Diabetes management can be a challenge from day-to-day, involving as it does a multi-tiered approach that includes oral medications and/or insulin therapy, frequent blood sugar monitoring, a restricted diet, exercise and daily foot checks, just to name a few. However, new technology might just be able to make management easier for those who have to live with this condition. One such technological advancement is Afrezza.

Afrezza, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)in 2013. According to its manufacturers, this insulin is able to be inhaled rather than injected, a major step forward in the field of insulin administration. This medication has been designed to be used at mealtimes and is meant not only to prevent post-prandial blood sugar spikes but, over time, to improve A1C levels. Apart from the advantage of being inhaled instead of injected, Afrezza also has the advantage of being extremely fast-acting and reaches its peak within 12-15 minutes of being administered.

At least two separate studies on Afrezza have proven its efficacy. The first found that patients with Type 1 diabetes who used Afrezza were indeed able to lower their A1C levels more effectively than with traditional insulin forms and also significantly lowered fasting blood sugars without causing hypoglycemia or weight gain, common problems with other diabetic drugs. The second study also found similar decreases in postprandial blood sugar readings and also noted that it lead to better glycemic control and was a good choice for diabetics who do not wish to dose themselves at meal times with traditionally administered insulin.

Another advantage of Afrezza is that is might well help to lower some of the barriers which keep diabetics from being compliant. One study noted that some of the most frequent barriers include the avoidance of unwanted side effects (such as weight gain) and also fear/distrust of administering insulin due to discomfort with needles and self-injecting. Since Afrezza has been found to not cause weight gain or episodes of low blood sugar and is a needleless method of insulin administration, this might well help to encourage compliance to the diabetic plan of care.

It must be said that there are limitations to Afrezza. The manufacturers state that it is not meant to be used by itself but in conjunction with a long-acting for those with Type 1 diabetes. It is also not meant to be treat conditions like diabetic ketoacidosis and has not yet been tested on those under 18 years of age. It is also important to note that it is not appropriate for those with chronic respiratory disease, as it can cause spasms of the bronchioles.

Even with these limitations, however, it is easy to see why Afrezza has been hailed as such an advancement in diabetes care, and one which has the potential to improve compliance and make it easier for those living with this disease to manage it day to day.

Author's Bio: 

Brian Wu graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Physiology and Neurobiology. Currently, he holds a PhD and is an MD candidate (KSOM, USC) in integrative biology and disease. He is also an experienced writer and editor for a number of prestigious web pages. Brian values the ability of all ages to learn from the power of stories. His mission is to write about health conditions, educational topics and life situations in an entertaining way in order to help children understand their own health conditions and daily circumstances.