In type 2 diabetes, your pancreas is still working but not as effectively as it needs to. This means your body is building insulin resistance and is unable to effectively convert glucose into energy leaving too much glucose in the blood. Type 2 diabetes can sometimes initially be managed through lifestyle modification including a healthy diet, regular exercise and monitoring your blood glucose levels.
- Eating well helps manage your blood glucose levels and your body weight
- Exercising helps the insulin work more effectively, lowers your blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Regular blood glucose monitoring tests whether the treatment being followed is adequately controlling blood glucose levels or whether you need to adjust your treatment.
The aim of diabetes management is to keep blood glucose levels as close to the target range between 4 to 6 mmol/L (fasting), this will help prevent both short-term and long-term complications.
Your healthcare team including your doctor, specialist, dietician and Credential Diabetes Educator, can help you with blood glucose monitoring, healthy eating and physical activity.
However, sometimes healthy eating and exercise is not enough to keep the blood glucose levels down. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition. As time progresses, the insulin becomes more resistant and the pancreas is less effective converting glucose into energy. To help the pancreas convert glucose into energy, people with type 2 diabetes are often prescribed tablets to control their blood glucose levels.
Eventually it may be necessary to start taking insulin to control blood glucose levels. This is when your body is no longer producing enough insulin of its own. Sometimes tablets may be continued in addition to insulin.
If you require medication as treatment, it is important to note that this is part of the natural progression of the condition, and taking medication when required can result in fewer complications in the long-term.
The tablets or injections are intended to be used together with healthy eating and regular physical activity, not as a substitute.
Occasionally, side effects can occur with medications. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any problems. An alternative medication is usually available.
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