Beyond individual behavior – Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable by taking several simple steps: keeping weight under control, exercising more, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking. Yet it is clear that the burden of behavior change cannot fall entirely on individuals.
What is type 2 diabetes and how can we prevent it?
If I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant, how can I lower my chances of developing type 2 diabetes? – is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Most of the time, gestational diabetes goes away after your baby is born. Even if your gestational diabetes goes away, you still have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years. Being physically active together is a great way to lower your own and your child’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Here are steps you should take for yourself and your child if you had gestational diabetes:
Get tested for diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born. If your blood glucose is still high, you may have type 2 diabetes. If your blood glucose is normal, you should get tested every 3 years to see if you have developed type 2 diabetes. Be more active and make healthy food choices to get back to a healthy weight. Breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding gives your baby the right balance of nutrients and helps you burn calories. Ask your doctor if you should take the diabetes drug metformin to help prevent type 2 diabetes.1
What is the best food to avoid diabetes?
Fruits – Aside from providing a wealth of vitamins and minerals, eating fruit on a daily basis will decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Since a diet high in fiber has been known to reduce the risk of diabetes, you’ll want to focus on fruits that are high in fiber-such as apples (including the skin!), berries and citrus fruits,
How is type 2 diabetes best managed?
Metformin – Metformin is the most common medicine for type 2 diabetes. It can help keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. It comes as tablets you take with or after meals. Common side effects of metformin include feeling or being sick and diarrhoea. If this happens to you, your doctor may suggest trying a different type called slow-release metformin. Find out more about metformin
What improves type 2 diabetes?
Diabetes medications – If you can’t maintain your target blood sugar level with diet and exercise, your doctor may prescribe diabetes medications that help lower insulin levels or insulin therapy. Drug treatments for type 2 diabetes include the following.
- Metformin (Fortamet, Glumetza, others) is generally the first medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes.
- It works primarily by lowering glucose production in the liver and improving your body’s sensitivity to insulin so that your body uses insulin more effectively.
- Some people experience B-12 deficiency and may need to take supplements.
Other possible side effects, which may improve over time, include:
Nausea Abdominal pain Bloating Diarrhea
Sulfonylureas help your body secrete more insulin. Examples include glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase), glipizide (Glucotrol) and glimepiride (Amaryl). Possible side effects include:
Low blood sugar Weight gain
Glinides stimulate the pancreas to secrete more insulin. They’re faster acting than sulfonylureas, and the duration of their effect in the body is shorter. Examples include repaglinide and nateglinide. Possible side effects include:
Low blood sugar Weight gain
Thiazolidinediones make the body’s tissues more sensitive to insulin. Examples include rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos). Possible side effects include:
Risk of congestive heart failure Risk of bladder cancer (pioglitazone) Risk of bone fractures High cholesterol (rosiglitazone) Weight gain
DPP-4 inhibitors help reduce blood sugar levels but tend to have a very modest effect. Examples include sitagliptin (Januvia), saxagliptin (Onglyza) and linagliptin (Tradjenta). Possible side effects include:
Risk of pancreatitis Joint pain
GLP-1 receptor agonists are injectable medications that slow digestion and help lower blood sugar levels. Their use is often associated with weight loss, and some may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Examples include exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon), liraglutide (Saxenda, Victoza) and semaglutide (Rybelsus, Ozempic). Possible side effects include:
Risk of pancreatitis Nausea Vomiting Diarrhea
SGLT2 inhibitors affect the blood-filtering functions in your kidneys by inhibiting the return of glucose to the bloodstream. As a result, glucose is excreted in the urine. These drugs may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with a high risk of those conditions.
Risk of amputation (canagliflozin) Risk of bone fractures (canagliflozin) Risk of gangrene Vaginal yeast infections Urinary tract infections Low blood pressure High cholesterol
Other medications your doctor might prescribe in addition to diabetes medications include blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications, as well as low-dose aspirin, to help prevent heart and blood vessel disease.