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Diabetes Treatment: Type 2

The mantra for treating the Type 2 Diabetes is "Slow down the progress." Here's how it generally works:

Stage 1: Lots of Insulin

Type 2 is now described as a progressive disease. Here is a common scenario - When type 2 is diagnosed, the pancreas usually produces plenty of insulin. But the body cannot use this insulin efficiently. Insulin resistance is another name for type 2. Beyond genetics, excess weight is often a culprit.

At this early stage of type 2, the standard advice is to shed a few pounds, choose healthier foods (and less of them), and become more active. This helps insulin work well. Some people do need a diabetes medicine to control blood glucose. However, many people can decrease or stop taking their diabetes medicine if healthy changes are made and continued.

Stage 2: Less Insulin

For some, type 2 progresses naturally. Over time, the pancreas' insulin production dwindles. Eventually, there's not enough insulin to maintain blood glucose control. Then it's time to start a diabetes pill, increase the dose, or add another diabetes pill. This plan may control blood glucose for a while, particularly if healthy lifestyle habits continue.

Stage 3: Even Less Insulin

More time passes. Insulin production may dwindle to near nothing. None of the diabetes pills work if there's no insulin being made in the pancreas. Most people with type 2 eventually need insulin by shot, pen, or pump. About 35-40% of people with type 2 take insulin, most often, after they have had diabetes for years. Don't think of yourself as a failure when you start taking one or more diabetes pills or insulin: It's the natural progress of type 2.

Type 2: Slow Down the Progress

  • Be serious about type 2 as soon as you are diagnosed.
  • Make sure your health care provider takes type 2 seriously.
  • Get to and stay at a healthy weight--make healthy food choices and become more active.
  • From day 1, set goals for your short-term and long-term blood glucose levels.
  • Tell your health care provider if you observe that your blood glucose levels are on the rise. It's probably a sign your treatment needs changing.

    Don't resist insulin. If you need insulin, you'll feel better once you start taking it.

    ‹‹ Diabetes Treatment: Generally Alternative Treatments ››

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