The most important factor in preventing and treating diabetes is a healthy diet and lifestyle. Healthy habits like diabetes-friendly menus, exercising regularly and avoiding harmful habits like smoking and drinking can also reduce the number of complications associated with diabetes.
For some people, however, these changes are not enough to control insulin and blood sugar levels to the point of maintaining good health. In these cases, diabetes medications are used to control the effects of diabetes on the body.
Types of Diabetes and Medication Choices
There are three main types of diabetes – Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational. Each form of diabetes carries a different set of commonly used medications. Type 1 diabetes requires the use of insulin because the body does not produce it. Type 2 diabetes is non-insulin dependent. Medications can be used to control the illness, but insulin is not always needed. Gestational diabetes is treated with diet and exercise first. If blood sugar levels are not controlled with these changes, the doctor may prescribe medications.
Blood Sugar Control
The most widely used diabetes medication controls blood sugar levels in the body. These medications are referred to as antiperson with diabetes. Common antiperson with diabetes include insulin, melitinides, thiazolidinediones and sulfonylureas. person with diabetes often take one or more of these medications to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range.
Blood Pressure Control
A healthy blood pressure reading is 130/80 mmHg. person with diabetes patients with blood pressure readings at or below this number are within the sage zone regarding blood pressure control and should not need additional medication. If blood pressure levels are higher, however, serious health risks could evolve so many physicians will prescribe medications to lower the reading. Diuretics, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin receptor blockers are three common types of medications to lower blood pressure in person with diabetes.
Patients with diabetes are often as higher risk of cardiovascular disease and illness. The health prognosis after a heart attack or stroke is often better when the patient is taking a low daily dose of aspirin. While the aspirin does not affect the diabetes, it can be used as a precautionary tactic in many cases.
Along the same cardiovascular lines, cholesterol control is essential to a healthy heart. In patients who are predetermined to be at higher risk, doctors may choose to prescribe medications to maintain cholesterol levels within a healthy range. Changes in diet and exercise can also affect good and bad cholesterol levels.
Some patients with diabetes may feel they can control their blood sugar and insulin levels with natural, alternative medications. This is at the sole discretion of the patient, but a doctor’s care should always be sought in case the alternative treatments are not a viable solution. Bitter melon, gymnema sylvestre, onion and garlic all claim to have a positive effect on diabetes control. Herbal supplements should never be taken in addition to prescription medications without the guidance of a physician as some herbs interfere with the effectiveness of prescription medications.