Islets of Hope treatment options for persons with diabetes

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Compiled by Lahle Wolfe

Article from Wikipedia, (edited for content)

NIH Diabetes Guide

More Information About Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes
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Diabetes Information
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Diabetes Medications
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Pancreas Islet Cell Transplant
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Alternative & Complementary Mini Site Index

Biofeedback, Meditation & Prayer
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Lifestyle Approaches to Diabetes Management
Diabetes and Exercise
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Diabetes & Diet/Meal Planning
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Type 2 Diabetes Study Participant Information

To determine diabetes prevalence in children and to help clarify trends in disease development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), one of the National Institutes of Health, are sponsoring a study called SEARCH, which will identify all cases of diabetes in children in six regions of the United States: Hawaii; Seattle, WA; southern California; Colorado/Arizona; South Carolina; and Cincinnati, OH.

Did you know?

... that excessive amounts of caffeine can mimic the symptoms of hypoglycemia?  You may feel like you are low even though your blood glucose is in a normal range.  In children, this may even cause a slight rebound effect by triggering the liver to release glycogen into the blood stream.

... that caffeine also increases the production of adrenaline which can also cause, or make hypoglycemia worse?

... that caffeine intensifies the action of insulin?

... that moderate amounts of caffeine may increase hypoglycemia sense of awareness?

Links about caffeine and hypoglycemia

Dissociation of augmented physiological, hormonal and cognitive responses to hypoglycaemia with sustained caffeine use.  The influence of caffeine on hypoglycemic sympto- matic awareness depended upon the duration of the hypoglycemic stimulus.  At onset, symptoms were more intense in caffeine- withdrawn state ( P <0.01); however, with increasing duration of hypoglycaemia, symptom intensity was greater in caffeine-replete condition ( P <0.05). Thus previous caffeine consumption influences the physiological and symptomatic responses to acute hypoglycaemia, but complete tolerance does not develop with sustained use.


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Famous Diabetics
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Faith - Our support list for persons with diabetes who also wish to discuss their faith and spirituality.

Type 2 Diabetes for Beginners

Phyllis Barrier
Type 2 Diabetes For Beginners:
This book is the “take-you-by-the-hand” guide that will become a trusted friend and adviser for the millions of people who find themselves in the growing ranks of people with diabetes. It can be a lonely and scary place to be, whether one has had diabetes for a day or for 20 years.

As with all skills—and managing diabetes is just another skill that can be learned—it is wise to start with the basics and to return to them regularly. This author has decades of experience counseling individuals and designing reader-friendly publications to help a wider circle of folks make the choices that lead naturally to good management of their diabetes. She’s with readers from the first day of diagnosis, through the shock and fears that may arise, and teaches them what the simple steps are and how to take them to make a real difference in their health now, and in all their tomorrows.  Barrier, M.S., R.D., C.D.E. (Little Rock, AK) is a diabetes and nutrition consultant for PMB Associates and the former national director of program publications for the American Diabetes Association.


islets of hope diabetes medical library                               main Treatment Options page
Diabetes Treatment Options

Type 2 diabetes Treatment
Medication and Lifestyle Changes

type 2 diabetes the first year  Gretchen Becker
Type 2 Diabetes: The First Yea
r:  addresses the questions not always anticipated or answered by healthcare providers. For instance, she covers necessary and optional tests, diet, drugs, weight and stress management, and the emotional strain of the disorder. Her sections on insurance and paying medical bills are excellent. Internet diabetes expert Rick Mendoza has also contributed a chapter on online resources. Other useful features include a glossary, reading list, and further resources. This excellent volume should inspire patients to manage prudently their disease.

Mini Site Index
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Treatment Goals
Anti-Diabetic Medications
Lifestyle Changes

What is Type 2 Diabetes?
For complete type 2 diabetes information, also see our section on  "Type 2 Diabetes"

Diabetes mellitus type 2 (formerly called diabetes mellitus type II, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, NIDDM, or adult-onset diabetes) is a long-term metabolic disorder that is primarily characterized by insulin resistance, or relative insulin deficiency (when a person does not make enough insulin), and hyperglycemia (high blood glucose).  Unlike type 1 diabetes, there is little tendency toward ketoacidosis in type 2 diabetics.

Complex and multifactorial metabolic changes lead to damage and function impairment of many organs, most importantly the cardiovascular system. This leads to substantially increased morbidity and mortality in both Type 1 and Type 2 patients, but the two have quite different origins and treatments despite the similarity in complications which often confuse even diabetics.



Genetic factors, usually polygenic (more than one gene) are often inherited in persons who do later become type 2 diabetic.  However, in most cases, genes alone are not enough to develop type 2 diabetes.  Environmental factors like obesity, a diet high in fats and processed carbohydrates, smoking, lack of exercise, and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to insulin resistance.  Insulin resistance means that body cells do not respond appropriately when insulin is present.  This sets the stage for prediabetes, a reversible condition, that left untreated, will often turn into full-blown type 2 diabetes.

Other important contributing factors:

  • increased hepatic glucose production (e.g., from protein degradation)
  • decreased insulin-mediated glucose transport in muscle and adipose tissues (receptor and post-receptor defects)
  • impaired beta-cell function - loss of early phase of insulin release in response to hyperglycemic stimuli

Type 2 diabetes may initially be easier to than type 1 diabetes, when insulin is often still produced. Type 2 diabetes may go unnoticed for years in a patient before diagnosis, since the symptoms are typically milder (although possible, type 2 diabetics generally do not enter into diabetic ketoacidosis). However, severe complications can result from unnoticed or untreated type 2 diabetes, including renal failure, blindness, wounds that fail to heal, and coronary artery disease. The onset of the disease is most common in middle age and later life.

