Thursday, April 17, 2014

Type 1 Diabetes Treatment to Prevent Major Complications

Treatment


Insulin is essential for strict control of blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes. Good blood glucose control is the best way to prevent major complications in type 1 diabetes, including those that affect the kidneys, eyes, nerve pathways, and blood vessels. Intensive insulin treatment in early diabetes may even help preserve any residual insulin secretion for at least 2 years.

There are, however, some significant problems with intensive insulin therapy:

  • There is a greater risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
  • Many patients experience significant weight gain from insulin administration, which may have adverse effects on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is important to manage heart disease risk factors that might develop as a result of insulin treatment.

A diet plan that compensates for insulin administration and supplies healthy foods is extremely important. [For more information, see In-Depth Report #42: Diabetes diet.] Pancreas transplantation may eventually be considered for patients who cannot control glucose levels without frequent episodes of severe hypoglycemia.

Regimens for Intensive Insulin Treatment

The goal of intensive insulin therapy is to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible.


Review Date: 05/05/2011
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)