Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: For type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes are important first steps that can help you control high blood glucose or sugar. These changes may even help you prevent, delay, or reverse the disease. Lifestyle changes include eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, losing weight, and not smoking. You may also need to check your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure to make sure they're within the target range to help reduce your risk of complications from type 2 diabetes. If lifestyle changes aren't controlling your blood sugar, your healthcare practitioner will prescribe medicines as necessary. Eating a healthy diet may help to lower your blood sugar level. You can help do this by eating a diet with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Have meals and snacks about the same time every day. Carbohydrates are substances your body uses to make energy. Ask your healthcare practitioner about meals with the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for you, and reduce your intake of high-sugar foods. Getting regular exercise even just 30 minutes a day may lower your blood sugar level and may lead to weight loss. Talk to your healthcare practitioner before starting an exercise program. Being overweight is an important risk factor for having type 2 diabetes. This is especially true if you have a lot of visceral fat. This is the fat you can't see that surrounds the organs inside your belly. The good news is that, through diet and exercise, losing as little as 5% to 7% of your body weight can help significantly improve your blood sugar levels. You may need to take one or more oral or injectable diabetic medicines to help lower blood sugar. For example, metformin lowers the amount of sugar produced by your liver. It also makes your muscle tissue more sensitive to insulin. Sulfonylureas increase insulin release from your pancreas. Thiazolidinediones make your fatty muscle tissue more sensitive to insulin. They also reduce sugar production in your liver. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors work in your small intestine to block the breakdown of starchy foods and slow the absorption of some sugars. This keeps your blood sugar from going up too fast after you eat. DPP-4 inhibitors let helpful chemicals in your digestive system stay active longer. These chemicals help lower your blood sugar level. GLP-1 receptor agonists increase insulin release from your pancreas when you're eating. They also slow digestion. And SGLT2 inhibitors increase the amount of sugar removed from your body and urine. If your diabetes cannot be controlled with diet, exercise, and other medicines, your healthcare practitioner may also consider insulin. Insulin that you inject helps to replace the insulin your body would normally produce. A healthcare practitioner will train you to inject it just under your skin. You may need to check the level of sugar in your blood with a blood glucose meter. Ask your healthcare practitioner how often to check. To do this, you will prick your finger with a small needle called a lancet. Then, you will place a drop of blood in the blood glucose meter, following the directions provided with your meter. Based on your blood sugar level, you may need to adjust your meals, physical activity, or medicine dose, as directed by your healthcare practitioner. By treating and controlling your blood sugar level, you may help prevent the complications from type 2 diabetes. For more information about treatment for type 2 diabetes, talk to your healthcare practitioner.