Diabetes type 1 is a chronic disease, it occurs when the pancreas produce too little insulin to meet the body’s needs. Insulin is the hormone which controls the level of glucose in the blood. After you eat, foods are broken down into sugar in the gut. The sugar is also called glucose. It is absorbed through the gut wall into the bloodstream. The body cells use the glucose as fuel for energy. Your blood glucose level should not go too high or too low, in order to remain healthy. If the body does not produce enough insulin or if the insulin that is produced does not work properly on the body’s cells, the resultant condition is called as diabetes.
A person who has type 1 diabetes needs insulin therapy for survival. For lowering blood sugar levels oral insulin is not an option because insulin taken orally interacts with the stomach enzymes and gets digested and does not enter the blood stream. Insulin is often taken through a fine needle syringe or an ink pen like device in which the cartridge is filled with insulin. Another option is an insulin pump. It is a device the size of cell phone, which is worn on the outside of your body. The reservoir of insulin is connected to a tube; the other end of the tube has a fine needle which is inserted under the skin of your abdomen. The pump is so designed that it dispenses specific amounts of insulin automatically. Depending on meals, activity level and blood sugar level it can be adjusted to deliver required amount of insulin.
Insulin is available in many types, which include long-acting insulin, rapid- acting insulin and intermediate acting insulin. The examples of insulin are isophane (Humulin N, Novolin N), regular insulin (Humulin R, Novolin R, insulin aspart (NovoLog), insulin glargine (Lantus) and insulin lispro (Humalog). Your doctor will prescribe a mixture of insulin types for your use. Other medications are also prescribed sometimes by your doctor. For example an injection of pramlintide (Symlin) before you eat can slow the movement of food through your stomach. Thereby the abrupt increase in blood sugar that occurs after your meals is curbed. In order to help prevent heart and blood vessel disease your doctor may recommend a low- dose aspirin therapy. An injectable medicine known as Symlin, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to control blood sugar in adults with type 1 diabetes. When patients are unable to achieve sufficient control over their blood sugar level with insulin therapy alone then symlin is recommended to be used in addition to insulin.
For treatment of type1 diabetes other than insulin, symlin is the only therapy.
Exubera is rapid-acting human insulin. It is inhaled through the mouth. Its function is to lower the levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is used in adults with type 1 diabetes. However, it is not recommended if you have a lung disease which has not been controlled with medications or other treatments. It is advised that exubera should be used not more than 10 minutes before eating a meal when you use it as a meal-time insulin. Exubera is only a part of the treatment the other important parts of treatment includes exercise, weight control, diet and testing your blood sugar at regular intervals.
Apidra is a hormone that is generated in the body. Its function is to lower the levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is not recommended if you are allergic to insulin, or if you have had an incident of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). You should tell your doctor before using Apidra if you have had kidney or liver disease or are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You have to use it 15 minutes before or 20 minutes after you commence eating a meal. When compared to regular human insulin it is a faster-acting form of insulin.
Remember diabetes care and management includes exercise, weight control, diet, dental care, foot care, eye care and testing your blood sugar. Apidra and Exubera are only a part of the treatment regime.
These are the type 1 diabetes medications presently used by health care professionals.
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