You now have more ways to control your diabetes and boost your overall health than ever before. You and your doctor will create a plan to keep your blood sugar (glucose) in check, get to a healthy weight, and reach other goals.
You may need different types of medicine to keep your sugar levels normal or to make enough insulin, the hormone that helps control your glucose. You'll probably start with one medicine and add others later.
What kind of exercise is safe -- and fun -- if you have nerve damage from diabetes, called diabetic neuropathy? And how can you stay motivated after that first flush of inspiration fades?
"It depends on where you're starting," says Dace L. Trence, MD, an endocrinologist and director of the Diabetes Care Center at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. "For the person who has been doing nothing, you would certainly want to start doing something that's comfortable and enjoyable and...
Most people with type 2 diabetes start their treatment with metformin (Glucophage), a pill that helps your liver make less blood sugar.
Metformin also makes your muscles absorb insulin better. This lets your body process glucose better.
You'll probably take the drug twice a day. Swallow your pills with food. That will lower your chance of having diarrhea, a common side effect.
If you can't reach your blood sugar targets with metformin alone, your doctor may raise your dose or add another diabetes pill. Medicines they may suggest include:
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors: These help lower your blood sugar by blocking your body's breakdown of starchy foods you eat, like potatoes and bread.
Bile acid sequestrant pills like colesevelam (Welchol): They lower levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol in your body, and they also seem to lower glucose. If you have liver problems and can't take other diabetes pills, you might be able to take this drug safely.
DPP-4 inhibitors: Your doctor may suggest:
They help control your diabetes by lowering your blood sugar levels.
GLP-1 receptor agonists: These include:
Extended-release exenatide (Bydureon)
These tell your body it needs to make more insulin and slows down digestion to make you feel full.
Meglitinides: This type of medication includes:
They help your body make more insulin. You take these drugs before your meals.
SGLT2 inhibitors: Your doctor may prescribe:
They help your kidneys get rid of extra glucose by removing it from your blood and putting it into your urine.
Sulfonylureas: You may need to take medicine like:
Glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase)
They help your pancreas make more insulin.
Thiazolidinediones: These include:
They help insulin work better in your muscles or fat tissues. They also let your liver make less sugar.