Type 2 Diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas usually makes plenty of insulin; however, your body cannot correctly use the insulin you make.
Medications are central to controlling type 2 diabetes for many people. Healthcare providers may prescribe drugs for diabetes (either those taken by mouth or injection), insulin, or a combination of both as needed.
People with type 2 diabetes may not need to take medications if they can reach glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol goals through:
- Meal planning
- Eating the right foods
- Physical activity.
There are three different types of medications for people with diabetes:
- Oral medications
- Other injectable medicines.
Everyone with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes will take insulin. Oral diabetes medications are only used for people with type 2 diabetes. Injectable medicines besides insulin may be used for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, depending on the specific medicine.
If your pancreas no longer makes enough insulin, you need to take insulin as a shot. You inject the insulin just under the skin with a small, short needle.
There is no insulin pill used as a medication for diabetes. That is because insulin is a protein. If you took insulin as a pill, your body would break it down and digest it before it got into your blood to lower your blood glucose.
Insulin lowers blood glucose by moving glucose from the blood into the cells of your body. Once inside the cells, glucose provides energy. Insulin lowers your blood glucose whether you eat or not. If you take insulin, you should eat at regularly scheduled times.
Most people with diabetes need at least two insulin shots a day for good blood glucose control. Some people take three or four shots a day to have a more flexible diabetes plan.
You should take insulin 30 minutes before a meal if you take regular insulin alone or with a longer-acting insulin. If you take a rapid-acting insulin, you should take your shot just before you eat.