Type 2 diabetes is disease in which a person’s insulin levels are low relative to the glucose concentration in the body. Although a type 2 diabetic is not insulin requiring compared with a type 1 diabetic, the use of insulin to control blood sugars are often needed.
The use of insulin is introduced as part of a type 2 diabetic when the pancreas becomes “burned out” and no longer produces insulin.
There are at least three types of medications that should be part of the treatment regimen of a diabetic. These medications include:
There are several classes of diabetic medications on the market today. The oldest class of medication that are still widely used are the sulfonylureas such as Glyburide. Metformin (Glucophage) is a commonly prescribed medication that sensitizes the insulin receptors found on muscle cells to transport glucose from the blood into the cells. Because it is both effective and inexpensive, it is a popular option for many physicians.
There are other classes of FDA approved medication that are on the market today and effectively used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Many of them have been combined with Glucophage to increase their efficacy. The class of antihypertensive medication ACE Inhibitors are prescribed to patients with diabetes to lower blood pressure while simultaneously providing kidney protection.
Cholesterol lowering medications such as the Statins (i.e Zocor, Lipitor) are used to achieve LDL goal of <70. By lowering the blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels with these medications, the risk of developing heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, loss of limb, and vision impairment are decreased. Lifestyle modifications that include diet and exercise are recommended adjuncts to pharmacological treatment.
Visit your healthcare provider for a complete physical exam which should include your vital signs, a detailed history and physical exam and fasting laboratory tests. Fasting means nothing to eat or drink for at least six hours prior to labs. Ask your provider to check your blood glucose level as well as your cholesterol levels.
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