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How is type 1 diabetes treated?

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Quick Answer

Doctors treat Type 1 diabetes with both insulin therapy and lifestyle management, which may include following a specific diet and an exercise plan, states Mayo Clinic. Because Type 1 diabetics cannot produce enough insulin, lifestyle changes alone are not sufficient to treat this type of diabetes in the long term.

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Full Answer

Insulin injections and insulin pumps are the two methods of insulin administration, according to Mayo Clinic. Insulin injections are given multiple times daily, while insulin pumps deliver a steady dose of insulin throughout the day. Insulin cannot be taken as an oral pill or tablet because the stomach destroys it before it can reach the bloodstream. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes must check their blood sugar levels multiple times a day to ensure that levels stay within a healthy range.

Injected insulin comes in four different forms, reports the American Diabetes Association. Long-lasting insulin takes a while to hit the bloodstream but has effects that last up to 24 hours. Intermediate-acting insulin starts taking effect about two to four hours after the shot is administered and lasts up to 18 hours. Regular insulin produces effects that last for three to six hours and takes just 30 minutes to reach the bloodstream. Fast-acting insulin takes effect within approximately 15 minutes of the initial shot and lasts for up to four hours.

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