Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes
Although several advances have been made on diabetes treatment, apparently, many patients have not made considerable changes in their treatments for the last 10 years. Somehow, there has been a lot of uniformity with drugs such as Metformin and the sulfonylureas (Diabenese Micronase, Amaryl Glynase, DiaBeta and Glucotrol). Of these, metformin is the most common prescription for diabetes and has been in use for quite a long time.
In recent times, older drugs have been associated with certain side effects. As a result, the FDA has restricted the use of Avandia after research indicated that it exposed the victims to cardiovascular risks. The FDA issued another warning in 2011 for Actos, which falls in the same drug group. Actos is also associated with increased risks of cancer of the bladder.
Glucose Monitoring and Insulin Pumps
According to experts, great progress has been made on insulin pumps and glucose monitoring. Constant glucose monitoring is achieved by means of a small sensor which is inserted in the skin by a doctor. It sends data about the existing glucose levels to a pager-like wireless gadget. The sensor has to be replaced after every 3-7 days. This is quite a remarkable achievement considering that before the sensor was introduced; people were required to urinate on a piece of paper to get a rough estimate of their blood glucose levels. But with this amazing glucose monitoring method in place, it is now possible to get an accurate update every few minutes.
People with type 2 diabetes needing injected insulin have something to smile about. This is because of the introduction of more refined insulin pumps which provide smaller and more accurate doses of insulin. Experts are currently working on a technology that will wholly mechanize the collaboration of continuous glucose monitor and the insulin pump. This will make pressing of the button on the pump when a monitor gives out signals unnecessary. The monitor will instead prompt the pump to release the insulin dose directly. The two will work together without a patient’s participation thus creating what specialists term as “artificial pancreas”.
For years, it has been known that lifestyle just like diet and exercise, are important in the management of type 2 diabetes. In fact, a research carried out during the last decade has further clarified a connection between the two. It indicated that controlling glucose aggressively with changes in lifestyle can lessen heart disease risks in diabetics. Mostly, experts recommend that people with diabetes should get weekly exercises of not less than 150 minutes in addition to strength training.
Regarding food varieties, there is no diabetes diet that can be termed as one-size-fits-all. Therefore, a person needs to be both flexible and creative when it comes to choosing a meal plan. Studies show that many people respond quite well to low-carbs and Mediterranean foods. It is therefore important to consult a dietician who has experience in the treatment of diabetes. To enable you to stick to your diet plan for a long time, you need to get customised to it.
Although studies during the last 10 years have shown how changes in lifestyle work favourably for diabetes, there is still a hurdle. It is quite challenging for people to make vast changes to their diets and lifestyles and stick to them. This has therefore prompted many diabetes doctors to put people on medications faster, unlike in the past. Since glucose control is critical, doctors may not wait to see a person try to adopt healthier lifestyle habits without any success.
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