There are a number of treatments available to help you manage and treat your diabetes. Everyone is different, so treatment will vary depending on your own individual needs. – If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to use insulin to treat your diabetes.
- You take the insulin by injection or by using a pump,
- If you have Type 2 diabetes, you may have to use insulin or tablets, though you might initially be able to treat your diabetes by eating well and moving more,
- If you have another type of diabetes, your treatment options may be different.
- Speak to your healthcare professional, or call our helpline if you’re not sure.
Your GP or a healthcare professional can help you find the right diabetes treatment plan to suit you and your lifestyle. People with diabetes are entitled to free prescriptions,
What are the basic treatments for diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes Medications – People with type 2 diabetes usually need treatment with oral medicines for several or even many years but may eventually need insulin to maintain glucose control. There are many types of medications that can be prescribed for you.
The various options may be overwhelming—memorizing all the names and technical terms isn’t important, but understanding that there ARE options is what you need to know. Work with your doctor to determine which of these might be most helpful for you. Metformin is a medication commonly used as the first medication for people with diabetes.
It is a pill taken by mouth and it comes in regular and slow release forms. It works by helping stop the liver from converting protein or fat into sugar. It does not cause an increase in the release of insulin but can make the body more sensitive to insulin effects.
- It may be taken on its own or with other diabetes pills or insulin.
- It also comes in a one pill combination with other diabetes medications.
- DPP-4 inhibitor medicines (generic names: sitagliptin saxagliptin, and linagliptin) are a type of incretin-based medicine for type 2 diabetes.
- This kind of medicine is based on the action of hormones called incretins, which help control how the pancreas works.
GLP-1 incretins cause your pancreas to produce more insulin after you eat, helping your body use glucose. The effects of GLP-1 only last a few minutes, because an enzyme (a substance that causes a chemical reaction in your body) called DPP-4 quickly breaks down GLP-1 in the blood.
DPP-4 inhibitors block the action of the DPP-4 enzyme. This makes GLP-1 last longer and increases the amount of GLP-1 in your blood. More GLP-1 means less glucose build-up in the blood. DPP-4 inhibitors come in pill form and are taken by mouth. They are used alone or in combination with other diabetes medicines.
They are also available in combination pills that contain a DPP-4 inhibitor and another type of diabetes medicine. Your dose of sitagliptin or saxagliptin (but not linagliptin) may need to be adjusted if you have kidney problems. GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines, also called incretin mimetics, are a type of incretin-based medicine for type 2 diabetes.
This type of medicine is based on the action of hormones called incretins, which help control how the pancreas works. One type of incretin, called GLP-1, causes your pancreas to produce more insulin after you eat and helps keep blood glucose levels in the normal range. These medicines (exenatide, dulaglutide, lixisenatide, liraglutide and semaglutide) copy, or mimic, the action of GLP-1 made by your body.
The effects of GLP-1 only last for a few minutes, but GLP-1 receptor agonists medicines can last for hours or days. GLP-1 receptor agonists come most commonly as a liquid, which you inject under the skin on your abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Depending on which medicine you use, you inject it either once or twice daily, or once weekly.
- Semaglutide also comes as a pill dosed once daily.
- GLP-1 receptor agonists are used alone or along with other diabetes medicines.
- Sodium-Glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors is a class of diabetes medications that comes as a pill.
- This group of medications stops the kidneys from taking glucose back into the blood and the excess glucose is released into the urine.
These medicines (canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and empagliflozin) can be used alone or in combincation with other diabetes medications. Insulin secretagogues are one type of medicine for type 2 diabetes. Many people with type 2 diabetes don’t make enough insulin.
- Insulin secretagogues help your pancreas make and release (or secrete) insulin.
- Insulin helps keep your blood glucose from being too high.
- Once your body gets the insulin it needs, you feel better.
- Your doctor might prescribe these insulin-releasing pills for you when you can’t reach your target blood glucose levels with a healthy diet, exercise, and other diabetes medicines.
