Common Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Options

Type 1 diabetics are typically diagnosed with this disease as infants or young children. Individuals with this condition are unable to produce insulin, which is manufactured by the pancreas – and is an essential molecule used to breakdown ingested sugars found in carbohydrates. Unable to convert these sugars to energy or glucose, the body is left without the compounds needed to perform daily functions. Individuals with this disease must receive routine care and monitoring through healthcare providers, and pursue type 1 diabetes treatment options to maintain normal sugar levels through their entire lifetime.

What Makes Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Different

An individual diagnosed with type 1 diabetes requires lifelong treatment and careful monitoring to prevent high blood sugar or complications such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) due to overmedication. Once called juvenile diabetes because of its prevalence in children, it can also be diagnosed in teens and young adults. Only treatable by insulin, this form of the disease requires daily injections or infusion into the body via an insulin pump. The type of insulin used varies, but usually belongs to one of several categories based on the speed and length of their effects and include:

  • Rapid acting
  • Long acting
  • Short acting
  • Pre-mixed insulin
  • Intermediate acting

Finding the best diabetes treatment options for individuals diagnosed with the type 1 form of this disease will require a detailed consultation with a physician. During this appointment, aspects including lifestyle, diet, exercise, the bodies’ reaction to insulin and preferred frequency of injections will be discussed to determent the most effective treatment method.

Using Syringes to Administer Insulin

Syringes used to be the only method of insulin administration to individuals with type 1 diabetes. Compared to previous diabetes treatment options, the single use types available today are safer and easier to use. Originally, reusable glass syringes were the only option – but this choice is no longer used because of changes in technology and increased health awareness.

Pre-measured Doses in Insulin Pens

A new alternative to the single-use syringe, pre-measured insulin pens are becoming increasingly popular. Although they can not be used by individuals who need to mix multiple insulin types, they are convenient for those who require use a single type of medication multiple times during the day. Doses are measured by a dial or gauge, and administered when high glucose levels are present.

The Newest Innovation: The Insulin Pump

Changes in technology have made it possible for an individual to conceal their diabetes treatment through the use of an insulin pump. Connected to the abdomen through a catheter, it injects a steady flow of insulin into the bloodstream through the day, which can be altered to compensate for high blood sugar levels after meals.

Individuals who use the insulin pump can maintain a normal sugar level more easily, but they are not recommended to newly diagnosed individuals. In most cases, one or both of the former diabetes treatment options are used initially to teach the importance of routine monitoring and management of the disease.

Because insulin injections are required, the numbers of type 1 diabetes options are limited. However, changes in technology have made managing this condition easier and allow diabetics to maintain a higher level of independance.

Type 1 diabetes is very different from type 2. If you have type 2 diabetes, see these treatment options for adults with high blood sugar.


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