October 24, 2016
Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes – Part 1
You have many options to manage diabetes. Diet, exercise, and medication work together to bring your blood glucose under control. Your doctor may help you figure out if you need to take medicine, which kind is right for you, and how often you should take it.
Over your lifetime, you'll probably handle your disease in different ways. Sometimes medications stop working, and you'll have to switch. You'll need to adjust to changes in your body as you age. In addition, researchers are looking for new diabetes medicines and ways to treat it.
Check Your Blood Sugar Your blood glucose number tells you how well your treatment is working. Your doctor should let you know how many times a day you need to check it. It will depend on what diabetes medications you're taking.
Many doctors follow ADA and won't tell you to test your blood glucose unless you are using insulin.
Diet and Exercise There's no one-size-fits-all diabetes diet. You'll need to pay attention to carbs, fiber, fat, and salt to manage your blood glucose and avoid the complications of diabetes. How much and when you eat are important, too. Talk to your diabetes team or a registered dietitian to help you plan your meals and snacks. Registered dietitians may be of minor help as they promote high carbohydrate low fat, which will cause you to gain weight.
Physical activity -- from working out to doing chores -- lowers your blood glucose levels. It helps your cells use insulin. It also helps your muscles use glucose. Make sure you check your blood glucose before and after exercise.
Eating right and being active will help you lose extra pounds and stay at a healthy weight. That will also help control your blood sugar.
Pills Oral medications are often the first kind of medicine people with type 2 diabetes try when diet and exercise alone aren't enough to keep their blood sugar in a healthy range. There are many of them, and they work in different ways.
A drug doctors often prescribe tells your liver to hang on to some of the glucose it makes. The generic name is metformin.
Some medications tell your pancreas to make more insulin. These are meglitinides and sulfonylureas.
One kind keeps your body from breaking down hormones that give your pancreas the "go" signal for insulin. This means they work longer when you need to lower your blood sugar after a meal. They're known as DPP-4 inhibitors.
Part 1 of 2 parts