After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you may have been given several options for how to treat it. Diet and lifestyle changes are usually recommended for those with this form of diabetes. Changing what you eat, how much you exercise, and other lifestyle factors is a great way to manage your blood sugar. Medications – including both insulin and oral medications – are also commonly used to treat raised blood sugar levels. If you have a choice of how to treat your diabetes, it can help to look at the pros and cons of both options…
1. Diet and Lifestyle Changes. Most people who have Type 2 diabetes can make changes to their eating habits to manage their blood sugar…
- limiting your intake of simple carbohydrates,
- increasing your intake of protein and fiber, and
- eating at consistent times throughout the day
can all help keep blood sugar levels lower and steady. Getting enough exercise also helps manage your blood sugar. Exercise makes you more sensitive to your body insulin, and during exercise you can lower blood sugar even without medications. If you’re overweight, losing weight is another factor to help manage blood sugar levels. In fact, studies have shown by following a low-calorie diet and losing weight, it’s even possible to reverse your diabetes.
There are many advantages to managing diabetes through lifestyle changes. It’s all natural and there are no negative side effects. You’ll be improving your overall health, including everything from…
- better sleep to
- less stress to a
- lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Plus, following a low-calorie diet and losing weight is the only proven way to get rid of Type 2 diabetes for good. As for the downsides to making lifestyle changes, there aren’t many. Making any type of change can take some getting used to at first. It may feel difficult to change the way you eat or increase the amount of exercise you get, but once you get used to it won’t be hard to do.
2. Medications. Insulin and oral medications are often used to treat Type 2 diabetes. When you’re body isn’t producing enough insulin, taking insulin injections helps your body to use glucose. This helps you avoid the dangerous complications that occur when sugar builds up in your blood. There are also several different oral medications that are used to treat this form of diabetes. They work in different ways – some help your pancreas to release more insulin, while others decrease the amount of glucose produced by the liver.
The benefits of insulin and oral medications are they can help keep your blood sugar under control and avoid diabetes complications. They can start working right away to get your blood sugar down. But like all medications, they do have side effects. Side effects of oral medications include…
- urinary tract and yeast infections, and
- weight gain.
And these medications may interact with other drugs or with alcohol. Taking medications can also cause your blood sugar to get too low which can lead to other problems.
Even if you decide you’d rather treat your high blood sugar with lifestyle changes than with medications, your doctor may still want you to be on insulin or oral diabetic medications until you get your weight and blood sugar under control. It’s okay to take these if you need to. You can still work on making lifestyle changes while you’re taking diabetic medications – and making these changes will help you to get off insulin or your oral medications sooner.