types of type 2 diabetes medications and treatment

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic and progressive disease. Symptoms in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes include:

1) Blurred vision.
2) Sudden weight gain or loss.
3) Wounds principally in the feet and ankle area which heal slowly.
4) Frequent urination at night.
5) Loss of sensation on skin and itchy feeling on the feet and hands.
6) Increased thirst during nights.
7) Erectile dysfunction.
8) Fatigue.

The two treatment objectives for type 2 diabetes are:

1) Removing excess glucose from bloodstream thus reducing mortality and failure of functional organs.
2) Improving the quality of life.

In obese or overweight patients the initial treatment approach is adjustment of diet, exercise, and weight loss. The life of the patient is prolonged by the help of substantial restoration of insulin sensitivity by significant weight loss. Recourse to oral anti-diabetic medications is taken when the above treatment does not work. Drugs such as sulphonylureas, Biguanides (metformin), Thiazolidinediones, and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (acarbose, miglitol) are recommended.

Exenatide may be prescribed by the physician depending on the severity of the condition. An insulin therapy will be prescribed to control the blood sugar level if these treatment options fail. Thus the patient will step forward from only oral to a combination of oral and insulin based treatment.

With the advances made people with type 2 diabetes have the benefit of a growing list of alternatives like:

* Complex new medications, like Byetta which is not insulin but it is taken by injection. It holds back appetite and deals with high blood sugar.

* Januvia, which has just received FDA approval, is a novel drug. To control blood glucose it works with natural enzymes, gut hormones, and the body’s own insulin.
* FDA has also approved several two-drug combination pills thus reducing the number of pills people have to take. The well-known medication metformin is now available in an extended-release form, in dosage of once-or twice-a-day. This medication has no vexing intestinal consequences.
* Development of diabetes is related to obesity. For the treatment of the same Acomplia (rimonabant) is awaiting FDA approval. This medication has great potential in controlling blood glucose, heart disease and stroke prevention.

However, the workhorse of oral diabetes medications has been metformin. It prevents the liver from releasing too much sugar. It does not cause weight gain and for patients its generic version is less expensive. Considering all this doctors usually start with metformin. However, some people experience trouble tolerating metformin in its standard form, due to side effects like diarrhea, bloating and gas. This problem has been taken care of by extended-release metformin. It has fewer side effects and is better tolerated.

Apart from Metformin, new combination medications are also used. To make more insulin the pancreas are helped and stimulated by Sulfonylureas like Amaryl and Glucophage. Fat and muscle cells are sensitized with the help of Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) like Actos and Avandia. The fat and muscle cells become more receptive to the body’s natural insulin and thus prevent insulin resistance.

In order to get the most from type 2 diabetes medications it is recommended that you adhere to a healthy lifestyle. Nutritious and well-balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, fat and protein has been recommended by physicians. They also recommend that if you eat a judiciously -sized meals then exercise prompts your body to use insulin efficiently.

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