Diabetes – Personalising treatment
A key problem associated with type 2 diabetes is the build-up of high levels of glucose in the blood. There are many different medicines available that can reduce blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.
Different patients may respond differently to the same medicine. At the moment doctors have to give you a medicine and then monitor you to see if it is suitable in managing your diabetes effectively. Is can sometimes take some time for the doctor to identify the best medicine for you. One of the research objectives of future genetics is to develop simple and straightforward tests that can tell your doctor or GP which is the best drug for you as an individual. This may save a lot of time and be beneficial to both you as the patient and the NHS. However, this research is on going and so for the moment please be aware in some cases that patients have to try a number of medications before finding which is the best for them.
As just discussed there are a number of different types of medicines from different “classes” of drug. However, there is a general approach to treatment that your doctor may or may not follow:
- Patients are given a medicine called metformin. The doctor will monitor you and if glucose levels have not been reduced sufficiently within three months then the medication may be changed.
- As I discussed in an earlier section, as time progresses so does the disease. It is there for necessary to either change or combine your existing medicine or combine it with other drugs.
- Insulin may be given to some patients where the other existing list of type 2 diabetes drugs are no longer effective.