Diabetes is a lifelong disease which impacts the way your body controls glucose (a kind of sugar) in your blood. Most patients have a type of diabetes called as Type 2.
In Type 2 diabetes, the body fails to produce enough of a hormone called as insulin or body cells do not use insulin adequately (called as insulin resistance).
Causes of type 2 diabetes are:
- Genetic factors
- Metabolic syndrome
- Excessive glucose from liver
- Faulty communication between cells.
- Damaged beta cells
Management of type 2 diabetes or type 2 diabetes treatment options involve:
- Healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Blood sugar monitoring
- Insulin therapy or diabetes medication
These methods will help keep blood sugar levels normal and prevent any health complications.
In reality, there is no particular diabetes diet but you can eat healthy by consuming low fat- high fiber foods like:
- Whole grains
You must avoid:
- Refined carbohydrates
- Animal products
The key is to consume foods having low glycaemic index. Glycaemic index measures how fast a food item raises sugar in blood. Foods with low glycaemic index help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Typically, they are high in fibre. A diet serving your health goals can be put together with help of a professional dietitian.
Patients need regular exercise but must follow the advice of their doctor. You can pursue physical activity you like, such as swimming, biking and walking. Aim first for a half an hour of activity daily. You can gradually build up on this regimen. Physical activity can reduce blood sugar. In fact, you need to eat a snack before exercise to prevent low blood sugar.
Monitoring Blood Sugar:
Depending on the treatment, you need to check blood sugar levels regularly and even multiple times daily in case of insulin medication. Check with your doctor as regular monitoring is vital to maintain blood sugar levels near normal.
Medication and Insulin Therapy
Some patients can manage type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise, but some also need medication or insulin.
Examples for medications to include:
- Metformin (Glumetza, Glucophage, etc.): It is the first medicine recommended for treating type 2 diabetes. It works by enhancing sensitivity of body cells to insulin so that it is used properly. This medicine also lowers the liver’s production of glucose.
- Sulfonylureas: these help body secrete more insulin. Side effects include weight gain and low blood sugar.
- Meglitinides: Like sulfonylureas, this helps pancreas secrete more insulin. But they act faster and carry risk of low blood sugar.
- Thiazolidinediones: Work like metformin to enhance sensitivity of body cells to insulin.
- DPP-4 Inhibitors: They help reduce blood sugar levels, but modestly.
- GLP-1 receptor agonists: they help slow down digestion and lower blood sugar levels.
Some patients need insulin therapy, often as a last resort. The stomach interferes with orally consumed insulin, hence the need for insulin injections. Depending on your need, your doctor may recommend a mix of insulin types for a patient. Typically, patients with Type 2 diabetes begin with a single long acting dose at night. Injections may be administered via a pen injector or syringe.
In sum, diabetes type 2 treatment options vary as per the individual case.