Diabetes is often referred to as diabetes mellitus by medical professionals and is a metabolic disorder in which blood glucose levels rise. This is either due to incapacity in the production of insulin or body cells do not respond properly to insulin.
Insulin is a hormone prepared by islets of Langerhans which maintain blood sugar levels in the body, getting too high or too low. So when food is consumed, blood sugar levels increase hence insulin will be released in the blood to maintain the level.
If the body consumes more than the required amount of sugar, insulin will store the excess amount in the liver and release when it is required such as physical activity or when blood glucose is low.
Insulin is a key element in glucose management in the body. When this insulin doesn’t work properly i.e. when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or body can’t manage insulin, the condition is called diabetes.
What Are The Different Types Of Diabetes?
Diabetes is a life-long disease which needs management with proper exercise and diet. There are three different types of diabetes-
- Type I
- Type II
- Gestational diabetes
Type-I diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroy cells of beta Langerhans which produced insulin. This damage is permanent.
The reason is unknown yet environmental and genetic factors may play a huge role.
Therefore, people with type I diabetes cannot produce insulin for maintaining blood sugar levels.
These people need to take insulin injections which can be a faster way in order to tackle the blood sugar level which may arise after consumption of food.
In type-II diabetes, insulin isn’t produced enough to process the sugar or are resistant to insulin.
For type 2 diabetes patients, insulin shots, as well as oral medications, are prescribed to prevent long-term complications associated with diabetes.
With oral medications and injection, diet and exercise are also required. Type II is a long-term progressive disease which requires a lot of maintenance.
While gestational diabetes occurs only in pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is due to insulin-blocking hormones produced in pregnancy.
For type-II diabetes, oral medications play an important role. The first line of medication usually is metformin (Glumetza, Glucophage, Fortamet).
Apart from metformin, there can be a bunch of other medications which doctors can prescribe. This can include insulin injections too.
If you have been on insulin injection, chances are you are taking anything between 10-20 units per day.
Insulin injections with oral medications have been a combination of therapy for many patients. While insulin is an instant work for maintenance for blood sugar level oral medication are like long-term therapy given for daily maintenance.
Even if anti-diabetic pills bring down blood glucose levels, you still need to take insulin injection.
The combination varies patient to patient as their personal health and lifestyle may differ which may lead to a different combination. While insulin injection is inevitable for a diabetic patient, oral medication works differently.
Oral diabetes medication after a few years of course typically doesn’t work. The reason is yet unknown. This doesn’t mean diabetes you have is getting worse or your medication isn’t enough.
When a particular oral medication stop showing its effect on blood sugar levels, it may be due to impromptu resistance from the medication to the insulin.
No matter, how much proper medication or insulin injection you take, the stress and health factors are crucial in maintaining blood sugar levels.
Also, if you suffer from any other disease, that medication should work in sync with diabetes medication so that they don’t create any complications.
When planning the pregnancy, diabetes can only be controlled by exercise and diet as diabetic pills are contraindicated in pregnancy.
There is no ‘best medication’ or only ‘one medication’ therapy, the best therapy for diabetes include a combination of medicines, insulin, diet and exercise for long stress-free life.