Saturday, January 19, 2013

Diabetes Treatment and Management

Despite extensive research, numerous medications that have come to market, and continued scientific advances, a cure for diabetes has yet to be found. However, there are numerous medications and forms of management equipment for diabetes and the future brings great hope for continued progress in the search for a cure.

Bringing new medications and disease managing equipment to market can be slowed by barriers within the pharmaceutical company industry. In addition, the FDA has a whole host of rules, regulations and legal barriers that slow down the research, creation and commercialization of cures. However, the American Diabetes Association is hoping to encourage research with their “Pathway to Stop Diabetes” program.

There has been research done that speculates that type 1 diabetes may be reversed by a tuberculosis vaccine. The vaccine is called bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and it stimulates production of a protein that kills insulin-attacking cells, according to a study published in PLOS One Journal. The study showed that 2 out of 3 patients given the BCG injection had signs of renewed insulin production. They are now planning on a larger study pending on funding.

No one knows what cures the future will bring. In the meantime, sufferers of diabetes type 1 and type 2 should continue maintenance treatments. The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is how the body produces insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body produces insulin, but it either does not produce enough or it does not utilize it properly. Untreated diabetes can lead to serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, loss of limbs, and damage to the nerves, eyes or kidneys. A cure for this serious condition would help so many sufferers.

Blood sugar is monitored usually by a finger stick and a portable machine which you can learn more about at Such a device will read your glucose levels, indicating how much—if any—insulin is required. Patients should monitor their blood sugar levels at the same time every day for consistency.
Medication treatments include insulin injections or pumps and prescription medications. Common prescriptions include Metformin, Glipizide and Glimepiride.

Lifestyle and knowledge are important factors in treating and maintaining diabetes. Do your research. Be committed to maintaining your diabetes in hopes of a cure someday. Many suffers are overweight. Losing weight helps your body in many facets, including utilizing blood sugar. Eat a diet full of fruits, veggies, whole grains and limit bad fats such as saturated and trans fats. Some professionals recommend the Glycemic Index (GI) diet, which monitors carbohydrate-rich foods by how fast the body turns them into blood sugar versus the “no sugar” diet. Regular exercise is also extremely important. Aim for 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise. 

You also want to keep up to date with eye and foot examinations, as these can be problem areas for diabetes sufferers. The sooner a problem is detected, the better.

The above entry is a guest blog entry.

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