Managing Your Diabetes: Lifestyle, Oral Medications and Insulin

According to a study conducted by the IDF(International Diabetes Federation) in 2014, the Bahamas continues to lead the world in the prevalence of diabetes. Although diabetes is such a common disease, it is still very dangerous and needs to be properly managed.

There are two types of diabetes and the course of treatment for each is somewhat different. In both types, the main goal is to control the level of glucose in the blood before it begins to seriously effect vital organs. If left untreated,diabetes can slowly shut down the body causing blindness, kidney failure and even death.

Type 2 diabetics, can usually adequately monitor their diabetes through exercise and diet. In some cases, these steps might not be enough and oral medication may be required. Medicines that a type 2 diabetic might take would fall into one of these categories: Biguanides, Meglitinides, Sulfonylureas, Thiazolidinediones, Alpha glucosidase inhibitors, Dipeptidyl peptidase inhibitors, Ergot alkaloids, Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2 inhibitors), Bile acid sequestrants and Combination medications. The popular and inexpensive drug, Metformin, is a Biguanide.

Type 1 diabetics must use insulin to control their condition and, like Type 2 diabetics, they are also encouraged to change their lifestyle by adding exercise and closely monitoring their sugar and carbohydrate intake.

Modern medicine has made deliverance of insulin to the Type 1 diabetics very convenient and for the most part, painless. They can use insulin filled pens and insulin pumps to inject themselves in the convenience of their own home.

Insulin is a hormone that works by allowing the body to use glucose as fuel. After carbohydrates are broken down into sugars in the stomach, glucose enters the blood circulation and stimulates the pancreas to release insulin in the proper amount. Insulin allows body cells to uptake glucose as energy. (

Another effective way of managing diabetes is the frequent monitoring blood sugar levels using a glucose testing monitor. Although not all diabetics use one, they can be very helpful in keeping track of glucose in the blood. Keeping a daily log of your results and then sharing that information with your doctor can help tremendously with treatment.

Diabetics can lead very fulfilling lives if they take care to manage their condition by eating right, exercising, making regular visits to their doctor, taking their medication/insulin if necessary and closely monitoring their blood sugar.