Treatment Of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Usually Includes

Insulin and other medicines for diabetes are usually part of the treatment of the disease. Along with healthy eating and physical activity, medicines can help you control the disease. There are other treatment options available.

What medicines could I take for diabetes?

The medicine you take will vary according to your type of diabetes and if the medicine controls your blood glucose levels well. Other factors, such as additional health problems, the costs of medicines and your daily activities, can influence the medicines you take for diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

If you have type 1 diabetes, you have to inject insulin because your body no longer produces this hormone. You will have to use insulin several times a day, even with meals. You could also use an insulin pump, which gives you small doses constantly throughout the day.

Type 2 diabetes

Some people with type 2 diabetes can control their disease by choosing healthy eating options and doing more physical activity. Many people with type 2 diabetes also need medicines for diabetes. These may include tablets or medicines that are injected under the skin, such as insulin. Over time, you may need more than one medicine to control your blood glucose. Even if you do not use insulin, you may need it on special occasions, such as during pregnancy or if you are hospitalized.

Gestational Diabetes

If you have gestational diabetes, you first have to try to control your blood glucose by eating healthy and exercising regularly. If you can not reach your ideal blood glucose level, your health care team will give you information about diabetes medicines, such as insulin or oral medications such as metformin, which can be taken without problem during pregnancy. Your health care team can prescribe diabetes medicines right away if your blood glucose is too high.

Whatever your type of diabetes, sometimes having to take medicine every day can feel like a burden. As part of your diabetes management plan, you may also need to take medicine for other health problems, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

What are the different types of insulin?

There are several types of insulin available. Each one begins to work at a different speed, which is known as the “beginning of the action”, and they exert their effect during different times, which is known as “duration of the effect”. Most insulins reach a peak, which is when they have the strongest effect, and then this effect fades over the course of a few hours.

Types of insulin and how they work

Type of insulin How long it takes to start working (start of action) When it reaches peak How long does it take (duration of effect)
Quick action About 15 minutes after injection 1 hour 2 to 4 hours
Short action, also called regular Within 30 minutes after injection 2 to 3 hours 3 to 6 hours
Intermediate action 2 to 4 hours after injection 4 to 12 hours 12 to 18 hours
Long-term action Several hours after injection It does not peak 24 hours; some last longer

Source: Basics of insulin. Website of the American Diabetes Association. Last edition 2015. Information obtained on August 25, 2016.


The previous table gives the averages. Follow your doctor’s advice about when and how to use insulin. Your doctor may also recommend a premixed insulin, which is a mixture of two types of insulin. Since some types of insulin cost more than others, talk to your doctor about your options if you are worried about the cost. Learn more about financial help for diabetes care.

What are the different ways to use insulin?

The way you use insulin may depend on your lifestyle, your health insurance plan and your preferences. You can decide that the needles are not your thing and lean towards a different method. Talk with your doctor about your options and what is best for you. Most people with diabetes use a needle and a syringe, pen-type autoinjectors, or an insulin pump. Inhalers, injection ports and jet insulin injectors are less common.

Needle and syringe

You can apply insulin injections with a needle and a syringe. You use the syringe to take your insulin dose out of the vial or vial. Insulin works faster when injected into the abdomen, but the application points must be rotated. Other points include the thighs, buttocks or upper arm. Some people with diabetes who use insulin need two to four injections a day to achieve their desired blood glucose levels while others may need only one injection.

Treatment Of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Usually Includes
Insulin injections involve removing the medicine from a vial with a syringe and then injecting it under the skin.

Needle and syringe

You can apply insulin injections with a needle and a syringe. You use the syringe to take your insulin dose out of the vial or vial. Insulin works faster when injected into the abdomen, but the application points must be rotated. Other points include the thighs, buttocks or upper arm. Some people with diabetes who use insulin need two to four injections a day to achieve their desired blood glucose levels while others may need only one injection.

pic1 “Insulin injections involve removing the medicine from a vial with a syringe and then injecting it under the skin.”

Pen-type insulin autoinjector

This device for injecting insulin looks like a ballpoint pen, but has a needle on the tip. Some of these insulin autoinjectors are already full and disposable. Others have room for an insulin cartridge that is inserted and replaced after use. These insulin autoinjectors cost more than needles and syringes, but many people find them easier to use.

Treatment Of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Usually Includes
Pen-type insulin auto-injectors are a convenient way to give insulin.


An insulin pump is a small machine that administers small, constant doses of insulin throughout the day. The pump is used outside the body on a belt or in a pocket or bag. It is connected to a small plastic tube and a very small needle that is inserted under the skin and stays in place for several days. The pump delivers insulin to the body through the tube 24 hours a day. The user can also apply additional insulin doses with the pump at meal times. There is another type of pump that has no tubes and connects directly to the skin, like a self-adhesive patch.

Treatment Of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Usually Includes
Insulin pumps supply insulin 24 hours a day.


