Ask most people about diabetes medicine and they will
automatically think of insulin injections. While these are necessary for Type 1 diabetics and some people that
suffer with severe Type 2 diabetes, there are a number of other diabetes treatment drugs and diabetes alternative
medicines available that are less well known.
Diabetes treatment drugs
If you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, your doctor may
initially recommend that you control your blood sugar with a mixture of diet, exercise and diabetes medicines that
are designed to lower your blood sugar. There are six major groups of diabetes medicine other
than insulin, which are:
- Sulfonylureas - to stimulate your pancreas to increase insulin production.
- Biguanides - decreases the amount of
glucose made by your liver.
- Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors - slows starch absorption to control blood sugar
- Thiazolidinediones - to make you more sensitive to insulin.
- Meglitinides - stimulates your
pancreas to increase insulin production.
derivatives - helps to speed up insulin production in your
Your doctor may recommend that you take a combination of two of the above diabetes
medicines. This might mean taking two separate pills, or a combined dose containing two types of diabetes
medicine. Although your specific diabetes medicine may have a different brand name, it
will contain one or more of the above drug groups.....read more
about diabetes treatment drugs.
If you cannot control your blood sugar levels with these diabetes medicines, your
doctor may prescribe insulin injections, either on their own or as well as diabetes treatment
Taking insulin as diabetes medication
Insulin is a protein and so cannot be taken in pill form as the digestive system
would break it down making it ineffective. Insulin shots are taken between two and four
times a day, and the speed with which it works depends on the part of the body the insulin is injected
into. Injecting insulin into the stomach produces the fastest effects, whereas injecting
into the thighs produces the slowest effects.
What diabetes alternative medicine is available?
Many people choose to try alternative medicine instead of diabetes treatment drugs,
or complementary medicine along with their diabetes medication, to try to find a more natural way to
alleviate symptoms of diabetes. Although research has shown some benefits of the following treatments, more
tests are necessary to produce definitive results.
- Vanadium has been shown to normalize blood sugar levels in animals. When
used as a complementary diabetes medicine vanadium can enable type 2 diabetics to reduce their insulin
- Ginseng is a diabetes herbal medicine that can lower blood sugar levels
when used over a period of time.
- Magnesium deficiency can increase diabetes complications and make blood
sugar control more difficult in type 2 diabetics. A magnesium supplement can be used as a complementary
- Chromium can be used as a diabetes medicine to increase the efficiency of
insulin in the body.
- Biofeedback for diabetes is a popular alternative
medicine. This uses relaxation and stress reduction techniques to teach the body to deal
with chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
- Acupuncture is frequently used to provide relief from the pain of certain
diabetes related complications such as neuropathy.
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