Type 2 Diabetes Treatments


While there’s no known cure for it, Type 2 diabetes can be effectively controlled. The key is to lead a diabetes-healthy lifestyle. This means losing weight for those who are overweight, cultivating a diet that is diabetes-friendly and being more active. You might need to use insulin or other medication to get your blood sugar under control but this can just be one of the measures you put in place to curb it. That said, the following are the most effective Type 2 diabetes treatments that will definitely make it more manageable. They may not exactly cure it, what they will do is get your blood sugar level back or close to normal thus preventing or delaying complications.

Healthy Diet 

Contrary to popular belief, there is actually no specific diet for diabetes patients. Nonetheless, it is very important to center your diet on low-fat, high-fiber foods including whole grains, fruits and vegetables as well as low glycemic index foods. Glycemic index is the measure of the rate at which a food is likely to cause a spike in your blood sugar. The foods that have a high glycemic index can raise blood sugar much faster. On the other hand, those that have a low glycemic index can help in achieving a more stable blood sugar level. Usually, these are foods that are rich in fiber. Minimizing intake of animal products, processed foods and refined carbohydrates can also go a long way to getting the disease under control. If you find that you are having trouble figuring out a diabetes-healthy diet, work with a registered dietician. They can help put together a plan that fits your lifestyle, food preferences and health goals. In addition to this, they also teach how to monitor the intake of carbohydrates and let you know the amount you need to eat with your snacks and meals to keep blood sugar level under control.

Physical Exercises 

Just like everyone else, people with Type 2 diabetes require regular aerobic exercises. But before you enroll into an exercise program, it is recommended to speak to your doctor so they can give suggestions on what would work best. Your physical therapy may include anything from walking or biking to swimming or hitting the gym. What comes next is making exercises part of your daily routine. The aim is to hit a minimum of 30 minutes aerobic exercise, five days every week. Strength training and stretching exercises are equally as important. If you have not been as active in a while, you can start slow then progress gradually. A combination of several exercises – aerobic exercises like dancing and walking on most days blended with resistance training like yoga or weightlifting twice weekly – can often help in controlling blood sugar even more effectively than when implemented singly. Physical activity significantly lowers blood sugar. Prior to engaging in any physical activity, it’s necessary to check your blood sugar level. If you are on diabetes medications that help lower blood sugar, you might need to take a snack before exercising in order to prevent extremely low blood sugar.

Medications and Insulin Therapy 

There are people suffering from Type 2 diabetes that can achieve targeted blood sugar levels just through exercise and diet but there are others who will need to be on medications or insulin therapy. Many factors will determine the decision on what kind of meditation is best. These may include your blood sugar level or any other health complications you may be having. Your doctor can combine several drugs from different classes to help control your blood sugar level. Possible treatments for Type 2 diabetes may include metformin and thiazolidinediones that improve the sensitivity of your body to insulin; sulfonylureas and meglitinides that help stimulate the pancreas secrete more insulin; DPP-4 inhibitors that reduce blood sugar levels; GLP-1 receptor agonists that slow down the rate of digestion; and SGLT2 inhibitors that prevent the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar into the blood. Insulin therapy is also necessary for some people with Type 2 diabetes. However, due to the interference of digestion on orally ingested insulin, it has to be injected. Insulin injection involves using a syringe and fine needle or an insulin pen. All things considered, you need to consult your doctor on the best medications to use before implementation. Other than the diabetes medications, doctors can prescribe cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure medications as well as low-dose aspirin therapy to prevent heart disease or blood vessel disease.

Bariatric Surgery 

Some diabetics struggle with exercise and dietary changes.  Those diabetics with Type 2 diabetes and a body mass index greater than 35% can consider bariatric surgery to cut down on weight. This has proven effective for up to 95 percent of patients by returning blood sugar levels back to normal depending on how the procedure is performed. For surgeries that bypass a little portion of the small intestine, the effect on blood sugar is much greater than it is with other surgeries for weight loss. The only drawbacks to this surgery are the risks involved including death and the high cost of the procedure. There are additional drastic lifestyle changes that can come with long-term complications including osteoporosis and nutritional deficiencies.

*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.