Are medicines the only way to treat Type 2 Diabetes? Can diet and exercise lower blood sugar levels? Read on to know more.
Did you know that 1 in 10 adults around the world has diabetes? Type 2 diabetes is perhaps one of the most common lifestyle diseases in the world, and it can lead to severe health risks if left untreated. So let’s get to know more about the best treatment options available for managing Type 2 Diabetes.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes is a lifelong metabolic disorder that occurs when your cells are unable to utilize the insulin produced by your pancreas. This is called insulin resistance. When your cells and tissues become insulin resistant, they are unable to use insulin to take up the glucose (sugar) present in your bloodstream. This is the reason for the characteristic high blood sugar levels in diabetes.
The risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes include an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, being obese or overweight, stress, smoking, alcohol consumption, etc.
Can Effective Diabetes Treatment Prevent Complications?
Type 2 Diabetes treatment includes lowering your blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity. Over time, uncontrolled high blood glucose levels can damage the blood vessels that supply blood to major organs. Poor glycaemic control can cause several complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, vision problems, nerve damage and pain, etc. Controlling your diabetes and blood sugar levels can help lower your risk of developing these complications.
What Does Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Include?
Several aspects of your life have an effect on your blood sugar levels, so Type 2 diabetes mellitus treatment includes managing all of these aspects of your life along with taking medicines.
Your diet is perhaps the most important part of managing your blood sugar levels. Eating foods with added sugars, simple carbohydrates, high-fat content, etc., can worsen your condition. Including fresh fruits and vegetables, protein, fiber, and foods with a low glycaemic index can help you better manage your condition.
Regular physical activity can lower your blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. When you exercise, the excess glucose in your blood is used up to provide your body with energy, which in turn stabilises your blood sugar levels. At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day can help you lower your risks of diabetic complications. Exercise helps you lose weight, which can improve insulin sensitivity.
Oral hypoglycemic medications are the tablets that are prescribed by your doctor to lower and manage your blood sugar levels. When taken regularly and as prescribed, oral medications are an effective way to maintain good glycaemic control.
Supplemental insulin injections are prescribed by your doctor when oral medications are ineffective in lowering your blood sugar levels. Insulin helps your cells take in the glucose from your bloodstream and use it for generating energy. Insulin is one of the most effective prescription medications for lowering blood sugar levels.
Your body releases a hormone called cortisol when you’re stressed. When cortisol levels are high for a long time, it causes a spike in your blood sugar levels and lowers your insulin levels. Long-term stress can also lead to unhealthy coping methods like binge-eating, lack of exercise, alcohol consumption, smoking, etc., which can aggravate your diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes and insomnia are very closely linked. Unstable blood sugar levels can affect the quality of your sleep. Getting less than 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night can cause you to feel tired the next day and thereby, raise your blood sugar levels. Due to this, you may start feeling hungry and eat more food which can cause weight gain.
Is There a Cure for Type 2 Diabetes?
Currently, there is no cure for Type 2 Diabetes, but it can be effectively managed or put into remission with medicines and lifestyle changes. Remission is a state where you require fewer medications to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that causes high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in your cells.
- Managing your diabetes and maintaining normal blood sugar levels can help you avoid complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, vision problems, nerve damage and pain, etc.
- Type 2 diabetes management includes a healthy and well-balanced diet, regular exercise, oral medications, insulin, stress management and good sleep.
- Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured, but can be put into remission with effective management.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate blood sugar monitoring and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Diabetes Management program which provides 360º care. Let’s treat diabetes together.
Friendly Asked Questions
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic lifestyle disease that cannot be cured. However, with treatment and lifestyle modifications, it can be successfully managed.
Neither is ‘better’ than the other. Insulin and metformin have different functions/effects when administered. Metformin helps your cells and tissues utilise the insulin present in your bloodstream. Insulin injections supplement the natural insulin in your body and help your cells make use of the glucose (sugar) present in your blood.
Insulin may cause some side effects like weight gain, redness, itching, or swelling at the injection site, thickening or dimpling of skin at the injection site, etc. Taking too much or too little insulin may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugars levels) or hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels).
The blood sugar levels at which insulin therapy is initiated varies from individual to individual. If a type 2 diabetic is unable to control their blood sugar levels with medicines, diet and exercise, they are prescribed insulin injections.