Diabetes has become an epidemic in our country, with millions of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and the number growing every year. Diabetes is known as a condition related to insulin, but not all cases require insulin for treatment. Here’s what you need to know.
Insulin Dependent vs. Non-Insulin Dependent
Adults with “insulin dependent’ diabetes cannot produce their own insulin. The only way to manage this form of diabetes is to use daily insulin injections to force the body to process blood sugar properly. This is also now known as type 1 diabetes.
People with “non-insulin dependent” diabetes, however, have the potential ability to make lifestyle adjustments to control their diabetes, such as more physical activity, strategic eating, and no smoking. This is also now known as type 2 diabetes.
Since regular insulin injections aren’t ideal treatment for type 2 diabetics, pharmaceutical companies created and gained FDA approval for injectable non-insulin drugs that still help the body produce enough insulin and use it efficiently.
The Role of Non-Insulin Injectables in Diabetes Management
The first type of non-insulin medication is GLP-1, known to most people by the brand names Byetta, Trulicity, Tanzeum, Adly Xin, and Victoza. This medication stimulates the pancreas into producing more insulin. It also reduces the speed at which the liver produces glucose. In this way, the non-insulin injectable can support diabetes management without direct insulin injections.
The other type of non-insulin medicine, amylin analog, is sold as Symlin. This makes the body take longer to digest food. This is important since blood glucose levels usually spike during food digestion, so by making the digestion occur slowly, glucose spikes can largely be avoided.
Which Medication Is Right For You?
It’s very important to speak to a doctor before selecting a non-insulin medication. Make every attempt at lifestyle changes before relying on a medication, and be prepared for side effects like weight loss.
Call (352) 666-6950 to learn more about diabetes and your potential treatment options from the doctors at IMC Family Doctor in Florida.