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Hypoglycemics are used to treat high blood sugar, a condition commonly known as diabetes mellitus.
As a quick review, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, which most commonly affects children and adolescents, arises when certain cells of the pancreas known as beta cells are unable to produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels.
In this video, however, we’ll be focusing specifically on the use of non-secretagogues in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.
It’s important to note, however, that diet and exercise should always be the first step in managing diabetes before initiating medications, and should generally be continued while on medication as well.
Hypoglycemics are used to treat type II diabetes mellitus. They include drugs like sulfonylureas, biguanides, meglitinides, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, and thiazolidinediones. Each type of medication works in a different way to lower blood sugar levels.
For example, sulfonylureas and meglitinides are secretagogues, meaning they stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. Biguanides inhibit production of new glucose from the liver. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors prevent starch from being broken down into glucose in the gastrointestinal system, whereas thiazolidinediones make tissues more sensitive to insulin.
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