Many people with diabetes require drugs to lower blood glucose levels, relieve symptoms, and prevent complications.
There are two types of diabetes mellitus, type 1 and type 2.
General treatment of type 1 diabetes requires lifestyle changes, including healthy diet and exercise. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin injections and frequent monitoring of fingerstick glucose levels.
General treatment of type 2 diabetes also requires lifestyle changes, including weight loss, healthy diet, and exercise. A few people with type 2 diabetes can control blood glucose levels with only diet and exercise, but most people require drugs to lower blood glucose levels, sometimes including insulin. People who take drugs for type 2 diabetes often need to monitor fingerstick glucose daily to several times daily.
Doctors must be careful when treating diabetes with drugs because insulin and many of the drugs given by mouth can make blood glucose levels too low (hypoglycemia).