Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease which is caused by a combination of factors, including lifestyle, genes, and environment. When an individual is affected by diabetes, their body is unable to use up the sugar present in the bloodstream. It is a progressive disease that can cause many other complications and damage vital organs. Therefore, it is important to manage diabetes by keeping your blood sugar levels within the normal range. So, what is the best treatment for diabetes? Your doctor may prescribe medicines along with changes in diet and exercise to manage blood sugar levels. In borderline cases (prediabetics), a combination of diet and exercise can prevent its progression into chronic diabetes.
Can diabetes be reversed?
Depending on the severity of the condition, you will need medication to manage the body’s blood sugar levels. While there is no cure for diabetes, it can still be reversed by making appropriate lifestyle changes. Obesity puts you at risk for diabetes, and losing the extra weight can help in its reversal. It is possible to keep your blood sugar levels under control even without medication. Before asking the doctor what the best treatment for diabetes is, you should also talk about the complications of diabetes mellitus. While well-managed diabetes will not cause any serious harm, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can damage the heart and kidneys. It can harm the blood vessels of the eyes and the brain and make you lose sensitivity in the feet. It is therefore important to regularly monitor blood sugar levels.
The first approach toward the effective treatment of diabetes is making appropriate changes in your lifestyle. Eat healthy, exercise, and try to lose the extra weight.
Diet: A diabetes-friendly diet includes a combination of high-fibre and low-sugar foods. Focus on a nutritious diet, and avoid sugary and fried foods. Eating more protein and fibre not only keeps you satiated but also aids weight loss. Control your portions, and eat carb-heavy foods in moderation.
Exercise: If you do not exercise at all, start with walking for 30 minutes every day. You can undertake your favourite activity to make cardiovascular exercise a part of your routine. Cycling, swimming, walking and running—all get your heart rate up. In addition, you can engage in strength training or yoga.
Weight loss: Research shows that losing 5-7 percent of your body weight can lower blood sugar levels. Controlling what you eat and exercising every day can help you get to your ideal body weight. Losing the extra weight and keeping it off will prevent other complications of diabetes mellitus as well.
If you are unable to manage blood sugar levels with lifestyle changes, the doctor will put you on medication. There are several medicines for Type 2 diabetes on the market. These work in different ways and aim to lower your A1C (3-month average of blood sugar). Most drugs used to regulate blood sugar levels work by slowing down sugar release in the bloodstream and its absorption. Some drugs help the pancreas with insulin production. These are prescribed when the body cannot produce insulin, as in Type 1 diabetes. So, what is the best treatment for diabetes? Let’s take a look at the available options:
Metformin: Doctors around the world prescribe the drug Metformin, which makes your body more sensitive to insulin. It is the first medicine to be prescribed when an individual is diagnosed with diabetes. If metformin does not work, you may be given additional medication.
Sulfonylureas: These types of drugs help your body make more insulin. Meglitinides are another group of drugs that work similarly but act faster.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists: GLP-1 receptor agonists are a new class of drugs that help insulin work more efficiently. Except for one, all of these drugs are self-injected under the skin. This can be done daily or once a week.
Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT-2 inhibitors): This new class of drugs works by blocking the reabsorption of sugar into the body by the kidneys. These help the body get rid of glucose via urine.
Insulin: As Type 2 diabetes progresses, you will be asked to take insulin shots. Modern treatments integrate insulin early into diabetes management to prevent complications of diabetes mellitus. Short-acting insulin is used with meals, while long-acting works overnight or throughout the day.
When a person is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, their body is insulin resistant and unable to use up glucose or sugar derived from food. This results in a buildup of sugar in the bloodstream. It is important to keep blood sugar levels in check to avoid diabetes-related complications. Lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, exercise, and weight loss can help in diabetes management. A person with diabetes may also be prescribed drugs like Metformin or given insulin shots to manage their blood sugar levels. What is the best treatment for diabetes? Discuss available options with your doctor to help them choose the best diabetes management plan for you.