Treatments Available for Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes (also known as noninsulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes) occurs when the human body has become resistant to the level of insulin that the body naturally produces. This forces the pancreas to work even harder to produce an adequate amount of insulin to keep up with such an elevated demand. Eventually, the pancreas will be unable to produce enough insulin to process a meal’s worth of glucose, and so it will begin to build in the bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes can be treated with a combination of lifestyle adjustments and medications.
(If you are a diabetic living in Florida, you may qualify for our diabetes clinical trial in DeLand, FL.)
One of the most important aspects to managing the symptoms of type 2 diabetes is watching what you eat on a regular basis. However, unlike what most people believe, this does not mean that you will be prohibited from any of your favorite foods ever again. Instead, you’ll need to be sure to eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
It is important for type 2 diabetics to build meal plans around foods that are high in nutrition and low in fat and calories. This means that you will have to limit the amount of sweets and animal byproducts that you consume. In fact, this is actually a really great dietary plan for anyone, even those who do not have diabetes.
You’ll also need to learn how to count the carbohydrates in your meals, as this is another crucial aspect of meal planning for type 2 diabetes. Registered dietitians are available to help people with type 2 diabetes develop a proper meal plan that will fit their particular lifestyle and food preferences. Consistency is the key to proper meal planning for diabetics, as this is key to keeping your blood sugar on an even keel.
No matter who you are, getting regular exercise is an important part of maintaining one’s health. For type 2 diabetics, you should first talk to your doctor about how much exercise you should be getting. Following your doctor’s OK, then you can start engaging in whatever activities you really enjoy, but be sure to take it slow at first. In the end, you are looking to add some moderate physical activity as a part of your daily routine. For starters, you should aim for getting at least 30 minutes of physical exercise most days of the week. Effective exercises for type 2 diabetics include stretching and strength routines as well. Remember that if you have not been active in a while, you should be careful not to overdo it.
Physical activity does cause blood sugar levels to drop, so you’ll need to remember to monitor your levels more often than usual while you are just beginning out. This is an important step to remember until you get a good feel of how exercise affects your blood sugar levels. It may be a good idea to eat a snack before exercising to prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping to low if you are currently taking medications for your diabetes. In any case, your doctor can give you further advice on this subject.
Medications for Type 2 Diabetes
Some people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are able to manage their condition just fine through exercise and dieting alone. However, in many cases, diabetics need extra help via medications or insulin therapy. Some diabetes clinical studies have even shown when these medications are applied at an early stage, even before the A1C has been elevated, it can lead to better control over blood sugar levels in the long run.
Doctors must choose which medications are best for their patients, but this will depend on a number of factors specific to their case (such as current blood glucose level and any other medical conditions that they may have). They may choose to prescribe a combination of drugs from different classes which should help control blood sugar levels in more than one way. For more information on the types of drugs used to combat type 2 diabetes, we have a whole page describing them here.
Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Levels
Depending on your specific treatment plan, type 2 diabetics must be sure to check their blood sugar levels on a daily basis or at least several times during the week. This is probably the single most important aspect to managing this medical condition effectively, so talk to your doctor about how often you should be monitoring your own levels. Careful monitoring of your blood sugar levels is the only way that you can be sure they remain within your target range.
Even if diabetics stick to a very strict daily regimen, their blood sugar levels can fluctuate unpredictably. With help from your primary health care provider, dietician, and endocrinologist, you will eventually get a sense of how your blood sugar will react to certain factors such as food, exercise, illness, alcohol, stress, and medication.
You should talk to your doctor about developing the best course of treatment for your type 2 diabetes. As you may have guessed, no two cases are exactly alike, and that means that the same forms of medication will not work for every single case. If weight loss is required, your health care provider can tell you how much weight needs to be shed in order to reduce your risk of developing other complications, such as heart attack or stroke. With the proper diet, exercise, and weight management, any diabetic can take control of their condition and enjoy a better quality of life.