Type 2 diabetes used to be known as adult-onset diabetes, but today more children are being diagnosed with the disorder, probably due to the rise in childhood obesity. There's no cure for type 2 diabetes, but losing weight, eating well and exercising can help manage the disease. If diet and exercise aren't enough to manage your blood sugar well, you may also need diabetes medications or insulin therapy.
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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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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Pramlintide is only appropriate for certain people with diabetes who use insulin and are having problems maintaining their blood sugar levels. Because of the potential for severe hypoglycemia with the use of pramlintide is with insulin, adjustments to insulin dosage and more frequent glucose monitoring may be necessary. Insulin and pramlintide should not be mixed in the same syringe.
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Losing weight can lower your blood sugar levels. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can make a difference, although a sustained weight loss of 7 percent or more of your initial weight seems to be ideal. That means someone who weighs 180 pounds (82 kilograms) would need to lose a little less than 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms) to make an impact on blood sugar levels.
Thiazolidenediones can increase risk of heart failure and should not be used in patients with symptoms of heart failure. Liver enzymes should be checked regularly with use. Other side effects include weight gain, fatigue, swelling of the legs or ankles, increased risk for fractures in female patients. Avandia may have a potential increased risk for heart attack.
Many people, and even many doctors, have not heard of antibody tests, which can aid in the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. The blood tests measure your body’s specific antibodies related to autoimmune activity that attacks insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, says Lori Laffel, MD, chief of the section on Pediatric, Adolescent, and Young Adult Diabetes at Joslin Diabetes Center and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
There’s more to diabetes than just cutting back on sugar. The misconception that eating sugar causes diabetes is far from the truth. The real culprit is simple carbohydrates that break down into sugars upon ingestion. Inactivity and a poor metabolism also play a significant role, which is why you need to clean up all your lifestyle choices and lose weight.
Insulin is a hormone produced by cells in the pancreas called beta cells. Insulin helps the body use blood glucose (a type of sugar) for energy. People with type 2 diabetes do not make enough insulin and/or their bodies do not respond well to it, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Oral diabetes medications bring blood sugar levels into the normal range through a variety of ways.
Your doctor will check them for redness, cracks, sores, or open wounds. He'll look for weird problems (like overlapping toes); and he'll do a monofilament test. You’ll close your eyes and he'll simply press a piece of nylon to various parts of your foot. If you can’t feel it, you might have nerve damage. He may also tap on your Achilles tendon to see if the nerves on the back of your ankle are in good condition. A clue that they are? Your foot will point downward automatically.
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Diabetes can cause major health problems if you do not keep your blood sugar in check. However, you can stay healthy and feel good despite your diagnosis if you follow your doctor's recommended treatment plan and maintain a healthy lifestyle. By choosing foods wisely, exercising regularly, maintaining a normal weight, reducing your stress level, and making other modest lifestyle changes, living with diabetes will be easier.
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Another non-insulin injection for people with diabetes is exenatide (Byetta). This medication, originally derived from a compound found in the saliva of the Gila monster, triggers insulin release from the pancreas when blood glucose levels rise. Exenatide is meant to be used along with oral diabetes drugs. It is dosed twice daily and should be injected within an hour of the morning and evening meals. Recently, the FDA warned that exenatide may increase the risk of severe even fatal pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and that the drug should be discontinued and not restarted if signs and symptoms of pancreatitis develop (severe abdominal pain, for example). It is not for use in people with type 1 diabetes.