Diabetes Types and Drug Treatments


Diabetes is a dangerous condition that affects many people, both children, and adults, in the US and around the world. The primary danger is the damage to organs that can be caused by excessively high levels of glucose over long periods. This paper aims to explore the four types of diabetes; medication applied to manage type 1, and the effects that the condition has on individuals’ lives.

Differences in Diabetes Types

Firstly, type 1 is distinguished by an insulin deficiency. The American Diabetes Association (2015) states that this type is “often present with acute symptoms of diabetes and markedly elevated blood glucose levels, and some are diagnosed with life-threatening ketoacidosis” (p. 11). Type 2 is difficult to diagnose due to the lack of apparent symptoms; however, the condition is dangerous because it may progress. The American Diabetes Association (2015) states that over ninety percent of patients have this form of the disease. The distinct features are insulin resistance and deficiency; however, unlike with other types the insulin deficiency is relative and not absolute. This factor means that people with type 2 diabetes do not require pharmacological interventions to lead a normal life.

Juvenile diabetes is similar to type 1; however, its distinguishing feature is that it affects children. Individuals can be diagnosed with gestational diabetes after the second trimester of their pregnancy. Pregnant women with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes may have GDM. However, the diagnosis does not mean that women had the condition before pregnancy or will have it after giving birth. However, the American Diabetes Association (2015) states that it is possible that an individual does not fit into one particular category of the provided classification. This information presents an understanding that the development of diabetes depends on the individual and specific circumstances. Thus, it is necessary to monitor the individual’s state of health to identify the type of diabetes he or she has clearly.

Medication Considerations for Type 1

One drug that is applied as a treatment for people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is insulin. The medication allows controlling the glucose levels in one’s blood. The preparation of the drug depends on the type of administration method, chosen by a patient. Insulin cannot be taken as a pill; thus patients need to inject it. Theofanidis (2017) states that it is necessary to roll a vial or pen in which the medication is stored before using it. This action will re-suspend the medication without generating air bubbles.

Administration of the drug involves injecting insulin into the skin layer that constitutes of fat. Thus, the procedure is usually painless and is not difficult to carry out. An alternative to this approach is an insulin port that is adjusted on the patient’s skin. Other options include pens and pumps that make it easier for patients to adhere to their treatment plans. Diabetes pumps are helpful for those individuals, whose treatment plan requires more than two injections per day.

Poole Arcangelo, Peterson, Wilbur, and Reinhold (2017) state that insulin is the primary pharmacological intervention for type 1 diabetes. This approach is used as first-line therapy. Both intermediate and long-acting insulin is applied to achieve successful outcomes (Poole Arcangelo et al., 2017). To ensure that the patient can control his or her glycemic levels injections should be performed twice a day, in the morning and evening.

For some patients the applied first-line therapy may be ineffective; thus an intervention in the form of second-line therapy should be used. According to Poole Arcangelo et al. (2017), the dosage of insulin should be increased until the required level of glucose can be sustained. Dietary considerations for patients with the condition in question are based on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) method. According to Peairs, Shah, Summer, Hess, and Couch (2017), “fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy” should be eaten by individuals to enhance the control over glucose levels (p. 383). Including foods that contain healthy fats can help patients manage their condition.

Long Term and Short Term Effects

The effect of drugs on a patient is displayed in the lowering of the levels of glucose in the blood. Low blood sugar can hurt a person’s body as well as high glucose levels; therefore it is vital to monitor this factor. The primary long-term effect of the condition in question is the damage of organs due to high glucose levels. Additionally, the disease affects blood vessels, which presents a danger in the form of heart issues. Both macrovascular and microvascular complications can be caused by diabetes (Levy, 2017). This factor can result in various problems with eyes, blood pressure, and limbs. The short-term effects can include thirst, tiredness, blurry vision, anger, and others, which constitute the symptoms of diabetes.


Overall, diabetes can have various forms and is classified in to four main categories – type 1, type 2, juvenile, and gestational. Patients who have type 1 require insulin intake in the form of a syringe injection, insulin pump, or a pen. Additionally, it is necessary to change one’s diet, for instance, apply DASH to control the condition. Diabetes can cause damage to an individual’s organs or blood vessels; thus it is crucial to adhere to treatment plans.


American Diabetes Association. (2015). Classification and diagnosis of diabetes. Diabetes Care, 38(1), 8-16. Web.

Levy, D. (Ed.). (2017). Type 1 diabetes (2nd ed.). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Peairs, A. D., Shah, A. S., Summer, S., Hess, M., & Couch, S. C. (2017). Effects of the dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet on glucose variability in youth with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Management, 7(5), 383-391.

Poole Arcancelo, V., Peterson, A., Wilbur, V., & Reinhold, J. (2017). Pharmachotherapeutics for advanced practice. A practical approach (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Theofanidis, D. (2017). In-hospital administration of insulin by nurses in northern Greece: An observational study. Diabetes Spectrum, 30(3), 175-181. Web.