People with type 2 diabetes may require insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels. Others can manage their type 2 diabetes without insulin. Depending on your medical history, your doctor may recommend a combination of lifestyle modifications, oral medications, and other treatments for type 2 diabetes management.
Here are six things you should know about type 2 diabetes management without insulin.
Lifestyle is essential
Some individuals with type 2 diabetes can control their blood sugar solely through lifestyle changes. But even if you do require medication, a healthy lifestyle is essential.
To help in managing your blood sugar, try to:
Eat a well-balanced diet, get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, five days per week, and participate in at least two muscle-strengthening activities per week, and get enough sleep.
Depending on your current weight and height, your physician may recommend weight loss. Your physician or dietitian can assist you in developing a safe and effective plan for weight loss.
To reduce the risk of complications from type 2 diabetes, avoiding tobacco is also essential. If you smoke, your doctor can recommend resources to help you quit.
There are numerous types of oral medications available.
In addition to recommending lifestyle changes, your physician may prescribe oral medications for type 2 diabetes. They can assist in reducing blood sugar levels.
There are numerous classes of oral medications available for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, including:
alpha-glucosidase inhibitors biguanides bile acid sequestrants dopamine-2 agonists
TZDs include DPP-4 inhibitors, meglitinides, SGLT2 inhibitors, and sulfonylureas.
In certain instances, you may require a combination of oral medications. The term for this is oral combination therapy. You may need to try multiple medications before finding one that works for you.
Your physician may prescribe additional injectable medicines
Insulin is not the only injectable medication utilized for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In some instances, your physician may prescribe additional injectable medications.
Injectable medications include GLP-1 receptor agonists and amylin analogues, for instance. Both of these classes of drugs maintain normal blood glucose levels, especially after meals.
Depending on the medication, injections may be required daily or weekly. If your doctor prescribes an injectable medication, ask when and how it should be administered. They can assist you in learning how to inject medication safely and dispose of used needles.
Surgical weight loss may be an option.
If your body mass index — a measurement of weight and height — meets the criteria for obesity, your doctor may recommend weight loss surgery to assist in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Alternatively known as metabolic or bariatric surgery. It can help improve blood sugar levels and reduce the likelihood of diabetic complications.
Multiple diabetes organizations issued a joint statement in 2016 recommending weight loss surgery to treat type 2 diabetes in individuals with a BMI of 40 or higher. In addition, they suggested weight loss surgery for those with a BMI between 35 and 39 and a history of unsuccessful attempts to control their blood sugar with lifestyle changes and medications.
Your doctor can help you determine whether surgical weight loss is an option for you.
Some treatments can result in adverse effects.
Various medications, surgical procedures, and other treatments can cause side effects. The type and likelihood of adverse effects vary between treatments.
Before beginning a new medication, discuss the potential benefits and side effects with your doctor. Ask your doctor if the drug can interact with other medications or supplements you’re taking. Additionally, you should inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as some medications are not safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Additionally, surgery carries the risk of side effects, such as infection at the incision site. Before undergoing any surgical procedure, discuss the potential benefits and risks with your physician. Discuss the recovery process, including steps you can take to reduce your risk of complications after surgery.
If you believe you have developed treatment-related side effects, consult your physician. They can aid in identifying the root cause of your symptoms. In certain instances, they may alter your treatment plan to alleviate or prevent side effects.
Your treatment requirements may evolve
Your condition and treatment requirements may evolve over time. If lifestyle changes and other medications have failed to control your blood sugar, your doctor may prescribe insulin. Following the prescribed treatment plan can assist you in managing your condition and reduce your risk of complications.
There are numerous treatments available for type 2 diabetes. Consult your physician if you have questions or concerns about your current treatment plan. They can assist you in comprehending your options and developing a suitable plan.