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Insulin treatments (injections, oral meds & pumps)

Posted on August 26, 2015

Thanks to research advances, there are more, and better, options available to treat Diabetes.  Oral medications, which treat the deficiencies in Diabetes have been developed.  The medications are effective and generally safer than older medications such as sulfonylureas.  The newer medications tend to not cause hypoglycemia and they are associated with either weight loss or no weight gain.  Oral medications are currently available, which increase insulin levels and lower glucagon. One oral medication induces the kidneys to lose glucose in the urine, thereby lowering the blood sugar.

One relatively new class of injectible meds is available to be given in daily and weekly injections.  Insulin is also being developed which provides a more predictable background or basal insulin and faster mealtime insulins are being developed.  Inhaled insulin has recently been approved as a rapid-acting mealtime insulin.

One of the most predictable ways to give insulin is with an insulin pump.  Insulin pumps constantly infuse a small amount of insulin to provide a basal insulin.  At mealtimes the user enters data, such as amount of carbohydrate to be eaten and the fingerstick sugar result to help calculate the mealtime insulin dose.  In our practice, it is estimated that over 50-60% of people with Type 1 Diabetes are using insulin pumps.