Treatment For Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be managed, and in some cases, reversed. Most treatment plans will include checking your blood glucose levels, and your doctor will tell you how often you should do it. The goal is to stay within a specific range.
Additional lifestyle changes your doctor will most likely advise to help treat your type 2 diabetes include:
- eating foods rich in fiber and healthy carbohydrates eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help keep your blood glucose levels steady
- eating at regular intervals
- learning to listen to your body and learn to stop eating when youre full
- manage your weight and keep your heart healthy, which typically means keeping refined carbohydrates, sweets, and animal fats to a minimum
- get about half an hour of physical activity daily to help keep your heart healthy exercise can help to control blood glucose, too.
Your doctor will explain how to recognize the early symptoms of blood sugar thats too high or too low and what to do in each situation.
Additionally, working with a dietician can help you learn which foods can help you manage your blood sugar and which ones might cause it to become unbalanced.
Not everyone with type 2 diabetes needs to use insulin. If you do, its because your pancreas isnt making enough insulin on its own, and its crucial that you take insulin as directed. There are other prescription medications that may help as well.
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
If your doctor suspects you have diabetes, you will be asked to have a blood test to check your glucose levels.
This may include:
- Fasting glucose test testing your glucose levels after fasting for 8 hours.
- Oral glucose tolerance test this involves drinking a sugary drink , then testing your glucose levels 1 to 2 hours later to assess the effect.
- Random blood glucose test a blood test taken without fasting.
- HbA1c test this test doesnt require fasting as it doesnt test glucose levels directly, but looks for a by-product in your red blood cells that shows how your body manages glucose over time.
If youre pregnant, your doctor will screen for gestational diabetes as part of standard antenatal testing.
Understanding Diabetes From Other Causes
In addition to type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, a small minority of people develop specific types of diabetes due to other causes. This includes:
- Monogenic diabetes syndromes, such as neonatal diabetes and maturity-onset diabetes of the young
- Diseases of the exocrine pancreas, such as cystic fibrosis and pancreatitis
- Drug or chemical-induced diabetes, such as with glucocorticoid use, in the treatment of HIV/AIDS or after organ transplantation
Because these types of diabetes are rare, they are often misdiagnosed as other types of diabetes. You can learn more about these types of diabetes in the Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes section in the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. If you think you might have one of these types, be sure to talk with your doctor.
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Medications For Type 2 Diabetes
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.
Can Diabetes Be Prevented
While type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented, there is clear evidence that maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and following a healthy eating plan can delay or even prevent type 2 diabetes.
Healthy habits that can help prevent type 2 diabetes include:
- quitting smoking
- reducing your alcohol intake
See your doctor for regular health checks, or join a prevention program in your state to connect with someone who can help:
- NSW Sign up to the Get Healthy Service. They offer a program specifically designed for people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as providing information on improving your general health.
- NT Visit Healthy Living NT for community and group diabetes education sessions.
- Queensland Visit My Health for Life. This is a free, six-month program where you work with a health coach to achieve your health goals.
- Tasmania Sign up to the COACH Program. This is an evidence-based, award-winning coaching prevention program for people with chronic disease or at high risk of chronic disease.
- Victoria Visit The Life! Program is a free Victorian lifestyle-modification program that helps you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- WA Learn about the Lets Prevent is a free online health program that will help you set a personal plan to get your body healthy and prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
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About Type 2 Diabetes
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.
Added Sugars And Type 2 Diabetes
Does consuming sugar give you diabetes? Recent evidence from meta-analyses indicates that consumption of sugar, added sugars, or total sugars does not increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes . Instead, current evidence suggests that any association between sugars and Type 2 Diabetes is mediated through the contribution of calories from sugars, which can lead to weight gain if consumed in excess. In randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies where sugars are isocalorically exchanged for other sources of carbohydrates, no differences in weight are observed between the two sources of calories . However, in studies where sugars contribute excess calories to the diet, weight gain does occur, which could contribute to increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Epidemiological studies have shown an increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes with higher intakes of sugars-sweetened beverages . However, diet and lifestyle patterns characterized by high consumption of sweetened beverages suggest that the association relies on overall unhealthy lifestyle patterns and dietary habits, rather than on total sugars, fructose-containing sugars or sucrose specifically.
Avoiding consumption of excess calories, from all sources, including sugars, can assist in controlling weight gain, a risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes.
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Possible Driving Factors Behind Health Disparities
Annals of EpidemiologyPopulation Research and Policy ReviewJournal of General Internal Medicine PLoS MedicineJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Taking the ADAs 60-Second Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test can help you determine whether youre at a higher risk for diabetes based on a number of factors, including your race or ethnicity.
How Can I Help My Child
Diabetes is a chronic condition that needs close attention. You’ll be your child’s most important partner in learning to live with it.
Kids or teens with type 2 diabetes may need to:
- Get to and maintain a normal body weight.
- Monitor blood sugar levels regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet, as determined by the care team.
- Get regular physical activity to achieve a healthy weight and allow insulin to work more effectively.
- Take insulin or other medicines that help the body respond to insulin more effectively.
- Work closely with their doctors and diabetes health care team to get the best possible diabetes control.
- Be watched for signs of complications and other diabetes-related health problems.
Living with diabetes is a challenge for anyone, but kids and teens often have special issues to deal with. Young kids might not understand why they need blood tests and medicines. They might be scared, angry, and uncooperative.
