Advances in oral diabetes medications and insulin types/delivery methods mean there are more options than ever before for people with diabetes
All people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin to manage their diabetes.
When first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, some people may not need any diabetes medication; they are able to control their diabetes by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly. But, most people with type 2 diabetes will need to start taking diabetes medication (oral agents) soon after diagnosis to help manage their diabetes. Also, the longer a person has diabetes the more likely they will need to increase their diabetes medications or start taking insulin by injection to help manage their diabetes.
Follow the schedule you have discussed with your health care team.
- Don’t skip your pills or insulin
- Keep records of your dosages to help spot trends
- Review your medications with your doctor so that adjustments can be made as required
- Make sure your doctor or pharmacist has a list of all the medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are taking
For people with type 2 diabetes, a medicine called an oral hypoglycemic agent may be used to lower blood glucose. Oral hypoglycemic agents help the pancreas produce more insulin and/or make the body's cells more sensitive to its own insulin. Oral hypoglycemic agents do not contain insulin.
Learn more about oral medications.
Insulin is a hormone the body needs to convert sugar, starches, and other food into the energy necessary for daily living. There are various insulins and schedules that can be used. It is important that people who take insulin understand how insulin works, what factors affect its action, and what schedule will work best for them.
- Everyone must have insulin to survive
- People with type 1 diabetes make little or no insulin, so they need daily doses of insulin
- People with type 2 diabetes still make insulin, but are unable to use it well. They also may need insulin injections to control glucose.
- To date, insulin can successfully be given only by injection or insulin pump
- Most people who need insulin take two or more injections per day and use more than one type of insulin (NPH and Regular, for example)
Learn more about insulin, injecting insulin and insulin pumps.