This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.
Eating more protein helps you to stay full for longer durations, lose weight and keep your blood sugar levels stable through the day. Since proteins are harder to digest than carbs, they offer sustained energy throughout the day and keep mindless snacking at bay. However, not all meats are the same. Choose lean cuts of meat that aren’t laden with animal fats. Completely eliminate processed meats like bacon, sausages, salami and other cold-cuts from your diet. Instead, focus on fresh chicken, turkey, fish and lean cuts of lamb. If you must eat red meat (we see no real reason to), limit it to no more than two servings a week.

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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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If you think that you're exhibiting symptoms of diabetes, it's crucial to consult a physician to confirm your diagnosis. Do not attempt to self-diagnose — keep in mind that testing equipment like blood glucose meters, which you can buy over the counter from pharmacies, cannot diagnose diabetes.1 A physician would recommend any of the blood tests below to check if you have diabetes:2,3


When repeated, the A1C test result can be slightly higher or lower than the first measurement. This means, for example, an A1C reported as 6.8 percent on one test could be reported in a range from 6.4 to 7.2 percent on a repeat test from the same blood sample.3 In the past, this range was larger but new, stricter quality-control standards mean more precise A1C test results.
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.

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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).
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond normally to insulin; this is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually your pancreas can’t keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar is damaging to the body and can cause other serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
It’s estimated that almost 50% of the American population has diabetes or prediabetes – a condition where blood sugar is higher than normal levels. It is accompanied by insulin resistance, a risk factor for full-blown diabetes, and other health complications. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data estimates the recent prevalence of total diabetes, diagnosed diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes’ US trends to be 12-14% among US adults.
High blood sugar and high blood pressure can do a number on the tiny blood vessels in your eyes, but the damage can be prevented if your doctor spots it early. The best way to do that? A yearly dilated eye exam. With the help of eyedrops that enlarge your pupils for a short time, your eye doctor will examine the inside of your eyes for signs of leaky blood vessels. It's a painless test, but you won't be able to see clearly for a few hours afterward.

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).

Because carbohydrates break down into glucose, they have the greatest impact on your blood glucose level. To help control your blood sugar, you may need to learn to calculate the amount of carbohydrates you are eating so that you can adjust the dose of insulin accordingly. It's important to keep track of the amount of carbohydrates in each meal or snack.


Weight loss: Dropping extra pounds can help. While losing 5% to 10% of your body weight is good, losing 7% and keeping it off seems to be ideal. That means someone who weighs 180 pounds can change their blood sugar levels by losing around 13 pounds. Weight loss can seem overwhelming, but portion control and eating healthy foods are a good place to start.
A simple blood test, the A1c (your doctor may call it "glycosylated hemoglobin") is done on a sample of blood taken from a finger-stick or from a small vial of it drawn from your arm. Not to be confused with the daily at-home monitoring that allows some people with diabetes to measure their blood sugars in the moment, the A1c test paints a picture of your average blood sugar level for the past 3 months. 

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