There are many methods available for treating diabetes. These options have made it much easier to manage this condition as we continue closer to the reality that takes us beyond the finger prick.
When an individual is living with diabetes, several factors go into maintaining target glucose levels. This is done in various ways, such as through diet, oral medications, insulin, and regular screenings. Here’s a closer look at what those entail:
• Diet: Eating a diet that’s high in nutrition and fiber and low in fats and calories.
• Oral medications: There are over 40 oral medications that have FDA approval to treat diabetes. The most common ones include:
o Sulfonylureas and Glinides: These drugs help the pancreas release more insulin.
o Biguanides: These medications help reduce how much glucose the liver produces. It also improves how insulin works in the body and slows down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.
o GLP-1 analogs: These drugs help increase insulin release, reduce the glucose release from the liver after meals, and delay food emptying from the stomach.
o DPP-4 inhibitors: These medications help your pancreas increase insulin release after meals. They also lower the amount of glucose released by the liver.
o SGLT2 inhibitors: These work with your kidneys to remove glucose in your body through your urine.
• Insulin: Insulin can be given through various methods such as pens, pumps, injection ports, inhalers, vial and syringe, and more. Several types of insulin are available that work at a different speed, known, and last a different length of time.
o Rapid-acting- It starts working in about 15 minutes and lasts about 2-4 hours.
o Short-acting- Takes about 30 minutes for onset and lasts 3-6 hours.
o Intermediate-acting- Starts working 2-4 hours after injection and lasts 12-18 hours.
o Long-acting- Takes several hours for onset and can last 24 hours or longer.
• Regular screenings: Checking your glucose level is done by three blood tests:
o A fasting plasma glucose test is done after at least 8 hours with nothing to eat or drink in the past 8 hours except water.
o Random plasma glucose tests can be done any time without the need to fast.
o A1c test, also called HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin test, provides an average blood glucose level over the past two to three months. It measures the amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in your red blood cells.
Keeping blood sugars in an optimal range is vital to avoiding complications from diabetes. While it can initially be overwhelming to balance all the components that go into managing diabetes, researchers and scientists continue searching for ways to make it easier. Thanks to their efforts, technological breakthroughs have led to fewer finger pricks and more advanced options for individuals living with diabetes.
Want to learn how to help advance diabetes medicine as a clinical research volunteer? Contact the team here at Rainier Clinical Research Center toll-free at 888-478-8343 or visit our enrolling studies webpage today!
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