Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the body doesn’t use insulin properly, causing blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise (hyperglycemia). Glucose is the body’s primary source of energy. The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that helps convert glucose from the foods you eat into energy your body uses.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is not the same as type 1 diabetes (formerly called juvenile diabetes), a condition in which little to no insulin is produced by the pancreas.
What Is Type 2 Diabetes Treatment?
It may be possible to get rid of type 2 diabetes in some cases with a healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and certain lifestyle changes; however, people need to continue to monitor their blood sugar and maintain healthy habits or type 2 diabetes can recur.
Lifestyle Changes for Type 2 Diabetes
Lifestyle changes to manage and reverse type 2 diabetes, if possible, include:
- Manage A1C (average blood glucose level over the past 3 months)
- Check blood glucose levels daily
- Follow a diabetes meal plan as recommended by your doctor or nutritionist
- Healthy food choices include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean poultry and fish, and low-fat dairy
- Low-calorie, low-fat, low-sugar, and low-salt are the best options
- Drink plenty of water
- Don’t smoke
- Exercise regularly
- Keep blood pressure under control
- Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
- Get adequate sleep
- Manage stress
- Take diabetes medications as prescribed
Type 2 Diabetes Medications
Medications used to treat type 2 diabetes include:
- Meglitinides such as repaglinide (Prandin) and nateglinide (Starlix)
- Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors such as miglitol (Glyset) and acarbose (Precose)
- Thiazolidinediones such as pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia)
- DPP- 4 Inhibitors such as sitagliptin (Januvia), saxagliptin (Onglyza), alogliptin (Nesina), and linagliptin (Tradjenta)
- Sulfonylureas such as glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL), tolbutamide, and tolazamide
- Biguanides such as metformin (Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, and Riomet)
- Dopamine receptor agonists such as bromocriptine (cycloset)
- Bile acid sequestrants such as colesevelam (Welchol)
- SGLT2 inhibitors such as dapagliflozin (Farxiga), canagliflozin (Invokana), empagliflozin (Jardiance), and ertugliflozin (Steglatro)
- GLP-1 receptor agonists such as lixisenatide (Adlyxin), exenatide (Bydureon, Byetta), semaglutide (Ozempic), albiglutide (Tanzeum), dulaglutide (Trulicity), and liraglutide (Victoza)
- Amylin analog such as pramlintide acetate (Symlin)
- Combination medicines, which may be made up of more than one medication in the above classes
Other Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Options
If lifestyle changes and medications are inadequate to manage type 2 diabetes, other treatments may include:
- Weight-loss surgery (bariatric surgery) for some patients who are obese
- Artificial pancreas
What Are Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Causes of type 2 diabetes include:
- Family history of type 2 diabetes
- Tends to occur more in certain ethnic groups: African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
- Lifestyle factors
- Being overweight or obese
- Physical inactivity
Factors that can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes include:
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors