Drug Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

For people with Type 2 diabetes, insulin therapy may not always be necessary. Type 2 diabetes is often controlled with diet, exercise, and medication. In this article you will learn about some of the medications that are prescribed to manage blood sugar in diabetics.

When your doctor tells you that you have diabetes, lifestyle changes will be one of the first things discussed. The first discussion will involve your current risk factors. These include obesity, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle. As you work to change your diet and incorporate a more active lifestyle, your doctor may prescribe certain medications to get you on the right track faster.

Even though Type 2 diabetics don’t take insulin, they still have to monitor blood sugar to determine how well their dieting and exercise efforts are working. Sorry, you won’t be able to avoid that finger pricking; it is still necessary for control. 

Diabetes Medications

Now, we don’’t always eat what we should. If you are diabetic, the results of non-compliance can be very detrimental to your health and well-being. If you eat something that is off your diet, like a cookie, your blood sugar will usually rise in response to too much sugar moving into the blood.

Anti-Hyperglycemic Drugs

These are given orally (a relief to those who don’t like needles) to lower your blood sugar through stimulating the natural process of insulin production in the body. One such drug is metformin. Another name for it is Glucophage. It reduces the amount of glucose produced by the liver.

It also helps the cells to become more welcoming to insulin in diabetics who have developed insulin resistance. For those with risks of heart attack and stroke, this drug also helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It is particularly useful for diabetics who are overweight.

Another class of drugs that help with lowering blood sugar is sulfonylurea. They work to naturally stimulate an increased production of insulin in the body. This is good for diabetics that have a limited insulin secretion that is not managing their blood sugar levels.

Precose is a diabetes management drug that works in the intestinal tract. It decreases the amount of carbohydrates that are absorbed into the intestines. Once carbs are broken down, the glucose is moved through the walls into the bloodstream where it circulates until used. When there is less sugar available to the bloodstream, then the amount of insulin the body produces can handle it.

Injectable drugs are used as a companion for Type 2 diabetics who have to use insulin. The blood sugar is not easily controlled with insulin alone so these drugs (Symlin and Byetta for example) are used for greater control.

Your doctor may use one drug, several drugs, or a combination drug to manage your diabetes. It all depends on your risk factors, any other complications with your diabetes, and how well you are controlling your diabetes with diet and exercise. All these options for treatment should be discussed with your health care professionals.

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