Most people associate insulin injections with diabetics. But in reality, only some diabetics require the glucose-regulating hormone.
Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body does not produce insulin, as in the case with type 1 diabetics, or does not produce enough of the hormone, which is the case for type 2 diabetics. Only about 5 to 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 and most are diagnosed as children. The vast majority of diabetics – 90 to 95 percent –have type 2 diabetes. The condition used to be known as adult-onset diabetes, however more and more children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as a result of childhood obesity.
Most people with diabetes must take insulin and/or medication to keep their blood sugar levels in check. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to serious health complications including heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and dementia.
People with type 1 diabetes do require insulin. But only 14 percent of people with type 2 diabetes use insulin only, and 13 percent use insulin plus a diabetes medication. The majority – 57 percent – take diabetes medication only. And, 16 percent control their blood sugar levels with diet and exercise alone.
There are numerous medications for type 2 diabetes. Nearly all are designed to either increase insulin or increase the body’s sensitivity to the hormone. However, many come with dangerous side effects.
In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) severely restricted the use of Avandia after it was linked to fatal heart attacks. A year later, the agency issued a warning that Actos had been associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Earlier this year, new studies showed that the drugs Januvia and Byetta could cause inflammation of the pancreas, increasing the risk for acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
People with type 2 diabetes should discuss with their doctors the risks and benefits of diabetes medication as part of their treatment.
Source: Fox News