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Health Management and Education

Health Management and Education

Treatments for diabetes

Several treatments are available for diabetes: pills, insulin, diet, exercise, and/or weight loss.  You may need one of these treatments or you may need all of them.  Talk with your diabetes care team to learn about your treatment options and to determine which treatment(s) is best for you. 

Type 1 diabetes:

insulin injectionWith this type of diabetes, the beta cells in the pancreas produce no insulin or too little insulin to regulate blood glucose levels, so insulin injections are required.  Insulin cannot be taken as a pill. The insulin would be broken down during digestion just like the protein in food. Insulin must be injected into the fat under your skin for it to get into your blood.  There are several types of insulin all of which work differently. In addition to insulin, Type 1 diabetes management also includes healthy eating and regular activity. See insulin for more information. 

Type 2 diabetes:

PillsIn type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. When the body is unable to use the insulin properly it is referred to as insulin resistance. Your role in managing insulin resistance is eating properly, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight.  Pills are also commonly used to help control blood sugar. Over time, insulin may be added to your treatment plan.  See medications for more information.


Gestational diabetes:

Due to the hormones of pregnancy, insulin resistance causes high blood sugars. Common treatment plans include a personalized carbohydrate-controlled diet, regular physical activity and, at times, insulin injections, until the baby is born.