Sulfonylureas (Generic names): Glimepiride, Glipizide, Glyburide Meglitinides (Generic names): Repaglinide, Nateglinide
TZDs, also called thiazolidinediones or “glitazones,” are a type of pill for type 2 diabetes. The generic names are:
Pioglitazone (used most often) Rosiglitazone (rarely used)
TZDs help keep your blood glucose levels on target by decreasing insulin resistance and making body tissues more sensitive to insulin’s effects. Then glucose can enter your cells where it is needed. TZDs also cut down on the amount of glucose made by your liver, which can be far too much in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Several other types of diabetes pills are available.
- Each type works in a different way.
- Rarely you might take a TZD as your only diabetes medicine but most often you take it with another type of diabetes pill, such as metformin or a sulfonylurea.
- Some people take combination pills that contain a TZD plus another type of diabetes medicine.
Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Provider
What else can I do to keep my blood glucose levels under control? How often should I have check-ups? What side effects can happen with my medicines? What should I do if I forget to take my diabetes medicine? Should I see a diabetes educator? Should I see an endocrinologist for my diabetes care? What type of diabetes do I have? What kind of medicine do I need for my diabetes? What are the risks and benefits of the medicine? Do I need to take insulin? What type? How often?
Editor(s): Jessica Abramowitz, M.D., Leonor Corsino, M.D., MHS, Dr. Tadas Vasaitis, PHD, Yen Dang, PharmD Last Updated: January 24, 2022 Endocrine Society.”Thyroid Cancer | Endocrine Society.” Endocrine.org, Endocrine Society, 18 January 2022, http://admin.endocrine.org/?sc_mode=edit&sc_itemid=%7bE64BCF38-1719-40E3-85C8-3BA275BFFB54%7d&sc_version=1&sc_lang=en&sc_site=endocrine : Diabetes Treatments
What is the latest diabetes treatment?
How does this new diabetes medication work? – Teplizumab is a monoclonal antibody that modifies T cells in a way that prolongs the pancreas’ ability to create insulin. The drug is specific to a molecule called CD3, which is the “cognate” component of the T cell, Dr. Herold explains. This modulates the immune cells and prevents them from attacking the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
Can you treat diabetes on your own?
For most people behavior modification (initially with or without medications) with lifestyle changes can help manage type 2 diabetes. Excess weight increases insulin resistance, so by shedding just 7 to 10 percent of bodyweight, the body’s cells will be better able to respond to the insulin.
What are future treatments for type 2 diabetes?
Hormone-based therapies – For those currently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a pharmaceutical drug that can activate the production of hepatic insulin-sensitizing substance (HISS) is in the pipeline. This hormone is known as hepatalin. In the absence of adequate insulin, hepatalin stimulates the body’s ability to partition glucose into the muscle.
- The future of diabetes treatment is evolving, with new treatment paradigms targeting various aspects of the pathological causes of both type one and type 2 diabetes.
- Currently regarded as an epidemic by the World Health Organization, with an estimated 700 million individuals predicted to be affected by 2045, there currently remains an unmet need.
As such, the global diabetes drug market is projected to reach 68 billion by 2026, prompting the emergence of revolutionary technologies and pharmaceuticals to cure or significantly improve the efficacy of currently available standard-of-care, traditional insulin-based treatment.
What are the 3 treatment targets diabetes?
Transformation funding – Since 2017/18, NHS England has made around £150 million of transformation funding available to support projects from individual integrated care systems (ICSs) to reduce variation in access to services and improve outcomes for people living with diabetes, focussing on four evidence-based intervention areas:
Ensuring patients have access to specialist multidisciplinary footcare teams with an aim of reducing amputations Ensuring patients have access to diabetes inpatient specialist nursing teams in hospitals to improve the quality of their care Reducing variation in the achievement of the three NICE recommended treatment targets (HbA1c (blood sugar), cholesterol and blood pressure) for adults and one treatment target (HbA1c) for children Expanding provision of structured education (including digital options) to better support patient self-management.
From 2020/21, in line with the transition to the new operating model for the NHS and to best support system-led prioritisation, funding is now allocated to ICSs with funding amounts reflecting the proportion of the population in each area diagnosed with diabetes.