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How To Treat Type 2 Diabetes

How Type 2 Diabetes Is Diagnosed

How to Prevent, Treat and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes | Ken Berry MD

The hemoglobin A1c test measures the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin in your blood and provides information about your average blood glucose levels over the previous 2 to 3 months. Hemoglobin A1c levels over 6.5% are suggestive of diabetes. Another diagnostic test is the fasting blood glucose test. If your fasting blood glucose level is over 126, this establishes that diabetes is present. Random blood glucose levels over 200 are also consistent with diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help you lower your risk of diabetes.

  • Lose weight. Dropping just 7% to 10% of your weight can cut your risk of type 2 diabetes in half.
  • Get active. Thirty minutes of brisk walking a day will cut your risk by almost a third.
  • Eat right. Avoid highly processed carbs, sugary drinks, and trans and saturated fats. Limit red and processed meats.
  • Quit smoking. Work with your doctor to keep from gaining weight after you quit, so you don’t create one problem by solving another.

Checking Your Blood Sugar Levels

Checking your blood sugar levels is an important part of managing your diabetes, so well take you through how to check them and what your readings mean.

And weve also got more information about what happens your blood sugar levels get too low, called a hypo, or too high, called a hyper, so that youre aware of the signs and symptoms to look out for.

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Articles On Treatment Options For Type 2 Diabetes

You have lots of options to manage diabetes. Food, exercise, and medication work together to bring your blood sugar under control.

Your doctor will 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. And researchers are looking for new diabetes medicines and ways to treat it.

About Type 2 Diabetes

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Diabetes is usually a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood glucose level to become too high.

The hormone insulin produced by the pancreas is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood

There are two main types of diabetes:

  • type 1 where the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin
  • type 2 where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin

This topic is about type 2 diabetes.

Read more about type 1 diabetes

Another type of diabetes, known as gestational diabetes, occurs in some pregnant women and tends to disappear after birth.

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How Does Insulin Work

Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to efficiently use glucose as fuel. After carbohydrates are broken down into sugars in the stomach, glucose enters the blood circulation and stimulates the pancreas to release insulin in the proper amount. Insulin allows body cells to uptake glucose as energy.

What Are The Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes

Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes tend to develop slowly over time. They can include:

Rarely, Type 2 diabetes leads to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis . DKA is a life-threatening condition that causes your blood to become acidic. People with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to have DKA.

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How Is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed

Diabetes Care

Glycated Hemoglobin Test A1C is a two- to three-month measurement of your average blood sugar levels. While an A1C of 5.7 or below is normal, anything between 5.7 and 6.4 percent signals prediabetes and a reading of 6.5 percent or higher on two different tests suggests you have diabetes.

Fasting Glucose Test

A1C and fasting glucose are common tests used to diagnose diabetes, but if youre pregnant or have a hemoglobin variant, your doctor may use another method, such as:

  • Oral glucose tolerance test
  • Random blood sugar test

Sglt2 Inhibitors And Glp

How to Cure Type 2 Diabetes Naturally

In 2018, new guidelines also recommended prescribing additional drugs for people with:

These are sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors or glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists.

For those with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and a high risk of heart failure, the guidelines advise doctors to prescribe an SGLT2 inhibitor.

GLP-1 receptor agonists work by increasing the amount of insulin the body produces and decreasing the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream. It is an injectable medication. People may use it with metformin or alone. Side effects include gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea and a loss of appetite.

SLGT2 inhibitors are a new type of drug for lowering blood sugar levels. They work separately from insulin, and may be useful for people who are not ready to start using insulin. People can take it by mouth. Side effects include a higher risk of urinary and genital infections and ketoacidosis.

effective diabetes management , helping to regulate meal scheduling, physical activity, and when to take medication, including insulin.

While self-monitoring blood glucose machines vary, they will generally include a meter and test strip for generating readings. It will also involve using a lancing device to prick the skin for obtaining a small quantity of blood.