By definition, diabetes mellitus type 2 is of unknown etiology or cause. Diabetes mellitus that has a known etiology, such as secondary to other diseases, known gene defects, or effects of drugs, is more appropriately called secondary diabetes mellitus. Examples include diabetes mellitus caused by hemochromatosis, cystic fibrosis, pancreatic insufficiency, or certain types of medications (e.g. long-term steroid use).

About 90-95% of all North American cases of diabetes are type 2, and about 20% of the population over the age of 65 has diabetes mellitus type 2. The fraction of type 2 diabetics in other parts of the world varies substantially, almost certainly for environmental and lifestyle reasons. There is also a strong inheritable genetic connection in type 2 diabetes: having relatives (especially immediate family members) with type 2 is a considerable risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. The majority of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are obese - chronic obesity leads to increased insulin resistance that can develop into diabetes, most likely because adipose tissue is a (recently identified) source of chemical signals (hormones and cytokines). Other research shows that type 2 diabetes causes obesity and recently, there has been a sharp increase in the number of persons living in Asian countries that are thin, but have still developed type 2 diabetes.  (See Diabetes Research and Studies Headline News for more information.)

Diabetes mellitus type 2 is often associated with obesity and hypertension and elevated cholesterol (combined hyperlipidemia), and with the condition Metabolic Syndrome (previously known as Syndrome X).  It is also associated Hashimoto's thyroiditis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), acromegaly, Cushing's syndrome and a number of other endocrine disorders.


Treatment Goals

Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a chronic, progressive disease that cannot be cured.  Read our section on "Diabetes Cures" so you don't get taken in by false advertising claims.)  The two main goals of treatment of the disease are::

The first goal can be achieved through stringent glycemic control -- keeping blood glucose (sugar) levels within target ranges as often as possible -- that has been corroborated by numerous wide scale clinical trials. The second goal requires care that is provided by teams of diabetic health workers and patient education is the crucial point in the process.

See:  Normal and Target Blood Glucose Ranges


Lifestyle Changes

Type 2 diabetes is treated by changes in diet and through weight loss in obese patients. Weight loss can help improve insulin sensitivity, and may even restore ovulation in annovulatory women.  Even with only modest weight lost (e.g. around 5 kg (10 to 15 lb).) insulin resistance may be improved.  

Those with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes may find a need to control or reduce their carbohydrate intake.  Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets often do not work will with many type 2 diabetes patients.  

See our comparison of diets, commercial weight loss centers, and lifestyle plans along with recipes, and tips in our "Diet Section."

In addition to weight loss and dietary changes, regular exercise also increases insulin sensitivity by as much as 15% (the same percentage that oral anti-diabetic agents accomplish).  It has also been noted in some studies that excessive daily caffeine intake can worse insulin resistance and reduce hypoglycemia awareness, while low to moderate amounts of caffeine may help improve insulin sensitivity and hypoglycemia awareness.  



The next step, if necessary, is treatment with oral antidiabetic drugs:

  • the sulfonylureas
  • metformin
  • thiazolidinediones
  • α-glucosidase inhibitors
  • natiglinide, repaglinide and their analogues
  • exenatide

You can find complete information on drugs commonly prescribed for diabetes:



Not all persons with type 2 diabetes require insulin.  But if you are unable to control your blood glucose levels with lifestyle changes and oral anti-diabetic medications, you will need to take insulin.

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas.  In type 1 diabetes the pancreas stops produces insulin (absolute deficiency).  In type 2 diabetes, a person may not make enough insulin, or their body is so resistant to insulin, that daily insulin injections become necessary.  Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, along with an unhealthy lifestyle, can eventually wear out your pancreas from insulin resistance. Your pancreas needs to over produce insulin to handle glucose loads and everyone has a finite number of beta cells for life that can produce insulin.

It is important to note that persons who are insulin resistant may in fact may have normal blood glucose levels at first.  But it takes greater insulin production to keep their sugars at a normal range.  If your doctor has prescribed an oral glucose tolerance (OGTT) test for you, be sure to ask for him/her to also check your fasting and OGTT insulin levels as well.

When these have failed, insulin therapy may be necessary, usually as an adjunct to oral therapy, to maintain normal glucose levels. The term non-insulin-dependent diabetes is an outdated term. The classification or type of diabetes is determined by the underlying cause of the diabetes, not the type of therapy that is used to treat the diabetes. Many patients with diabetes type 2 will progress to require insulin for control of blood glucose levels, but these patients are still classified as having type 2 diabetes.

Complete information on insulin and ways to administer insulin can be found:


Alternative and Complementary Treatments

There are no cures for type 2 or type 2 diabetes.

Alternative means "instead of," or, an alternative treatment would seek to replace some other form of treatment.  Complementary treatments work in tandem with Western medical practices and may be of benefit to some patients with type 2 diabetes. Complementary therapies include yoga, meditation, acupuncture, homeopathy, and various forms of Chinese Traditional Medicine.

We refer you to our section on Alternative & Complementary Treatments for information on the above complementary treatments.  Be sure to read "Diabetes Cures" because many companies will take your money boasting a "cure."  Diabetes Cures offers tips on how not to get burned and what to do if you do get taken.

For more type 2 diabetes treatment and general information, also, see:


Article Source: (substantially edit for our site; reprinted with permission)

S Camastra, E Bonora, S DelPrato, K Rett, M Weck, E Ferrannini. Effect of obesity and insulin resistance on resting and glucose-induced thermogenesis in man. International Journal of Obesity, 1999, Vol 23, Iss 12, pp 1307-1313. PMID 10643689


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