In the United States alone, an estimated 10.5% of the population has diabetes. That’s on top of the 88 million individuals with prediabetes.
Most people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes mellitus, also known as T2D. With T2D, the body produces insulin, but it can’t use the hormone effectively. As such, health experts also sometimes refer to T2D as insulin resistance.
Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for T2D. We’ll go over the top type 2 diabetes management strategies below, so be sure to read on.
Many people who have prediabetes can stop their condition from progressing to T2D. That’s right: type 2 diabetes is preventable, unlike type 1, which is an autoimmune disease.
For that reason, it’s crucial for people at risk of T2D to undergo diabetes testing. If you catch prediabetes or T2D early, you may be able to control it with lifestyle changes alone. Some of the most important modifications have to do with diet and weight.
That’s because obesity or being overweight has an association with type 2 diabetes. For example, about 90% of patients with T2D have a bodyweight that exceeds healthy levels.
If you’re at risk of or have T2D, it’s best to stick to food options that contain complex carbohydrates. You should also go for meal plans with low glycemic indices, low sugar, and plenty of vegetables.
Aside from healthier meals, regular exercise can also help control your weight. Moreover, physical activity is an effective way to lower high blood sugar levels.
Prescription (Rx) Medications
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to control your blood glucose, you may have to take Rx meds. One of these is metformin, sold under brand names Fortamet and Glumetza. Metformin is often the first medication given to patients with type 2 diabetes.
If metformin alone isn’t effective, doctors may prescribe it with other medicines.
An example is Januvia, the branded version of sitagliptin. Like metformin, it also lowers high blood glucose levels. For a more in-depth look at Januvia/sitagliptin, you can check it out here.
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, which work by breaking down starch and sugar, are other options. Their effect helps reduce your blood glucose levels. Acarbose (Precose) and miglitol (Glyset) are examples of such drugs.
After many years, T2D may progress enough that the body’s self-made insulin no longer works at all. In such cases, patients may already need insulin.
Therapeutic insulin is available in injection or inhaled forms. Insulin injections are more common in the US, although there’s one inhaled brand. Like other diabetes medications, insulin also requires a valid prescription.
Keep Your Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus under Control at All Times
Please keep in mind that type 2 diabetes mellitus can shorten a person’s life expectancy. That’s enough reason to keep an eye out for your blood glucose levels, especially if you’re at risk of T2D.
If you suspect you have prediabetes or T2D, speak to an endocrinologist as soon as possible. This way, you can start treatment right away, and if you start early enough, you may even be able to reverse it.
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