Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a reasonably common medical condition that causes the level of glucose or sugar in the blood to become too high. As well as everyday symptoms like excessive thirst, it can increase your risk of long-term problems with eyes, kidneys, heart, and nerves.  

Fortunately, there are tons of treatment options for type 2 diabetes that can keep the condition under control, with minimal impact on your day-to-day life.

Getting Diagnosed

The American Diabetes Association recommends routine diabetes screening for the type 2 condition starting at age 45, especially for people who are overweight. The test should be repeated every three years, even if your results were normal. If you’re under the age of 45, you should be tested earlier if you’re overweight or have other risk factors such as heart issues, family history, high blood pressure, or a particularly sedentary lifestyle.

Getting Treatment

If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you’ll need to keep visiting your doctor to monitor your condition and to make sure it remains stable. They will also be able to make sure you’re not having any issues with your eyes or kidneys that may occur as a result of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes can be treated in several ways, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Following a healthy diet
  • Medication
  • Insulin therapy
  • Regular monitoring of blood sugar
  • Regular exercise

What type 2 diabetes treatment is right for you will depend on the exact nature of your condition.

Weight loss can lower your blood sugar levels even if you don’t lose a huge amount. Less than 10 percent of your total body weight can make a huge difference. If you need advice on how to lose weight healthily, consult your doctor.

While there’s no specific ‘diet’ to follow if you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, there are some things that are important to consider when you’re thinking about what to eat. Eating a diet that’s low in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fat, and high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber can help you manage your blood sugar. Don’t go overboard on calories, either.

If you’re concerned about your diet and want to improve it, ask your doctor or a registered dietitian for advice.

Combine a proper diet with regular physical activity for additional benefits. It’s a good idea to remember that exercise lowers your blood sugar, so do make sure you maintain your blood sugar levels by eating a snack before you exercise, especially if you’re also taking medication to lower your blood sugar.

Medication

If you have type 2 diabetes that can’t be controlled just with diet and exercise, you may need medication or insulin therapy. These medications work by lessening the production of glucose in the liver and helping the body to use insulin more effectively, or by helping your body to produce more insulin. If none of these medications are effective, you may need to start insulin therapy. Insulin can’t be taken orally and must be injected. It can lead to low blood sugar, so your doctor will need to keep an eye on your dosage.

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