Understanding Diabetes -- Diagnosis and Treatment
Diabetes Drugs continued...
For some people with type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise are enough to keep the disease under control. Other people need medication, which may include insulin and an oral drug.
Drugs for type 2 diabetes work in different ways to bring blood sugar levels back to normal. They include:
- Drugs that increases insulin production by the pancreas, including chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glimepiride, (Amaryl), glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Diabeta, Micronase), nateglinide (Starlix), and repaglinide (Prandin)
- Drugs that decrease sugar absorption by the intestines, such as acarbose (Precose) and miglitol (Glyset)
- Drugs that improve how the body uses insulin, such as pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia)
- Drugs that decrease sugar production by the liver and improve insulin resistance, like metformin (Glucophage)
- Drugs that increases insulin production by the pancreas and reduce sugar production from the liver, including albiglutide (Tanzeum), alogliptin (Nesina), dulaglutide (Trulicity), linagliptin (Tradjenta), liraglutide (Victoza), exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon), saxagliptin (Onglyza), and sitagliptin (Januvia)
Drugs that block the reabsorption of glucose by the kidney and increase glucose excretions in urine, called sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. They are canaglifozin (Invokana), empagliflozin (Jardiance), and dapagliflozin (Farxiga).
- Pramlinitide (Symlin) is an injectable synthetic hormone. It helps lower blood sugar after meals in people with diabetes who use insulin.
Some pills contain more than one type of diabetes medication.
Nutrition and Meal Timing for Diabetes
Eat a balanced diet is vital for people who have diabetes, so work with your doctor or dietitian to set up a menu plan. If you have type 1 diabetes, the timing of your insulin dosage is determined by activity and diet. When you eat and how much you eat are just as important as what you eat. Usually, doctors recommend three small meals and three to four snacks every day to maintain the proper balance between sugar and insulin in the blood.
A healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in your diet will help keep your blood glucose on target. How much of each will depend on many factors, including your weight and your personal preferences. Watching your carbohydrates -- knowing how much you need and how many you are eating -- is key to blood sugar control. If you are overweight, either a low-carbohydrate, low-fat/low calorie, or Mediterranean diet may help you get your weight to goal. No more than 7% of your diet should come from saturated fat, and you should try to avoid trans fats altogether.