Type 2 diabetes treatment usually follows a step-wise approach starting with lifestyle modifications and exercise to oral medications and eventually insulin therapy. Goals of treatment are to keep the blood glucose level as close to normal as possible and delay or prevent complications due to high blood glucose. As diabetes is a life-long disease, appropriate treatment for type 2 diabetes needs lifelong commitment to:
Lifestyle changes: These are an important aspect in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes recommended for people with type 2 diabetes include:
If lifestyle modifications fail to maintain your blood sugar levels in the target range, your doctor will prescribe medications. Medications, however, must not be used as a substitute to lifestyle modifications, but along with them; both of these together improve blood sugar control and decrease the dose of medication needed to control blood sugar levels.
Medications to treat type 2 diabetes
Some commonly used medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes include:
Insulin for type 2 diabetes
If the blood sugar level is not maintained within the target range through lifestyle modifications and oral medications, your doctor will prescribe insulin. Insulin is given as an injection because oral preparations of insulin are not available.
The different types of injectable insulin are:
Your doctor will prescribe a mixture of insulin types (short and long acting) to be taken throughout the day and night based on blood sugar levels and control. Insulin injections can be taken as a standard injection or in several different ways such as insulin pen, insulin infuser, jet injectors, insulin auto injector and insulin pump.
In diabetes, following the doctor’s recommendations regarding lifestyle and dietary modifications, medications (oral medications and/or insulin) and regular follow-up are essential to maintain the glucose level as normal as possible. Maintaining the blood sugar in the target range can prevent or delay the onset of complications due to diabetes.
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