Treatment of all types of diabetes is aimed on optimal blood glucose control that minimises risks of long-term complications.
There are treatment differences depending on the type of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes treatment differs from type 2 diabetes in that respect that type 1 diabetes is non preventable autoimmune condition which results in destruction of pancreatic cells and leading to insulin deficiency production. Life of people with type 1 diabetes is then dependent on regular administration of insulin.
Insulin can only be administered as a subcutaneous injection because when given orally it is inactivated by digestive enzymes. There are several types of insulin and insulin devices for administration available on the pharmaceutical market. They are generally divided into short-acting (Actrapid, NovoRapid), long-acting (Lantus, Levemir) and biphasic insulin (NovoMix, Mixtard). Mixtures of insulins are usually required for the best control of blood glucose in each individual patient. The regime and the type of insulin will vary between patients because it is adjusted to severity of individual condition.
Type 2 diabetes treatment differs from type 1 diabetes in that respect that type 2 diabetes is preventable condition which should be adequately controlled by maintaining healthy diet, regular exercise and optimal weight. There are treatment targets set by international and national diabetic guidelines, where the aim is to maintain optimal levels of: blood glucose, blood pressure and lipids. People with type 2 diabetes need to understand the importance of these measures to control the progress of their condition and being able to prevent its complications.
Diabetic diet is one single measure how to control type-2 diabetes. Eating the right food, in the right amounts and at the right time prevents peaks in blood glucose levels.
Exercise helps the body to utilise glucose into cells thus optimises blood glucose levels, and lipids levels, and also facilitates weight control.
Oral anti-diabetic medications (metformin, gliclazide) should only be administered as a supplement to diet and exercise, where these are not sufficiently controlling the condition.
Insulin treatment is added or substituted for oral medications in some cases, when patient’s diabetes is not managed by oral anti-diabetic medications.
Gestational diabetes treatment concentrates on preventative measures, such as diet modification and moderate exercise.