New Health Guide

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Dec 22, 2014

Type 2 diabetes treatment is important to maintain health and prevent complication. This form of diabetes comes on in adulthood and is not dependent on insulin. This condition is chronic and related to how your body reacts to sugar, which is needed to give the cells energy. The body's cells are resistant to insulin, the hormone produced by the pancreas to help glucose get into the cells. Some cases of Type 2 diabetes are from the pancreas not producing enough insulin.

Complications can arise from long-term high blood sugar that is poorly managed. These include eye disease and blindness, kidney disease and failure, cardiac complications, and amputations. If you have diabetes you are five times more likely to suffer from the above complications. Treatment for diabetes can help lower the risk of complications.

Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes responds best to lifestyle management. If you have been diagnosed, the first line of treatment is the following weight loss if needed, healthy diet and adding exercise. You will need to check your blood sugar levels by finger stick method periodically during the day and keep a log. If your doctor notices that your blood sugar is not well controlled with diet and exercise you may be prescribed an oral medication that will help your body respond to or make insulin better. If you don't respond to that, you may eventually need insulin injections.

Eat A Healthy Diet

Eating a high fiber low-fat diet can help prevent you from getting Type 2 diabetes. It can also help keep blood sugar more stable if you do develop the disease. Other dietary changes you need to make are:

  • Eat more whole grain breads, cereal, beans, fruits and vegetables to increase fiber
  • Drink non-fat milk and low-fat dairy products
  • Eat plenty of fish and lean meats. Stay away from high-fat meats, processed meats, hot dogs and sausages
  • Tray baking, steaming or grilling foods instead of frying
  • Try to stay away from high-fat foods. Mayonnaise, potato chips, pastries and donuts are all high in fat and carbohydrates
  • Eat plenty of nuts, fruit, cut up veggies and yogurt for snacks

Watch the video to see how to eat a healthy diet with diabetes:

Lose Weight

You are at risk for Type2 diabetes or you may have a hard time in controlling your blood sugar if your BMI "Body Mass Index" is over 30. This is considered overweight. Try to keep your weight down by lowering your calorie intake slowly. You should try to lose 5% to 10% of your body weight over a year's time. Healthy weight ranges are:

  • BMI 18.5 to 24.9 (Average Population)
  • BMI 18.5 to 22.9 (Asian Population)

It is helpful to find a program that has structure and designed for successful weight loss. You can also contact a nutritionist, diabetic educator or dietician for help.

Start an Exercise Program

Everybody needs exercise for good health. Kids and adults should get regular exercise even if they don't have diabetes. For diabetics, exercise is part of the treatment plan and can help the body use excess blood sugar. Kids and adults who are overweight and have Type 2 diabetes have less activity and need to add exercise to help control the condition.

When you exercise, it can improve how your body responds to the insulin you produce. It also helps burn fat and calories and use excess blood sugar for energy. Exercising to lose weight and control blood sugar is healthier than lowering food intake.

Exercise can reduce the risk of complications from diabetes and other medical conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease. It can also help improve quality of life.

Ways to fit in extra physical activity include joining a gym, taking your dog for a walk, housecleaning, swimming, and yoga classes.

Monitor Blood Sugar

It is important to check blood sugar levels often to help keep them under control. Checking then can help you know how you are doing with your treatment plan and monitor yourself from becoming too high or too low.

You need to test your blood sugar levels throughout the day to see how food and exercise affect your levels. Your diabetic educator will give you the best times to check. This will also help you make sure that any medications you are taking are not dropping your blood sugar too much. This is known as "hypoglycemia" and can be very dangerous. Blood sugar that is too high can also be very dangerous and lead to a life-threatening condition known as "Diabetic Ketoacidosis."

Diabetics generally check their blood sugar at these times:

  • First thing in the morning, prior to breakfast
  • Before lunch
  • Before dinner
  • Before bedtime

If you are experiencing illness or have had a medication change, exposed to stress or lifestyle change you may need to check more often. People who are on an insulin pump may also need to check blood sugar more frequently. Newly diagnosed diabetics, especially those on medication or insulin, need to monitor blood sugar very closely.

Take Medications and Insulin Therapy

It is possible for some Type 2 diabetics to control blood sugar with diet and exercise. If blood sugar cannot be controlled, your doctor may put you on oral diabetic medications listed below.

Metformin (Glucophage)

This is the most popular and first line of treatment for Type 2 diabetes. It helps your body respond better to the insulin produced by the pancreas. It also reduces the amount of glucose made by your liver. Side effects include stomach upset and diarrhea.

Sulfonylureas (Glucotrol)

This type of medication increases the amount of insulin your body makes. Side effects include weight gain and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).


Insulin may be used if blood sugars cannot be controlled with oral diabetic medications. Injection is the only way for the body to absorb insulin. There are a few different types of insulin depending on your needs:

  • Regular Insulin (Humalog). Rapid acting so must be taken just before a meal.
  • Slow Acting (Humulin). This type of insulin is usually given twice daily and lasts for up to 12 hours.
  • Long Acting (Lantus). This type is only given once per day and lasts up to 24 hours.

You and your doctor can decide which medication will work the best. Make sure you ask plenty of questions about how to take diabetic medications. Always take these medications on time as directed and check your blood sugar on a regular basis and keep a blood sugar log.

Operate Surgical Procedures

Doctors may recommend Bariatric Surgery if your BMI is over 35. It has been found that 55% to 95% of diabetics that have bariatric surgery experience normal blood sugars after surgery. There are some risks to surgery including recovery time, financial setbacks, and possible death. Long-term complications are osteoporosis and nutritional deficiencies. In addition, surgery needs to be followed up with a healthy diet, lifestyle changes, and adequate vitamin intake.