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Emerging And Investigational Drug Therapies

Colesevelam , a bile acid sequestrant used for the treatment of hyperlipidemia, was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of T2DM. The Glucose-Lowering Effect of WelChol Study showed overall hemoglobin A1c level reduction of up to 1.0% in patients with baseline hemoglobin A1c level greater than 8% over 12 weeks of treatment. This combined improvement in glycemic control and lipid profile gives colesevelam an advantage in the treatment of T2DM. It is administered orally, and its main side effects are gastrointestinal, particularly constipation. The mechanism of action is thought to be delayed or altered absorption of glucose in the intestines .

Ranolazine is FDA approved for the treatment of angina. It is thought to inhibit sodium potassium channels, which promote release of calcium. Recent data from the Metabolic Efficiency With Ranolazine for less Ischemia in Non-ST-Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome-Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction 36 trial indicate that ranolazine reduces hemoglobin A1c level by 0.6% over 4 months of therapy in patients who presented with diabetes and an acute coronary syndrome. It also reduced hemoglobin A1c level and fasting glucose in nondiabetic patients. Ranolazine reduced the risk of recurrent ischemia and did not increase the risk of hypoglycemia .

Dietary Management And Physical Activity

Modifying eating habits and increasing physical activity are typically the first steps toward reducing blood sugar levels. At UCSF Medical Center, all patients work with their doctor and certified dietician to develop a dietary plan. Our Teaching Center conducts workshops that provide patients with information on food nutrient content, healthy cooking and exercise.

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Monitoring Your Own Blood Glucose

If you have type 2 diabetes, as well as having your blood glucose level checked by a healthcare professional every two to six months, you may be advised to monitor your own blood glucose levels at home.

Even if you have a healthy diet and are taking tablets or using insulin therapy, exercise, illness and stress can affect your blood glucose levels.

Other factors that may affect your blood glucose levels include drinking alcohol, taking other medicines and, for women, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle.

A blood glucose meter is a small device that measures the concentration of glucose in your blood. It can be useful for detecting high blood glucose or low blood glucose .

If blood glucose monitoring is recommended, you should be trained in how to use a blood glucose meter and what you should do if the reading is too high or too low.

Blood glucose meters aren’t currently available for free on the NHS but, in some cases, blood monitoring strips may be. Ask a member of your diabetes care team if you’re unsure.

Read about diabetic eye screening.

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How To Treat Type 2 Diabetes

No matter where you are with type 2 diabetes, there are some things you should know. It’s the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 means that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. And while some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to manage it. Regardless, you have everything you need to fight it. Not sure where to start? Learn how type 2 diabetes is diagnosed.

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How To Treat Type 2 Diabetes: Can Natural Remedies Help

This article was medically reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous therapy using physical, psychological, and emotional support. She received her Massage Therapist License from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 44,218 times.

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body processes sugar. Its often triggered by lifestyle factors like weight, blood pressure, and diet. While theres no cure for diabetes, you can manage the condition and live a normal life. Fortunately, most of the treatment options are lifestyle-based and entirely natural. Some dietary and exercise changes could make a big difference. If you still dont see an improvement in your symptoms, then your doctor will probably prescribe some medications to help treat your condition. Follow all of your doctors suggestions for the most effective treatment regimen.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, cells dont respond normally to insulin this is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually your pancreas cant keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar is damaging to the body and can cause other serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

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General Management Of Diabetic Patients

These consist of:

Education: Education of patients with either prediabetes or diabetes should include the following content areas that are based on assessed needs: disease process treatment option nutritional plan exercise plan knowledge of diabetes medicine prescribed blood glucose monitoring knowledge of acute and chronic complications psychosocial issues and individual strategies to promote health .

Medical nutrition therapy: Calculation of diet is based on ideal body weight multiplied by 10 to establish a basic kilojoule requirement, plus 30% to 100% added for physical activity. The diet should include 50% to 55% carbohydrate, 30% fat , as well as fiber. It is important to remember that both portion control in the management of diet and daily exercise play very important roles in maintaining ideal body weight.

Physical activity: Sedentary lifestyle is a powerful but modifiable risk factor for T2DM therefore, moderate exercise is of utmost benefit in patients with diabetes.

Oral hypoglycemic agents: summarizes presently available oral agents and major mechanisms of action. A more detailed treatment of this subject is presented in Section 10.

