You may be able to manage your type 2 diabetes with healthy eating and being active, or your doctor may prescribe insulin, other injectable medications, or oral diabetes medicines to help control your blood sugar and avoid complications. You’ll still need to eat healthy and be active if you take insulin or other medicines. It’s also important to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control and get necessary screening tests.

Check your blood sugar level regularly, and watch for signs and symptoms of low blood sugar — sweating, shakiness, weakness, hunger, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, heart palpitations, irritability, slurred speech, drowsiness, confusion, fainting and seizures. Low blood sugar is treated with quickly absorbed carbohydrates, such as fruit juice or glucose tablets.

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A low carbohydrate eating pattern focuses on non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, kale, salad greens and protein foods like meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, cheese, nuts and seeds, fats (oils, butter, olives and avocado). Highly processed carbohydrate foods and grains are limited or avoided in this eating pattern.  There is no standard at this time for the grams of carbohydrate in a low-carb eating pattern and research continues to look at the effects of this eating pattern on diabetes. Work with a registered dietitian who can talk with you about your current eating habits and help you figure out the plan that will work best for you.  


Often, people with type 2 diabetes start using insulin with one long-acting shot at night, such as insulin glargine (Lantus) or insulin detemir (Levemir). Discuss the pros and cons of different drugs with your doctor. Together you can decide which medication is best for you after considering many factors, including costs and other aspects of your health.

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Bean tostada: Bake 1 corn tortilla in 400-degree oven until crisp. Spread with ½ c cooked or canned pinto beans (rinsed) and 2 Tbsp shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes until cheese melts. Top with ¼ c salsa. Serve with a cabbage salad (1 c shredded cabbage and 1 chopped tomato with 2 Tbsp reduced-fat dressing).


The earliest oral diabetes drugs were the sulfonylureas. These work by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin. The oldest of these drugs still on the market is chlorpropamide (Diabinese), which has been used for more than 50 years. The second-generation sulfonylureas are taken once or twice a day. They include glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL), glyburide (Micronase, DiaBeta, Glynase), and glimepiride (Amaryl).

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High blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Lots of things can cause your blood sugar to rise, including eating too much, being sick or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication. Watch for signs and symptoms of high blood sugar — frequent urination, increased thirst, dry mouth, blurred vision, fatigue and nausea — and check your blood sugar if necessary.

You may barely make it to office on time, but that doesn’t mean you skip breakfast. That means you wake up earlier! A healthy breakfast starts your day on the right note. It gives your metabolism the kick-start it needs so that, later in the day, you don’t overeat. Choose healthy breakfast options like oatmeal, eggs with whole-wheat toast or a breakfast smoothie made with fresh fruits and vegetables.

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In 2007, the American Diabetes Association published the results of a ‘One-Year Results of the Look AHEAD Trial’ to study the reduction in weight and cardiovascular disease risk factors in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. It showed that losing even 5-7% of your body weight reduces the risk for developing T2D by as much as 58%. You can lose weight by following a diet especially created to help burn stored abdominal fat (like the LCHF or Low-Carb-High-Fat Diet coupled with Intermittent Fasting).
Healthy fats that provide Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are your friends. Not only do these fats help you feel fuller, they are heart-healthy and are beneficial for diabetics (as shown by research published in Cardiovascular Diabetology 2009). The study found that adding just 4g of prescription Omega-3 to the diet resulted in significant reductions in the levels of triglycerides, VLDL triglycerides, the triglyceride/HDL cholesterol ratio and an increase in HDL cholesterol. Think avocado, nuts, olive oil and oily fish, for example.
Nuts make an excellent snack, but only if you feel hungry in between meals. They taste great even when added to oatmeal, salads and curries. An American Society for Nutrition study from 2008 revealed that nuts have the potential to improve blood lipid profile to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabete. Choose from walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, hazelnut, peanuts and pistachio. Steer clear of packaged nuts with added fats and sugars. The best kinds of nuts are the organic and least processed kinds.
You should report any side effects that are not listed in the patient information leaflet to your doctor. In the case of type 1 diabetes this is likely unless research finds an alternative treatment. It is not so uncommon for people with type 2 diabetes to come off medication. This is particularly a possibility for people who have successfully lost a lot of weight.
Ellis was diagnosed with a type of diabetic retinopathy called macular edema. It causes the leaky blood vessels that lead to swelling and blurred vision. His condition was so advanced that his eye doctor could see the bleeding in his retina without even dilating his eyes. Now he gets his eyes dilated and tested every 3 months. He also gets bi-monthly injections of a drug that blocks the leaks. He'll have to do it for the rest of his life. But it's a small price to pay.
It’s what we all did naturally, even until thirty to forty years ago. Your mom knew what she was taking about when she asked you to stay away from that evening snack. She said it so that you didn’t spoil your appetite for dinner! Sadly, with increased affluence and easy availability of processed foods, the fad of eating six small meals a day to stave off cravings has become popular. Eating frequent meals keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels consistently high. If you keep giving your body food, it has no incentive to burn fat. Stick to three meals a day at the most, with a clear 10-12 hour fasting period between dinner and breakfast. Intermittent fasting improves insulin sensitivity and helps you reverse your prediabetes really quickly.
People who receive insulin therapy also may choose to monitor their blood sugar levels with a continuous glucose monitor. Although this technology hasn't yet completely replaced the glucose meter, it can significantly reduce the number of fingersticks necessary to check blood sugar and provide important information about trends in blood sugar levels.
How it works: Helps insulin work better in muscle and fat. It lowers the amount of sugar the liver releases and makes fat cells more sensitive to insulin’s effects. It may take a few weeks for these drugs to lower blood sugar. Your doctor should talk with you about heart risks with this type of drug, which he may call “thiazolidinediones.” Side effects from this type of drug are rare but may include:

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