Medical Treatment

For type 2 diabetes, there are a range of tablets that may be effective, either as single medications or in combination. However, type 2 diabetes may also require insulin.

Medical Treatment

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is managed in the following ways:

  • Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels up to 6 times a day, as advised by a doctor or a credentialled diabetes educator.
  • Insulin replacement administered by up to 6 injections a day directly into the subcutaneous fat layer under the skin.
  • Weight control, healthy eating and regular exercise.

NB: Insulin cannot be given in tablet form because the digestive system destroys it. In the future other ways to administer insulin may be possible such as through an inhaler.


Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is managed in the following ways:

  • Weight control, healthy eating and regular exercise.
  • Medication, oral hypoglycaemic agents, may be prescribed at initial diagnosis if blood glucose levels are very high (>20 mmol/L) or if the person is symptomatic. If treatment fails it suggests the person has type 1 diabetes rather than type 2 diabetes. 
  • Progression of type 2 diabetes can lead to the failure of oral hypoglycaemic agents and insulin may be required. Insulin must only be used in conjunction with weight control, healthy eating and exercise. Improper use causes weight gain and poor blood glucose level control.

National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)

The Australian government subsidises diabetes-related products through the National Diabetes Services Scheme. The NDSS is administered by Diabetes Australia with outlets across the country and online. Eligible persons must register to use the scheme by completing the appropriate form and having it signed by their doctor.

Find out more about the NDSS

Find out about NDSS outlets in Victoria.


  1. Diabetes Australia and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Diabetes Management in General Practice, 16th Edition 2010/11, Diabetes Australia, 2010.
  2. Diabetes Australia, March 2011.
  3. Caring for Diabetes in Children and Adolescents, Third Edition, 2010. Online Version, the Children's Hospital at Westmead and the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne.

Did you know?

Diabetes is serious.

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Australian Community Centre for Diabetes Victoria university - Melbourne Australia

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The Australian Community Centre for Diabetes would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional owners of the land you are on.