Diabetes is a complication that is not infectious but is common among many people. It is a disease where a person’s glucose or blood sugar is abnormally high. This is caused by taking in food or drink with high sugar levels.
When not treated, diabetes can be fatal. Depending on the individual, high sugar levels can cause other harmful complications. There are many cases where some die of diseases triggered by diabetes. A 2017 report by the American Diabetes Association, found that diabetes is the seventh (7th) leading cause of death in the United States. Unfortunately, however, some of the said diabetes-related deaths might have been unreported.
Moreover, the said disease is not limited to the United States. The World Health Organization reported that globally, there is a 70% increase in diabetes mortality between 2000 and 2019. Furthermore, deaths among men has risen to 80%. These numbers are especially alarming now during the prevalence of COVID-19, where anyone with an existing condition is susceptible to infection and further complications.
As of now, there is no cure for diabetes, but they are manageable. People with diabetes are prescribed with medicine to stop their increased blood sugar from causing complications in the body. Here are some of the medications diabetic people can take.
Insulin is a natural drug that we have in our bodies that regulates glucose, helping with our metabolism, and making sure that there is enough but not too much glucose stored in the body.
This drug is often prescribed and given to patients with type I Diabetes. It’s the type where the body produces either little to no insulin because it destroys the cells needed to produce the hormone. On the other hand, patients with type II Diabetes are also given insulin to help their bodies control their glucose levels, but Type I patients regularly use it, for a lifetime.
A diabetes patient is administered insulin through injections though there are several ways to take it. Syringes are made of plastic and support the needle in injecting insulin. They are only used once and must be discarded properly after.
Insulin must be injected into the skin’s fatty layer so that the body won’t absorb it too soon and lessen the pain brought about by the injection. It can be injected in various parts of the body such as the arms, the abdomen, and the thigh.
Metformin is a drug prescribed to patients with Diabetes II. This type of diabetes prevents the body from making insulin do its job for the body. Metformin works by decreasing the sugar absorbed by parts of your digestive system and making sure your body makes proper use of the insulin it secretes.
Metformin is the go-to drug recommended by doctors and bought by patients due to its extended benefits other than controlling diabetes. There are several other advantages to using metformin, such as lowered mortality and lowered cardiovascular risk. It is also safe for your kidneys.
However, a notable side effect of taking this is diarrhea, which 10% of metformin users get and can be alleviated under certain conditions. Metformin is taken orally, as it is manufactured in the form of tablets and solutions.
Sulfonylureas are another drug prescribed for Diabetes II. It functions by stimulating the production of insulin by binding ATP-sensitive potassium channels to the pancreas’ beta cells, which opens Calcium channels, helping with developing insulin.
The drug relies on the beta cells’ presence, as this is where the insulin is secreted from. This makes it useful for Diabetes II but not Diabetes I since the latter type deals with little production of insulin.
There are two ways of administering Sulfonylureas to a patient: injection and oral ingestion. The first method is a dextrose injection, where the medication is injected into a large vein in the body. The second is done in the form of oral tablets.
Sulfonylureas have their fair share of side effects that may vary per patient, including low blood pressure, weight gain, and an upset stomach.
Meglitinides are another type of drug used to treat Diabetes II. The effects of the said drug are the same as Sulfonylureas, but with a shorter duration. They stimulate the pancreas to make a short burst of insulin secretion to deal with the glucose taken inside the body during meals.
Like Sulfonylureas, Meglitinides are administered in the form of pills. They are typically ingested minutes before mealtime. Several side effects are also similar to Sulfonylureas, such as weight gain and low blood sugar.
Semaglutide refers to a drug also used to control Diabetes II. It is a prescription drug, which means it can only be bought under a doctor’s written note or letter. It is considered to be used as a last resort for patients if the other prescribed drugs will not work on them. Semaglutide is administered along with a fixed diet and exercise. There are also exact instructions and conditions to do before patients can use the drug.
There are two ways Semaglutide can be administered. The first one is through injections known as Ozempic. It is an injection pen where you need to dial in your prescribed dosage before injecting it on you.
It is to be injected subcutaneously, which means it must be injected in the layer between the skin and muscle. Semaglutide is usually priced at $1,700 per course, which can be expensive for some. Online websites, such as BuzzRX, allow for a cheaper drug by providing discounts and coupons.
The administration of Semaglutide through pills was approved by the FDA last 2019. This oral supplement comes in 3-14 mg tablets and is accompanied by a healthy diet and exercise. Side effects of Semaglutide are nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pains.
Diabetes is a disease that needs to be treated immediately to prevent the complications it will leave on the body. When in need, it is never okay to self-medicate and randomly take those that are thought to be good. Make sure to always talk with your doctor and have a prescription of medicines that will suit your needs and cause you the least discomfort. That way, you can avoid further problems caused by the diseases and improper medication.