Treatment for Diabetes: Research is Important
Current Treatment for Diabetes: Options
The current treatment options for diabetes range from exercise and diet to medications multiple times per day. The actual treatment for one individual to the next remains relative to that individual and the progression of their particular case of diabetes. No one case of diabetes is the same and individuals respond differently to different treatments. Therefore, you should discuss with your physician your type 2 diabetes treatment options or type 1 diabetes treatment options. Type 1 Diabetes means that your body is not producing insulin. Insulin is your body’s way of taking glucose from the blood and bringing it into the cells. Without Insulin, this isn’t possible and leads to high blood sugar. The treatment options for type 1 diabetics include blood glucose monitoring and medications because type 1 diabetes requires the use of insulin. Type 2 Diabetes is defined as a lack of or inability to use insulin. Depending on the progression of your type 2 diabetes, your treatment options will vary. Type 2 diabetics may still have the ability to produce insulin. If this is the case, exercise and diet may be a good treatment plan for them. If they are having trouble utilizing the insulin in their body’s, medication may be needed.
Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Options
As mentioned, your diabetes type 2 treatment options will vary. Some milder cases can be managed with healthy eating and exercise while others may require oral medications or insulin. It is important to reach your target blood glucose levels regularly. If this cannot be done through diet and exercise, oral medication and or insulin may be necessary to help. Some medications can be used in combination to increase the effectiveness of treatment. There are many types of oral medications that we have briefly described below:
- Sulfonylureas – stimulate the pancreas (beta cells) to release more insulin, 1-2 times per day before meals
- Biguanides – lower blood glucose by decreasing amount produced by the liver, taken two times a day
- Meglitinides – also stimulate the pancreas/beta cells to release more insulin, taken prior to each meal (3 times per day)
- Thiazolidinediones – increase the effectiveness of insulin in muscle and fat and decrease liver glucose production
- DPP-4 Inhibitors – improve A1C without causing hypoglycemia by preventing your body from breaking down naturally occurring GLP-1, a compound that reduces blood glucose levels
- SGLT2 Inhibitors – stops the kidney from reabsorbing glucose in the blood during filtration, causing excess to be eliminated from the body
- Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors – lower blood glucose levels by blocking breakdown of starches in the intestine that would normally cause blood glucose to rise
- Bile Acid Sequestrants – cholesterol-lowering medication that reduces blood glucose, mechanism of lowering blood glucose not well understood
For more detailed information on each of the oral medications visit diabetes.org to learn more, click here.
Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Options
Type 1 Diabetes requires the use of insulin because the body does not create any. Insulin is injected into the body or administered through an insulin pump to ensure the proper uptake of glucose from the blood. There are 4 types of Insulin, each with individual traits that allow doctors to individualize treatment and some types of insulin can be put into a treatment plan together to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment. Insulin either has to be drawn up from a bottle or comes premixed in a pen. The different types of Insulin also have three characteristics, onset, peak, and duration.
- Rapid-Acting – this type of insulin starts working approximately 15 minutes after injection, peaks at about 1 hour, and works for about 2-4 hours after injection. Examples: Apidra, Humalog, NovoLog
- New product in 2015: inhaled insulin – rapid-acting insulin that is inhaled prior to each meal, out of your system within 180 minutes
- Regular/Short-Acting – Reaches the blood stream within 30 minutes, peaks 2-3 hours after injection, continues to be effective for about 3-6 hours. Examples Humulin R, Novolin R
- Intermediate-Acting Insulin – Reaches the bloodstream in 2-4 hours post-injection, peaks at 4-12 hours, and is effective for anywhere between 12 and 18 hours. Examples: NPH
- Long-Acting Insulin – Starts working several hours post-injection and keeps glucose levels constant over 24 hours period. Examples: Levemir, Lantus
Types of Clinical Research
Though there are many current medications and treatment options for diabetes, it is important to continue researching the topic and disease state. The medical field evolves and makes advancements every day allowing them to find cures for diseases or improve the method of treatment for diabetes. Research helps them to continue learning and advancing to help people live a better life. Lucas Research is committed to contributing to research that enhances the life of those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Below, we have described the types of research studies, the research process, and why its important to you! We hope that this gives you a better understanding of why we do what we do as a clinical research center.
- Prevention – This type of research aims to find better ways to prevent a disease or sickness from developing. Depending on the research it may look at medicines, vitamins, vaccines, minerals, or lifestyle changes that improve prevention.
- Treatment – “Clinical Trials,” this research involves testing new medication, devices, approaches to surgery or therapy, and psychotherapy to see if the treatment of a disease or disorder can be improved. This is the most well-known type of clinical research.
- Screening – The aim is to find better ways to detect diseases, disorders, or conditions.
- Diagnostic – Finding better ways to identify and diagnose a disease, disorder, or condition.
- Quality of Life – This type of research aims to improve the quality of life or comfort for chronic illnesses, also known as “supportive care.”
- Genetic Studies – Research that helps determine how illnesses relate to genes. It also aims to find if there are genes that make someone more or less susceptible to developing the condition.
- Epidemiological Studies – This research is looking for patterns and causes in disorders as well as the control of disorder within a group of people.
Phases of Clinical Trials for Treatment of Diabetes and More
As learned previously, a clinical trial is a type of research that involves the implementation of new medications, new devices, new therapy options, etc. The purpose is to advance and improve the treatment options for a disease, condition, or disorder. At Lucas Research, we focus on advancing in the field for the treatment for diabetes.
- Phase I Trials: In this phase of research, the test group is small. The researchers are trying to determine if the treatment is safe. They will also determine dosage range for new medications and identify any side effects it may cause.
- Phase II Trials: This is the next phase where the treatment is now given to a larger group with the determined dosage. It allows researchers to further determine if the treatment is effective and safe.
- Phase III Trials: Even more people are involved with this phase of the research. Large groups of people receive the new treatment while researchers monitor its effectiveness, monitor side effects, and compare it other treatments. This step is the “confirming” step in the process. Information is recorded that allows for safe use of the drug/treatment in the future.
- Phase IV: Once the drug has been approved by the FDA, there are post-marketing studies that are done to provide additional information. This includes any risks, benefits, and the best use for the treatment or drug.
Medical Test Volunteers Are Important
As mentioned above, clinical research allows the medical field to make life-changing discoveries. An important aspect of clinical research is the participation of medical test volunteers. These volunteers are people, like you, who qualify for certain medical studies that want to help further the knowledge in the medical field. To qualify for a study, you do not necessarily have to be “sick.” Some studies require healthy volunteers as well as those that have been diagnosed with a certain disease state. Without the help of volunteers, health care researchers would be unable to test out improved treatment options or devices. Though the aim of research studies is to improve the available care options, this is not always the end result. Being a volunteer also does not mean that you will personally benefit from the outcome but you could help someone else down the road. However, being a volunteer means that at any time you can quit a research study for any reason. Lucas Research is always looking for new patients to participate in our research by enrolling patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Be sure to fill out our questionnaire and create an account on our site so that we can notify you of any present or future studies that you may qualify to participate in!