Before we talk about treatments for type 2 diabetes we need to know the basics of diabetes type 2. in diabetes type 2 there are two types of conditions. One, where the body does not produce enough insulin and the second where the insulin produced is rejected or not recognized by the cells of the body. Insulin is necessary for the conversion of glucose to energy. The body converts all the sugars and starches we eat into glucose. This glucose is taken via the blood stream to the cells of the body where it is converted and used as energy. Insulin is responsible for carrying glucose to the cells. When there is less insulin in the body two problems arise, one, our cells are starved of energy and second there is excess sugar in the blood stream. Excess sugar in the blood stream can cause several problems like diminished vision, damage to the kidneys, heart, nerves and sometimes even death. Diabetes type 2 can occur in people of all ages, races, and ethnicities. However, diabetes is a manageable disease and you can lead a long and healthy life if you make changes to your lifestyle, food habits, activity level and if you take regular medications.
Generally there are two conditions that are closely connected to type 2 diabetes, Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. You can significantly reduce the risks associated with diabetes if you control diabetes. Common long term effects of diabetes like kidney failure, nerve damage (neuropathy), heart disease (cardiovascular), and blindness (retinopathy) can be avoided if proper care is taken. In diabetes type 2 there is either deficiency of insulin or rejection of insulin and hence the sugar from our blood cannot be carried to the cells in such conditions we need to take insulin injections. Sometimes due to insulin injection there may occur a situation wherein there is less sugar in the blood and this condition is called as hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, this is a constant risk for people with type 2 diabetes. At times due to the absence of insulin the blood the sugar level rises and causes a condition called as hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. You need to know the warning signs of both these conditions and should be aware of how to treat it.
With lifestyle changes and medications the threat of long term complications can be reduced. You can maintain normal or near normal blood sugar levels. However, you need to check your blood sugar levels regularly. There are different types of tests that are recommended and the A1c test is the most common and generally used by physicians to know the patients diabetic control. Meal planning, weight loss, exercise, blood sugar control and medications when necessary are all used in the treatment of diabetes type 2.
When lifestyle changes and meal planning are not successful in controlling the blood sugar level, medicines are necessary; insulin is also injected for better sugar control. There are several medicines available in the market. One class of medicines stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin, some medicines control the production glucose while some medicines act on the liver and kidney and stimulate it to release the sugar in our blood stream in a steady manner. When kidneys get damaged due to poor blood glucose control, a kidney transplant is the only alternative.
The best way to treat diabetes type 2 remains controlling sugar levels and taking good care of your health. Foot care, skin care, eye care as well as leading a active life significantly reduces the risks. Giving up smoking and consumption of alcohol also go a long way in leading a long and healthy life.