Diabetes and Drug Treatments

Diabetes and Drug Treatments

Diabetes is a condition characterized by elevated blood glucose resulting from impaired insulin secretion or the inability to use the insulin produced effectively. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that approximately thirty-seven adults in the United States have diabetes, with the condition being one of the major causes of mortality each year (Gruss et al., 2019). Diabetes is classified into type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and prediabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is mostly a result of an autoimmune reaction affecting children, adolescents, and young adults. It is primarily due to impaired insulin secretion by the pancreas (Petrov & Basina, 2021). In type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to utilize the produced insulin effectively. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed in expectant women who have not previously been diagnosed with the condition.

Prediabetes means that blood sugars are elevated but not to levels high enough to make a comprehensive diagnosis of diabetes. Juvenile diabetes was a term previously used to describe type 1 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes being prevalent among children nowadays, the term is hardly used nowadays. In this essay, I will focus on type 2 diabetes, highlighting medications used and their impact on the patient’s body.

Type 2 Diabetes

As highlighted above, type 2 diabetes is a condition caused by ineffective utilization of insulin produced by the pancreas resulting in elevated blood glucose levels. Out of the estimated 37 million people living with diabetes in the United States, it is estimated that approximately 90 to 95% of that number have type 2 diabetes (Gruss et al., 2019). The commonest presentations of this condition include polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia, and easy fatiguability, among other symptoms.

Drugs Used In Management

Metformin is one of the commonly used drugs in the management of type 2 diabetes. Metformin impairs the process of gluconeogenesis, consequently lowering blood glucose levels (Rosenthal & Burchum, 2021). In addition, the drug minimizes the uptake of glucose by the intestines while also boosting insulin sensitivity.

The drug is administered orally. The recommendation is to swallow the drug with meals during the initial stages to minimize related gastrointestinal side effects. It is recommended that the drug should be swallowed with a full glass of water without crushing or breaking it.

Dietary Considerations

The recommended diet constitutes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Nuts and legumes are also highly recommended. Foods rich in fiber are highly recommended. The patient should be advised to either minimize or completely cease the consumption of alcohol and other fizzy drinks. Refined grains and processed foodstuffs such as meat should also be taken in moderation.

Impacts Of Diabetes

Short-term complications associated with type 2 diabetes include frequent urination and increased thirst, which may greatly inconvenience the patient. In addition, the patient may experience blurry vision, constant headaches, and fatigue. In the long run, diabetes causes damage to both the large and small blood vessels. As Speight et al. (2020) note, this has a significant impact on major organs resulting in cardiac failure, stroke, and complications related to the kidneys, eyes, nerves, and lower limbs.

Side Effects of Metformin

The commonest side effects associated with metformin use include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In addition, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and a metallic taste have been associated with the drug. In a few instances, much worse side effects have been reported. These include impaired or increased respiration rates, reduced pulse rate, jaundice, and vitamin B12 deficiency, commonly associated with fatiguability, pins and needles sensation, general malaise, aches, and mouth ulcers (Rosenthal & Burchum, 2021).


Gruss, S. M., Nhim, K., Gregg, E., Bell, M., Luman, E., & Albright, A. (2019). Public Health Approaches to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention: the US National Diabetes Prevention Program and Beyond. Current Diabetes Reports, 19(9), 78. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-019-1200-z

Petrov, M. S., & Basina, M. (2021). DIAGNOSIS OF ENDOCRINE DISEASE: Diagnosing and classifying diabetes in diseases of the exocrine pancreas. European Journal of Endocrinology, 184(4), R151–R163. https://doi.org/10.1530/EJE-20-0974

Rosenthal, L. D., & Burchum, J. R. (2021). Lehne’s pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice nurses and physician assistants (2nd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Speight, J., Holmes-Truscott, E., Hendrieckx, C., Skovlund, S., & Cooke, D. (2020). Assessing the impact of diabetes on quality of life: what have the past 25 years taught us?. Diabetic Medicine: A Journal of the British Diabetic Association, 37(3), 483–492. https://doi.org/10.1111/dme.14196

Diabetes and Drug Treatments Instructions

Each year, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2019). If left untreated, diabetic patients are at risk for several alterations, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, neuropathy, and blindness. There are various methods for treating diabetes, many of which include some form of drug therapy. The type of diabetes as well as the patient’s behavior factors will impact treatment recommendations.

For this Discussion, you compare types of diabetes, including drug treatments for type 1, type 2, gestational, and juvenile diabetes.

Reference: American Diabetes Association. (2019). Statistics about diabetes. Retrieved from http://diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/