Diabetes is a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism characterized by impaired ability of the body to produce or respond to insulin, which leads to improper levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood . The treatment for diabetes depends on the type of diabetes a person has.
Type 1 diabetes requires insulin treatment to replace the absent insulin in the body and maintain steady blood sugar levels . On the other hand, treatment for type 2 diabetes may include oral medications that work in different ways to lower blood sugar. The oral medications can cause the pancreas to make and release more insulin, limit the liver’s ability to make and release sugar, decrease glucose production by the liver, decrease glucose absorption by the intestines, or a combination of these effects .
Healthline provides a list of oral medications for type 2 diabetes, including acarbose, miglitol, biguanides, sulfonylureas, meglitinides, and DPP-4 inhibitors . Some of these medications, such as sulfonylureas, can cause hypoglycemia if meals are skipped. The risk of hypoglycemia is increased when meals are skipped, and skipping meals should be avoided with these medications . Some people with type 2 diabetes can manage their condition with healthy eating and exercise, while others may also need to use insulin, and the treatment plan can change over time .