Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

Insulin

Everyone with type 1 diabetes needs insulin treatment to control his or her disease. In addition, about 40 percent of those with type 2 diabetes eventually require some type of insulin treatment to control their blood glucose, either because their diabetes gets worse or it no longer responds to oral drugs. Many people with type 2 diabetes take insulin in combination with a sulfonylurea, metformin, or a thiazolidinedione.

Insulin cannot be taken by mouth because digestive enzymes would break it down before it reaches the bloodstream. Therefore, insulin must be taken via injections under the skin (subcutaneous) or via a pump that dispenses insulin under the skin.

Publication Review By: Written by: Christopher D. Saudek, M.D.; Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D.

Published: 21 Apr 2009

Last Modified: 31 Jul 2014