By Hope Warshaw, R.D., CDE
Research now shows that to stay healthy year in and year out with type 2 diabetes, you've got to get and keep your blood sugar, lipids (cholesterol), and blood pressure in control. That's goal No. 1. The best recipe to tackle this? A healthy lifestyle matched with the correct mix of blood glucose-lowering medications for you at the time.
The Science: Newer studies show that by the time most people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (yes, diagnosed!), they have lost at least half of their insulin-making beta cells. For this reason, the big push today is to treat type 2 aggressively from day one. To achieve the recommended target glucose goals, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests that most people with type 2 diabetes start on a glucose-lowering medication right out of the starting gate.
In the Trenches: Yes, it's human nature to delay starting more medications, but too many people and their health care providers are too slow to act. "Healthy eating and being physically active always help make the job of getting and keeping your glucose, lipids, and blood pressure in control easier and may help you have fewer pills to pop," says Claudia Shwide-Slavin, RD, CDE, a dietitian and diabetes educator in New York City.
Please confirm your comment by answering the question below and clicking "Submit Comment."