Type 1 Diabetes Treatment
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas no longer produces insulin to manage blood sugar levels naturally. To avoid major consequences and stay healthy, doctors advise insulin treatment to maintain your blood sugar.
Because type 1 diabetes results from the pancreas’ inability to produce insulin, you need to take supplemental doses to fill the gap. It is vital to have enough insulin since this hormone is responsible for managing your blood sugar and keeping it in a healthy range.
What are your treatment options for type 1 diabetes? Well, there are several treatments you can do. The most common are the following:
- Taking insulin
- Keeping track of carbs, lipids, and protein intake
- Frequently monitoring blood sugar
- Eating nutritious food that are rich in fiber and low on carbs.
- Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight
Your goal here is to keep your blood sugar at normal levels to delay or prevent further health problems. Keep your daytime blood sugar levels before meals between 80 and 130 mg/dL (4.44 to 7.2 mmol/L). Post-meal numbers should not exceed 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L) two hours after eating.
Types of Insulin
Anyone with type 1 diabetes needs insulin therapy for the rest of their lives. Thanks to the advancement in health technology, there are now different types of insulin a patient can benefit from.
Insulin now comes in a variety of forms, including:
- Short-acting insulin – This form of insulin, often known as regular insulin, begins to act roughly 30 minutes after injection. It reaches a peak effect at 90 to 120 minutes and lasts about 4 to 6 hours. Humulin R, Novolin R, and Afrezza are a few examples.
- Rapid-acting insulin – This form of insulin takes effect within 15 minutes. This is taken 15 to 20 minutes before meals. Examples of these are Glulisine (Apidra), lispro (Humalog, Admelog, and Lyumjev), and Aspart (Novolog and FiAsp).
- Intermediate-acting insulin – This form of insulin, also known as NPH insulin, takes effect typically in 1 to 3 hours. Insulin NPH (Novolin N, Humulin N) is one example.
- Long- and ultra-long-acting insulin – This type of insulin can last from 14 to 40 hours. Glargine (Lantus, Toujeo Solostar, Basaglar), Detemir (Levemir), and Degludec (Tresiba) are some examples.
Typically, you will need several regular injections that include both long-acting and rapid-acting insulin. Research has shown that a combination of three or more insulin injections a day improves blood sugar levels. However this depends on several factors such as the severity of diabetes and underlying health conditions of the patient.
Future Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Options
Some of the procedures you may want to consider in the future for treatment of your type 1 diabetes include:
Pancreas transplant -Pancreas transplants are used for patients with very difficult-to-manage diabetes. You would no longer need insulin shots daily with a successful pancreas transplant. The only problem is that pancreas transplants are not always successful, and the operation poses serious risks. Due to these risks, this option can be more dangerous than diabetes itself.
Islet cell transplantation. Researchers are investigating the effectiveness of islet cell transplantation. This gives new insulin-producing cells from a donor pancreas. However, it is important to note that this experimental method has experienced several issues in the past. But, new techniques and improved medications to prevent islet cell rejection may boost its chances of becoming an effective therapy one day.