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Diabetes and Other Endocrine Disorders: What are Your Treatment Options?

Marc Kaplan


If you or a loved one are living with an endocrine disorder, the best form of treatment is education. You have to learn about all the options available to you and start paying close attention to the things your body is trying to tell you. 

This doesn't happen overnight. It can take a lot of time to discover the various treatments for endocrine disorders and to feel out which one works best for you.

But, you don't have to do it all alone!

You can lean on the advice of your doctor every step of the way. Make sure you talk to your healthcare physician about the treatments you're learning about and discuss how your current endocrine management plan is going. The more you seek their input and share what's on your mind, the better your treatment's success will be. 

Keep reading for a closer look at the various treatments for Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and other endocrine disorders. 

Treating Type 1 Diabetes 

People who have Type 1 diabetes struggle with producing enough blood sugar. Their body doesn't make as much as it should to perform all its normal functions, so those with this condition have to find ways to substitute for the lack of sugar. 

Here are 3 ways this can be done.

Taking Insulin

Insulin is a form of glucose (sugar) that occurs naturally in the body. People living with diabetes do produce some level of insulin, just not enough to keep themselves healthy. By taking insulin shots or using an insulin pump, they're able to give the body all the nutrients it needs in a way that is most like the naturally-occurring chemicals it creates to function. 

Monitoring Food Intake and Blood Sugar Levels

As helpful as insulin can be, it's not always enough to treat Type 1 diabetes. Another treatment option available is to monitor your food intake and pay close attention to your blood sugar levels. 

It's worth playing with different variations in your diet. You may come to find that you feel better when you eat more carbs or that it's best to eat a diet that's high in fats. Whatever kind of diet you try, though, you have to monitor your blood sugar every day and have an emergency plan in case your sugar drops too low. 

Also, remember the quality of the foods you eat has a big difference in how you feel, too. It's more beneficial to eat 8 grams of clean, healthy fats for example than it is to eat the same amount of greasy, trans fat. 

Exercising

The final part of treating Type 1 diabetes is exercise. This offers many benefits to you and your endocrine system. Exercise encourages your body to produce more glucose and regulate your blood sugar. 

It can also promote good sleep and healthy digestion, which can sometimes be affected by diabetes. Exercise also helps keep your condition from getting worse. 

Treating Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a little more complicated than Type 1. Those with Type 2 have a higher level of blood sugar than their body needs, which can cause obesity and other health complications.

More so, the body has an insulin resistance - it's not able to use insulin as easily as it should. This is what leads to a spike in blood sugar in the first place and what makes Type 2 diabetes harder to regulate. 

But, treating this condition is not impossible!

Here are a few ways people with Type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar.

Oral Medications

Insulin is generally taken in the form of a shot, and it may be recommended for your Type 2 diabetes. Or, you could be advised to start taking oral medications like metformin and DPP-4 inhibitors. 

There's a wide range of oral medications worth exploring, each with a specific glucose-related function that aims to regulate your blood sugar. Some focus on glucose management in your liver while others try to prevent your pancreas from over-producing insulin.

Diet and Exercise

Regardless of the medication you're taking, you should be eating well and working out regularly. This isn't to say you should have a totally restrictive diet or be in super-great shape, but it does mean you need to put an emphasis on the role that fitness plays in your life.

Weight Loss Surgery

In the most extreme of cases, you may end up getting weight loss surgery to manage your diabetes. This becomes an option when your obesity is out of control and you need to take an extreme measure to regulate your blood sugar. 

The surgery goes way beyond aesthetics. It actually changes the insulin production levels in your body and does wonders for your blood sugar as a whole.

Caring for Other Endocrine Disorders

What if you don't have diabetes? What if you've just been diagnosed with osteoporosis, hyperglycemia, or if you're dealing with hormonal changes regarding your estrogen/testosterone?

These are just a handful of the other endocrine disorders that many people around the world battle every single day. The following is a basic overview of treatment for a few other endocrine disorders that aren't always talked about as much as diabetes.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism increases the body's metabolism to an unhealthy level. It can lead to drastic weight loss over a short period of time and it may cause discomforts such as a rapid heartbeat or higher irritability.

Treatments range from oral medications like radioactive iodine to beta blockers, and if necessary, surgery on the thyroid gland which is located in the neck.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is when the body has such a low level of blood sugar that it experiences dizziness or even faints. It's often related to diabetes and diabetes treatment. The treatment for this is similar to diabetes, with a focus on increasing blood sugar, not lowering.

Pre-Diabetes

Although there are many people in the United States living with diabetes, there's also a high number of individuals prone to diabetes. 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes. This is a condition in which blood sugar is irregular, but not to the extent that it can be considered diabetes. 

Unfortunately, treatment for this is a little tricky because often people aren't even aware they're living with pre-diabetes. The condition may continue until they're diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2. Or, they can turn things around by eating better and exercising.

More Health and Wellness Tips and Tricks

At the end of the day, no matter what it is that your body is struggling with, the best thing you can do for yourself is learn more about your condition. It also pays to learn about the health history in your family even if you're currently in good health. 

This goes for everything from endocrine disorders, disabilities, and more. 

To continue expanding your knowledge of various treatments and solutions for different conditions, click here