Who Is Most At Risk From Type 2 Diabetes

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As already mentioned, type 2 diabetes symptoms often come on gradually and can be quite vague at first. Many people have type 2 diabetes for a long period of time before their diagnosis is made.

The most common type 2 diabetes symptoms are:

  • Being thirsty a lot of the time.
  • Passing large amounts of urine.
  • Tiredness, which may be worse after meals.

The reason why you make a lot of urine and become thirsty is that if your blood sugar rises too high the excess sugar leaks into your urine. This pulls out extra water through the kidneys.

As the type 2 diabetes symptoms may develop gradually, you can become used to being thirsty and tired and you may not recognise for some time that you are ill. Some people also develop blurred vision and frequent infections, such as recurring thrush. However, some people with type 2 diabetes do not have any symptoms if the glucose level is not too high. But, even if you do not have symptoms, you should still have treatment to reduce the risk of developing complications.

Type 2 Diabetes

A simple dipstick test may detect sugar in a sample of urine. However, this is not enough to make a definite diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, a blood test called HbA1c is needed to make the diagnosis. The blood test detects the level of glucose in your blood. If the glucose level is high then it will confirm that you have type 2 diabetes.

Some people have to have two samples of blood taken and may be asked to fast.

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Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis And Tests

Your doctor can test your blood for signs of type 2 diabetes. Usually, theyâll test you on 2 days to confirm the diagnosis. But if your blood glucose is very high or you have many symptoms, one test may be all you need.

  • A1c. It’s like an average of your blood glucose over the past 2 or 3 months.
  • Fasting plasma glucose. This is also known as a fasting blood sugar test. It measures your blood sugar on an empty stomach. You won’t be able to eat or drink anything except water for 8 hours before the test.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test . This checks your blood glucose before and 2 hours after you drink something sweet to see how your body handles the sugar.

What Is Carb Counting

Carbohydrates are the sugar, starches, and fibers found in many foods, such as grains, fruits, and dairy products. Your body turns carbs into the sugar it uses for energy. This means carbs affect your blood sugar level more than other kinds of foods.

Carb counting is a way to plan your meals. It keeps you aware of the amount of carbs youâre eating. That information can help you control what youâre eating and keep it within a healthy range for people with type 2 diabetes. This helps you manage your blood sugar levels. Doctors often suggest carb counting for people with diabetes who take insulin. It lets you match your insulin dose to the amount of carbs youâre getting.

Carbs are measured in grams. To count your carbs, find out how many carbs are in the foods you eat. Add up the grams to figure out your total for each meal and snack. In general, you should get 45 to 60 grams of carbs with each meal and 15 to 20 grams for each snack.

But remember, not all carbs are created equal. Fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, and low-fat milk are the best sources of carbs. Your dietitian or diabetes educator can make a specific plan for you.

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Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes

The classic symptoms of diabetes are the following:

  • fatigue
  • unusual thirst and
  • unexplained weight loss.

In type 1 diabetes, the symptoms usually progress quickly and are often dramatic. In type 2 diabetes, symptoms are slower to progress. However, it is important to note that many people who have type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms. These people may find out they have type 2 diabetes when they go to the doctor for another, unrelated problem.

Medications For Type 2 Diabetes

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In some cases, lifestyle changes are enough to keep type 2 diabetes under control. If not, there are several medications that may help. Some of these medications include:

  • Metformin.This can lower your blood glucose levels and improve how your body responds to insulin. Its the first-line treatment for most people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Sulfonylureas. These are oral medications that help your body make more insulin.
  • Meglitinides. These are fast-acting, short-duration medications that stimulate your pancreas to release more insulin.
  • Thiazolidinediones. These make your body more sensitive to insulin.
  • Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors. These are milder medications that help reduce blood glucose levels.
  • Glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. These slow digestion and improve blood glucose levels.
  • Sodium-glucose Cotransporter-2 Inhibitors. These help your kidneys remove sugar in your body through urine.

Each type of medication listed above can cause side effects. It may take some time for you and your doctor to find the best medication or combination of medications to treat your diabetes.

If your blood pressure or cholesterol levels are also not ideal, you may need medications to address those needs as well.

If your body is unable to make enough insulin, you may need insulin therapy. You may only need a long-acting injection you can take at night, or you may need to take insulin several times per day.

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