How is ‘Type 2 Diabetes’ Managed and Treated?


‘Type 2 diabetes’ is a metabolic disorder that causes sugar in the form of glucose to accumulate in the blood rather than being used as fuel by the cells in our body. The goal of ‘Type 2 diabetes’ treatment is to safely keep blood glucose within the normal range.

Improving diet and exercising regularly are important parts of ‘Type 2 diabetes’ management and treatment in overweight or obese person.

Weight loss can often return blood glucose levels to normal if it occurs early. Exercise decreases the resistance of the cells to the action of insulin. Making it easier for the glucose to enter the cells from the bloodstream.

The benefit of exercise occurs even if there is no associated weight loss. If weight loss, improved diet and exercise do not reduce blood glucose levels adequately then medication is the next step. There are variety of oral and injectable medications used to treat ‘Type 2 diabetes’.

Most persons with diabetes are initially prescribed metformin. Metformin blocks the production of glucose by the liver. Metformin also decreases the resistance of cells to insulin making it easier for the cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream.

After metformin, doctors often prescribe sulfonylureas or dpp-4 inhibitors. Like metformin, sulfonylureas are inexpensive and effective. It works by increasing insulin release from the pancreas. However, it may cause hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood glucose level drops too low.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Palpitations
  • Weakness

It is important for patients to recognize its symptoms before it leads to more dangerous effects.

Effects of Hypoglycemia
  • confusion
  • fainting
  • loss of consciousness

Cretons are essential chemicals secreted by the gut in response to meals and have important ‘Anti-Diabetic Effects’. It work by slow emptying stomach, so you feel full longer.

2 Types of Medications to Improve the Levels of Cretons in the Body
  • Oral dpp-4 inhibitors
  • Injectable glp-1 analogs

The dpp-4 inhibitors prevent the breakdown of incretin hormones and increase their anti-diabetic effects. These newer medicines work by increasing insulin production has little risk of hypoglycemia. It also make cells more sensitive to the action of insulin.

The injectable glp-1 analogs replace the incretin directly. It also slow the movement of food through the digestive tract, so you feel full longer. It improve insulin secretion and may promote weight loss. It also has low risk of hypoglycemia.

Thiazolidinediones are another class of oral anti-diabetic agents. It work by making the cells more sensitive to insulin and decreasing glucose production. It do not cause hypoglycemia but they may cause weight gain.

Other Types of Pills for Diabetes
  • sglt2 inhibitors
  • alpha-glucosidase inhibitors
  • bromocriptine

Over time medications often become less effective, rather than switching a medication your doctor may combine two different pills that have been shown to work well together. If your blood glucose cannot be controlled by pills alone, your doctor may put you on insulin. Insulin is the most common injectable medication used to treat diabetes.

2 Types of Insulin
  • Long-acting or Basal Insulin
  • Short-acting or Mealtime Insulin

An insulin pump can be used in ‘Type 2 diabetes’ to deliver insulin just like the pancreas. Healthy diet, exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight are important aspects of diabetes management.

Even if you are on medications, you should develop a self management plan with your doctor and other health professionals such as a dietitian and certified fitness professional.

Your plan should include eating healthy foods and incorporating regular, moderate intensity exercise into your lifestyle. Important dietary interventions, specific to diabetes include reducing sugars, starches and fatty foods. Strategies to reduce stress at home and at work ensuring adequate sleep and managing depression if present, are also important.

In summary, ‘Type 2 diabetes’ is treated by a combination of diet, exercise and medication. A variety of drugs are available to treat diabetes. However, self-management through lifestyle plays a very important role.


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