Another way to administer insulin is to inhale it into powder through your mouth using an inhaler device. Insulin reaches the lungs and passes quickly into the blood. Inhaled insulin is only for adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Injection port

An injection port has a short tube that is inserted into the tissue under the skin. On the surface of the skin, an adhesive patch or bandage holds the port in place. Insulin is injected through the port with a needle and syringe or with a pen-type insulin auto-injector. The port remains in place for a few days and then replaced by another. With an injection port it is no longer necessary to puncture the skin for each injection, but only when a new port is applied.

Jet type insulin injector

This device sends a fine spray of insulin into the skin at high pressure instead of using a needle to administer it.

What oral medications are available to treat type 2 diabetes?

It is possible that, in addition to a healthy diet and physical activity, you have to take medicines to manage your type 2 diabetes. There are several diabetes medicines that are taken orally and are known as oral medications or oral medicines.

Most people with type 2 diabetes start their treatment with metformin tablets, although it also comes in liquid form. Metformin reduces the amount of glucose that is produced in the liver and helps the body to use insulin better. This medicine can help you lose some weight.

Other oral medicines act in different ways to lower blood glucose levels. You may need to add another diabetes medicine after a while or use a combination of treatments. The combination of two or three types of diabetes medicines can lower blood glucose levels more than if you use only one.

Learn about the different types of diabetes medicines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA, for its acronym in English).

What other injectable medicines are there to treat type 2 diabetes?

In addition to insulin, there are other types of injectable medicines available that help keep your blood glucose level rising too much after eating. Maybe they will take a little of their appetite and help them lose some weight. These additional injectable medicines are not insulin substitutes. Learn more about injectable medicines other than insulin.

What should I know about the side effects of diabetes medicines?

Side effects are problems that result from the use of a medicine. If you do not balance your medicines with your diet and your level of physical activity, some medicines for diabetes can cause hypoglycemia, that is, low blood glucose.

Ask your doctor if the medicine you use for diabetes can cause hypoglycemia or other side effects, such as upset stomach or weight gain. Take your diabetes medicines as directed by your doctor to help avoid the side effects and problems of diabetes.

Do I have other options for the treatment of diabetes?

When medicines and lifestyle changes are not enough to control diabetes, another option may be a less common treatment. Additional treatments include bariatric surgery for some people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and an “artificial pancreas” and transplantation of pancreatic islets for some people with type 1 diabetes.

Bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery or metabolic surgery, can help some people with obesity and type 2 diabetes lose a lot of weight and regain normal blood glucose levels. Some people with diabetes can suppress their diabetes medicines after bariatric surgery. The improvement of blood glucose levels and their duration vary depending on the patient, the type of surgery to lose weight and the amount of weight lost. Other factors include how long the person has been diabetic and whether or not he uses insulin.4

Some recent research suggests that slimming surgery can also help improve control of blood glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes who are also obese.5

Researchers are studying the long-term results of bariatric surgery in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Artificial pancreas

The NIDDK has played an important role in the development of the “artificial pancreas” technology. An artificial pancreas replaces manual tests of blood glucose levels and the use of insulin in injections or infusion pump. A single system monitors blood glucose levels 24 hours a day and automatically supplies insulin or a combination of insulin and a second hormone, glucagon. The system can also be controlled remotely, for example, by parents or medical personnel.

In 2016, the FDA approved a type of artificial pancreas called a closed circuit hybrid system. This closed system calculates the glucose level every 5 minutes during the day and night, and automatically administers the correct amount of insulin.

It is still necessary to manually adjust the amount of insulin the pump delivers at mealtimes, but the artificial pancreas releases the person from some of the daily tasks necessary to keep the blood glucose level stable, or helps spend the night without having to wake up to measure your blood glucose or take a medicine.

It is anticipated that the closed circuit hybrid system will be available in the United States in 2017. Ask your doctor if this system might be right for you.

The NIDDK has funded several important studies on the different types of artificial pancreas to help people with type 1 diabetes better manage their disease. These devices could also help people with type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

Transplantation of pancreas islets

Pancreas islet transplantation is an experimental treatment for poorly controlled type 1 diabetes. Islets are small groups of cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks these cells. By transplanting pancreatic islets, the destroyed islets are replaced by new ones that produce and release insulin. For this procedure, islets from the pancreas of an organ donor are taken and transferred to a person with type 1 diabetes. Since the researchers are still studying pancreatic islet transplantation, the procedure is only available to people who participate in studies of pancreatic islets. investigation. Get here more information about the studies on islet transplantation.


  • [4] Cordera R, Adami GF. From bariatric to metabolic surgery: looking for a “disease modifier” surgery for type 2 diabetes. World Journal of Diabetes. 2016; 7 (2): 27-33.
  • [5] Kirwan JP, Aminian A, Kashyap SR, Burguera B, Brethauer SA, Schauer PR. Bariatric surgery in obese patients with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2016; 39 (6): 941-948.

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