Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

New Strategies for Treating Diabetes

July 16, 2012
Plain English Version

Diabetics have higher than normal levels of blood sugar. Over time, this may result in heart attacks and strokes, kidney failure, nerve damage and blindness. Diabetes also can lead to blood circulation problems and amputations.

Illustration by Joe Shoulak

Diabetes can be treated and controlled. The first therapy for new diabetics is to improve diet and exercise habits for up- to six months to reduce blood-sugar levels to see if patients can control the disease before beginning medication. Metformin, a basic diabetes medication, is also often prescribed.

New guidelines for treatment are being issued.  (Click Chart.) They recommend doctors vary treatment based on the patient’s age, health and even personal preferences.

For example, they no longer say that blood sugar levels must meet a standard target level. A very low blood sugar level might be right for a younger person, while older patients might do better with a somewhat higher blood sugar level.

If patients fail to control their blood sugar with metformin plus diet and exercise, treatment guidelines call for them to add a second diabetes drug. Typically, many diabetics go through three or four treatments. In the end, many add insulin injections to help control their blood sugar levels.

Because diabetes is a progressive disease some researchers think that treating the disease early by using insulin for short-term therapy might be effective in getting blood sugar back to a safer level. This might become an earlier treatment strategy.

A scientist concluded, “overweight and obesity is a terribly difficult problem. If we had a great treatment for obesity it would make a huge impact.”

The Wall Street Journal

Print Friendly
Share

In Brief

How Does Exercise Fight Depression?

Experts say even mild stress can lead to depression. 

Scientists also say that exercise is a cushion against depression. Working out makes...

Teen Lungs Healthier When Air Pollution Drops

Most of the time when people resist the idea that climate matters, it is because doing something about it would cost money.

Advocates say a...

Slow Down on that Heartburn Drug

A new study adds to the findings that taking heartburn drugs creates risks.

The study says that some drugs can lead to a heart...

New Ways to Think About Treating ADHD

New studies show many people with ADHD are drawn to new and exciting experiences. They can be very impatient and restless with routine activities.

This...

Archives

Dictionary
  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by DictionaryBox.com
Click to listen highlighted text!