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What resources are there for the treatment of diabetes?

If you have type 2 diabetes, it is important to get enough exercise and make healthy food choices.

Exercise will help the body being more sensitive to the hormone insulin and healthy food has an influence on your blood glucose level. But what else can help?

In addition to exercise and diet, it can help to take medication such as tablets or to use 
an insulin therapy. Below is a list of points to keep in mind when treating diabetes.

Management of type 2 diabetes includes:

  • Healthy eating
  • Regular exercise
  • Stress management
  • Weight loss
  • Possibly, diabetes medication or insulin therapy
  • Blood sugar monitoring

These steps will help keep your blood sugar level closer to normal, which can delay or prevent complications such as: heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, eye damage, digestion problems, erectile dysfunction, skin problems, infections and dental problems.

Stress Management

Stress management is important for everyone’s health, but especially if you are living with type 2 diabetes. Stress leads to an increase in the hormone cortisol. A rise in hormone cortisol causes your body to produce more glucose and fat, which can negatively affect your blood sugar control. Cortisol can increase appetite, and depending on what you are eating it can also spike your blood sugar level. Another problem can be that some people may turn to food to deal with stress.

Tablets

Tablets can help lower blood glucose levels. Metformin is a tablet that is the first and most common choice of medication. Metformin travels from your mouth into your intestines, where it slows the absorption of glucose into your blood. After that it goes from your blood into your muscles, where it allows glucose to enter more effectively. It also works in your liver, it slows the release of stored glucose back into your blood. Finally, it exits your body through your kidneys in your urine. All these actions lower blood sugar if you have type 2 diabetes.

If Metformin does not lower the blood glucose levels enough, adding tablets such as Gliclazide will be recommended. Gliclazide lowers your blood sugar by increasing the amount of insulin your body produces.

GLP-1 receptor agonist

GLP-1 receptor agonists are a type of non-insulin medication that is used in combination with diet and exercise to help treat type 2 diabetes. GLP-1 receptor agonists are available as injectables and tablets and it helps to lower bloodsugar levels and to control appetite.

Insulin

You may be eligible for insulin therapy if nutrition, exercise and tablets do not lower your blood glucose enough.

Different types of insulin:

  • Rapid-acting insulin → works 4 hours
  • Short-acting insulin → works 3 to 6 hours
  • Intermediate acting insulin → works 12 to 18 hours
  • Long-acting insulin → works up to 24 hours
  • Ultra long-acting insulin → works 36 hours or longer
  •  

Sensor

Your glucose can be continuously measured without a finger prick with the help of a Freestyle Libre Device. The Freestyle Libre is a small device that will stay on your upper arm for 14 days. With a painless scan you can measure your glucose levels. Glucose measurements can be sent to the Freestyle Libre glucose device or to your smartphone. The Dutch health insurance only covers the costs of a Freestyle Libre Device for people who are using 4 times per day insulin.

Source: blogpost originally from Nutri-Health

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