Teens may feel different from their peers and want a more carefree lifestyle than their diabetes allows. Even when they faithfully follow their treatment schedule, they might feel frustrated if the natural body changes of puberty make their diabetes somewhat harder to control.
Having a child with diabetes may seem overwhelming at times, but you’re not alone. If you have questions or problems, reach out to the diabetes health care team they can help with medical issues, and are there to support and help you and your child.
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Can Diabetes Be Prevented Or Avoided
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors for diabetes. Although you may not be able to change all of them, you can make changes to significantly lower your risk.
- Exercise and weight control. Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of diabetes. Any amount of activity is better than none. Try to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. Always talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Diet. A diet high in fat, calories, and cholesterol increases your risk of diabetes. A poor diet can lead to obesity and other health problems. A healthy diet is high in fiber and low in fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar. Also, remember to watch your portion size. How much you eat is just as important as what you eat.
Newly Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes
Knowing where to get started following a type 2 diagnosis can be a challenge. You may feel overwhelmed, but its important to know there isnt a one-size fits all approach to managing the condition.
As well as using the information on this page to understand your condition, you can meet other people with type 2 diabetes in our Learning Zone. Youll hear advice from others in your position, and get practical tools to help you feel more confident managing your condition.
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Where Can I Find Help And Support For Managing My Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes Educators. The American Diabetes Association has a diabetes education finder, where you can find diabetes counseling in your zip code. You may also want to work with a diabetes dietitian to clarify questions about carbs, eating schedules, and more. A diabetes dietitian falls under the umbrella of medical nutrition therapy and is covered by Medicare and many insurance policies. Exercise is another crucial part of care, and you may be eligible for physical therapy as part of your diabetes medical management plan. You can find more information on state-by-state coverage here.
Type 2 diabetes isnt a solo condition. Its largely influenced by our culture and community health practices. Expanding your community to a healthy support system can also be an important part of managing your type 2 diabetes.
Family and friends. Get them on board by creating new food habits together. Often, we feel pressure to maintain the status quo for our families while adjusting our own diets. The changes youre making to improve your health will also improve the health of your family. Choose healthful meals that you can all enjoy together and try to resist making separate meals for yourself.
- Cardiovascular disease
Hyperglycemia can cause myriad problems, with the primary complications being:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Diabetic coma
- Feeling shaky
- Tingling or numbness in your lips, tongue, or cheeks
Faq: Frequently Asked Questions
Is type 2 diabetes genetic?
Over 75% of kids with type 2 diabetes also have a relative with the condition. But this could be due to similar lifestyles in the family rather than genetic factors. Like any condition, some people have a genetic predisposition towards both insulin insensitivity and type 2 diabetes, but the primary factor governing type 2 diabetes is lifestyle.
How often do I need to monitor my blood sugar if I have type 2 diabetes?
You and your healthcare provider should decide when and how often you need to check your blood sugar. You can keep a record in a smart phone app or on paper so you can easily chart your variations. Doctors recommend that diabetes patients get an A1C test at least two times a year.
How has type 2 diabetes changed over time?
Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes because it was diagnosed mainly in adults who did not require insulin to manage their condition. However, because more children are starting to be diagnosed with T2D, and insulin is used more frequently to help manage type 2 diabetes, referring to the condition as adult-onset or non-insulin dependent is no longer accurate or used.
Can type 2 diabetes be cured?
Yes! Your greatest opportunity to reverse type 2 diabetes is early detection and intervention.
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Causes Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatments
Never mind the second-place namemore than 90 percent of people with diabetes have Type 2. And a substantial number dont even know they have it. So, what are its giveaway symptoms? How do you avoid complications? Will the right diet help you reverse it? Were here to empower you with clear answers to all your pressing Qs.
In This Article:
Managing Blood Pressure And Cholesterol
Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol within the recommended range is very important to help prevent long-term problems, especially to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys.Regular diabetes checks of your eyes, feet , heart, blood pressure, kidneys and long-term blood glucose are an important part of diabetes management. Your doctor and diabetes educator will help you arrange these tests.
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Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, your body isnt able to effectively use insulin to bring glucose into your cells. This causes your body to rely on alternative energy sources in your tissues, muscles, and organs. This is a chain reaction that can cause a variety of symptoms.
Type 2 diabetes can develop slowly. The symptoms may be mild and easy to dismiss at first. The early symptoms may include:
Sugary Drink Supersizing And The Obesity Epidemic
There is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption will reduce the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Unfortunately, sugary beverages are a regular drink of choice for millions around the world, and a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.
Compounding the problem is that sugary drink portion sizes have risen dramatically over the past 40 years, leading to increased consumption among children and adults:
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Overweight Obesity And Physical Inactivity
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index charts.
When Should I Call My Doctor
Its important to monitor diabetes very closely if youre sick. Even a common cold can be dangerous if it interferes with your insulin and blood sugar levels. Make a sick day plan with your healthcare provider so you know how often to check your blood sugar and what medications to take.
Contact your provider right away if you experience:
- Confusion or memory loss.
- Nausea and vomiting for more than four hours.
- Problems with balance or coordination.
- Severe pain anywhere in your body.
- Trouble moving your arms or legs.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Type 2 diabetes is a disease where your body doesnt make enough insulin and cant use sugar the way it should. Sugar, or glucose, builds up in your blood. High blood sugar can lead to serious health complications. But Type 2 diabetes is manageable. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you manage your blood sugar. You may also need medication or insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugar at home regularly and stay in close communication with your healthcare provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/25/2021.
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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.