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What Is Inhaled Insulin Used For?

Why Is Inhaled Insulin Used for Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. The condition is very common, much more so than type 1 diabetes. The cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood, although it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role.
Unlike people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes are not able to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. The problem is that the cells of the body do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, the cells do not remove sugar (glucose) from the blood very well. This is why people with type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar.
Over time, high blood sugar (whether from type 1 or type 2 diabetes) can lead to a number of problems, including diabetic impotence, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, and heart disease (see Diabetes Complications). Eventually, the pancreas may also become damaged from having to produce so much insulin over a long period of time. If this happens, insulin will need to be taken, as the pancreas can no longer produce enough of it.
For the treatment of type 2 diabetes (similar to type 1), inhaled insulin is used just before meals to control blood sugar after eating. Inhaled insulin is approved for use alone or with longer-acting insulins or oral diabetes medications. Although the drug can replace insulin injections at mealtimes, it does not eliminate the need to test blood sugar.
A balanced treatment plan for type 1 or type 2 diabetes should include a diet and exercise plan (see Diabetic Diet and Diabetes and Exercise). Discuss any dietary or exercise changes you should make with your healthcare provider.
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Inhaled Insulin (Exubera)

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