads to the attacking of islets in the pancreas by the immune system. This type of diabetes treatment involves transplanting the islets from a donor to replace the previously damaged islets. This treatment method is still under research.
We at Twin believe in offering personalized treatment for Type 2 Diabetes because no two bodies are the same and not one treatment can suit all. Our team of world-class doctors advise what’s best for you with the help of precision nutrition, precision sleep and precision activities, prescribed just for you.