Health,  MyFriendAlexa

Diabetes- Treatment and Management

#Myfriendalexa #Diabetes treatment

It is week 2 and post 4 of “Diabetes awareness series” for myfriendalexa, and I am hoping the series providing some insight into this dreadful disease.

In this post, I am sharing the treatment and management aspect of diabetes. What is ABCS for managing diabetes properly?  What is the treatment line for the different type of diabetes?  How can this disease manage effectively?  Read on to know more!

Management of diabetes

Diabetes is a long-term and chronic disorder that affects various organs of the body. If left untreated, raised blood glucose level, may cause heart disease, kidney diseases, and may affect your vision and nerves. That’s why it is very important to manage this disease wisely with the help of the qualified health care provider.

Learn the ABCS of management of diabetes

NIDDK( National Institute of diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases) provides really useful guidelines for managing diabetes wisely. It includes

  •  A for A1C Test– an A1C test is a blood test that provides an average range of your blood sugar level of past 3 months. Regular checking and monitoring your blood glucose level is the first and most important step of managing diabetes properly.
  • B for Blood pressure regulation– for diabetic patients it is very important to check blood pressure regularly. Keep the blood pressure is the acceptable range (140-90 mm/hg) is usually recommended. This thing helps in preventing heart disease and other cardiovascular complications.
  • C for Cholesterol– there are two types of Cholesterol in our body. LDL (low density) and HDL (high density), LDL cholesterol is considered as a bad cholesterol. It may clog the blood vessels that may lead to heart diseases. So, for diabetic patients, it is very important to maintain your blood cholesterol level in the normal range.
  • S for smoking– last but not the least “quit smoking” is another important factor in the management of diabetes. Smoking and diabetes both cause narrowing of blood vessels that may lead to life-threatening complications (like heart attack and stroke). Quit smoking will not only improve your diabetes management but also helps in improving your overall health as well.

Lifestyle changes

Apart from these ABCs, “Diet and physical exercise” is the next important step in the management of diabetes.

Use the diabetic meal plan

As a general rule, it is advised that,

  • Diabetic people should eat in portion (3-6 meals) in a day.
  • Limit your carbohydrate intake is one of the most important things that need to be followed.
  • Avoid oily, fried and other high-calorie junk foods.
  • Increase intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grain and protein.

Plan a regular physical activity schedule

Next to controlled diet, regular physical activity is one of the most important factors that help in the management of diabetes. Try at least 30 minutes of physical activity for 4-5 days in a week.  Swimming or walking works best.

Word of caution

Before making any changes to your diet and physical activity, it is very important to discuss diet and exercise plans with your doctor. It completely depends upon individual factors (such as age, advancement of the disease, level of physical fitness etc.)

Medication of diabetes

Medication of diabetes is very important and it depends upon various factors. Such as

  • Age
  • Level of physical activity
  • Other associated medical conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol level
  • Progression and duration of disease

NIDDK provides a guideline to understand the medication part of diabetes, which is as follow.

Type 1 diabetes

Insulin is the first line of treatment for type 1 diabetes. If you are suffering from type 1 diabetes, you have to take insulin throughout the day to manage your blood sugar level.

Insulin can be taken as either insulin injections or insulin pumps. The dose and repetition of insulin should be adjusted by a qualified physician. The frequency and repetition depend upon various factors such as age, level of physical activity and associated with other diseases.

Type 2 Diabetes

Again for type 2 treatment part depends upon individual factors and should be prescribed by a qualified physician.

Some people can manage their disease by making proper modification in lifestyle factors (regular exercise and controlled diet), this method usually works well in young people who are physically active and diagnosed at early stage of their disease.

Many other people need different medication that includes pills and injections to control their diseases.

Regular monitoring of blood sugar level is very important to know the blood sugar level, a progression of disease and the efficiency of medication.

Gestational  diabetes

The treatment plan for gestational diabetes depends on the level of blood glucose level.  At first, physicians usually try to manage this by making healthy food choices and regular monitoring. If this step does not work, then using diabetes pills (which are safe during pregnancy like metformin) is used.  Some woman may need to take insulin to control their blood sugar level.

Here is the list of commonly used diabetes medicine. Each group of medicine has their own specific criteria, indication and side effects. And you need to discuss all aspects of your disease and general physical condition, before using them.


  • brand name- Prandin
  • Common side effect- Hypoglycaemia
  • How it works- it helps in making more insulin around meal time and helps in maintaining a normal blood sugar level.

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

  •  How it works- It helps to digest sugar more slowly
  • Brand name- glyset, precose
  • Common side effects- stomach pain, gas, diarrhoea


  • Brand name- Actos, Avandia
  • It helps in glucose utilization by cells
  • Side effects- fluid restriction, weight gain, anaemia, upper RTI

DPP-4 inhibitors

  • Brand name- januvia, nesina
  • How it works- it helps in making more insulin for the body.
  • Common side effect- Headache, URTI


  • Brand name- Amaryl, diabeta glynase
  • Common side effects- headache, dizziness, hypoglycaemia


  • Brand name- metformin, Glucophage
  • How it works- these pills stop your liver from making too much sugar and help the sugar get into your cells.
  • Side effects- diarrhoea, nausea, headache

Dopamine receptor agonists

  • Brand name- metformin, Glucophage
  • How it works- its working mechanism is not clear.
  • Side effects- nausea, headache and weakness

Bile acid sequestrants

  • Brand name- Colesevelam
  • Side effects
  • Constipation, dyspepsia, nausea

SGLT2 inhibitors

  • This medicine is also used to treat high cholesterol.
  • Brand name- foaxiga jardiance
  • Side effects- UTI, vaginal and yeast infections

GLP-I receptor agonists

  • It is an injectable medicine but not a substitute for insulin
  • Brand name- Byetta,  Bydurean

Amylin Analogue

  • Brand name- Symlin (again an injectable medicine, not a substitute for insulin)
  • Side effect- nausea
  • People who use insulin can also use Symlin. It should be taken with a separate injection. Do not mix insulin and Symlin.

Apart from these, there are various combination medications also available (where 2 types of medicines are combined) as a treatment option for diabetes.

Here are a few things that should be kept in mind while using this medication.

  • Each medication has their own method of working action and may affect your other body organs adversely, like (heart or kidney)
  • If you are suffering from any other pre-existing disease condition and taking prescribed medication for same, it is very important to discuss this thing with your health care provider.
  • Also, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding mom, discuss your medication with your health care provider so that he can prescribed safe medication for you.
  • As an additional tip, it is good idea to maintain a medicine chart that includes dose, duration, repeation, side effects and other important facts about the medicine. Here is a great guideline to learn the same thing in detail.


Apart from these, Insulin is one of the most important medications that have been used in treatment of diabetes.

  • There are short acting, long acting and intermediate acting
  • Each one has their own action pattern. It means, how fast will insulin work? When they reach at their peak? And how long its action will last? A qualified physician decide which type of insulin is suitable for individual cases (based on individual factors)
  • In the same manner, there are different mode of administration for insulin like insulin needles, syringe, inhaler and insulin pen. The selection of mode of administration depends on age, life style and personal preference.

Advanced treatment option

Nowadays some advanced treatment options are also available to treat diabetes. Such as artificial pancreas, bariatric surgery, pancreas islet transportation. All these options are expensive and done under specific circumstances.

If you want to learn more about these options, click here.

Home remedies can play an important role in treating diabetes. What are these remedies? How they work? What are the precautions should be used while using these home remedies? Stay tuned to learn about this.

If you had missed previous part of this series, click here for part 1

part 2

part 3

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