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Diabetes—Facts, Types, and Treatment Options

Diabetes is a general classification for a number of diseases that occur as a function of improper or unbalanced metabolism and hormone insulin problems. The digestion process directly impacts our bodies and when there is a malfunction of the normal process, diabetes could be a result. The classifications of diabetes are as follows: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

How it Happens

In a normal functioning body the pancreas will release insulin to aid the body in its job of storing and utilizing sugars and fats accumulated from the food that is ingested. Diabetes may occur in multiple scenarios such as, if the pancreas does not produce any insulin whatsoever or produces too little insulin, or if a body is resistant to the insulin's directive (known as insulin resistance). Diabetes will develop if blood glucose is too high, so keeping a regular, yearly check on your blood levels with testing is key to preventing diabetes. Many times an early blood test will spot signs of potential problems and a lifestyle and diet change may, in some cases, be able to change the course and prevent diabetes from developing.

Expectations for Diabetics

If you are given the diagnosis of diabetes, you should know that you would not be alone in your fight for as many as 18 million Americans may have the disease. The good news, or silver lining, is that diabetes can be managed. While there is no cure for this disease and management is a lifelong process, with the proper diet, exercise, and daily regulation of medications and testing, diabetes for many can be managed effectively. A healthy life is within your reach in most cases.

The Three Main Categories of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes:

With type 1 diabetes the body is not making any insulin and your body's immune system is defeating the cells within your pancreas that are needed to produce insulin. If you have type 1 diabetes you will need to take insulin daily.

Type 2 Diabetes:

With type 2 diabetes the body is either making insulin inefficiently or not utilizing the insulin produced in a satisfactory manner. Type 2 is the type of diabetes that most people suffer from.

Gestational Diabetes:

This is a type of diabetes that can develop in women during pregnancy. In most cases, after the birth of the baby, this type of diabetes will abate on its own and pass entirely. It is important to note that those who experience gestational diabetes will be at greater risk afterward for developing type 2 diabetes. With this in mind, mothers should pay close attention to blood tests and screenings to avoid developing further diabetes in the future.

Treatment

Dietary and lifestyle changes are necessary for anyone who is diagnosed with diabetes. As diabetes, in many cases, is directly related to metabolism and how your body processes food in general, providing your body with the healthiest options of foods is the first step in the right direction to tackling diabetes. Beyond dietary and lifestyle changes, and regular maintenance and monitoring of your levels, there are medications that can help to manage your diabetes. Talk to your doctor about the medication options for your particular type of diabetes. Compounded medications may be easier for the body to handle or digest. Ask your doctor if compounded medications may be the best option for your diabetes medications. If you have questions about compounding or compounded medications, ask your local compounding pharmacist for more information.

Some of the More Commonly Prescribed Medications and Medication Combinations for Diabetes and Diabetes-Related Conditions: (listed in alphabetical order)

  • Acarbose
  • Albiglutide
  • Alogliptin
  • Alogliptin/Metformin
  • Alogliptin/Pioglitazone
  • Bromocriptine Mesylate
  • Canaglifozin
  • Canagliflozin/Metformin
  • Dapagliflozin
  • Dapagliflozin/Metformin
  • Dulaglutide
  • Empagliflozin
  • Empagliflozin/Linagliptin
  • Empagliflozin/Metformin
  • Exenatide
  • Glimepiride
  • Glyburide
  • Glyburide/Metformin
  • Insulin Aspart
  • Insulin Degludec
  • Insulin Glargine
  • Insulin Isophane
  • Insulin Isophane/Regular Insulin
  • Insulin Lispro
  • Linagliptin
  • Liraglutide
  • Metformin
  • Miglitol
  • Nateglinide
  • Pioglitazone
  • Repaglinide
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Rosiglitazone/Glimepiride
  • Rosiglitazone/Metformin
  • Saxagliptin
  • Semaglutide
  • Sitagliptin
  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA