Comprehensive Guide to Type 2 Diabetes Medications and Treatment Options - Better You Rx

Comprehensive Guide to Type 2 Diabetes Medications and Treatment Options

Welcome to Better You RX, your ultimate resource for comprehensive information on managing and treating type 2 diabetes. In this article, we will explore various medications and treatment options available for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Our goal is to empower you with knowledge to make informed decisions about your health and well-being. Let’s dive in!

Lifestyle Changes

  • Diet

A healthy diet is crucial for managing type 2 diabetes. By reducing carbohydrate intake, you can achieve weight loss, better blood sugar control, and lower levels of triglycerides. Following evidence-based approaches to eating and nutrition can greatly benefit individuals with type 2 diabetes:

  • The Plate Method: This simple approach emphasizes non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and fiber. By dedicating specific percentages of the plate to certain foods, you can better manage blood sugar levels.
  • Carb Consistency: Consistently eating the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal helps stabilize glucose levels throughout the day.
  • Limiting Blood Sugar Spikes: Minimize the consumption of fruit juice, refined and processed carbohydrates, and sugary sweets. Fresh whole fruits in moderation are generally acceptable.

Additionally, recent research indicates that significantly reducing carbohydrate intake can have a profound positive impact on type 2 diabetes. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider or a dietitian who specializes in diabetes before making significant dietary changes.

  • Exercise

Regular exercise plays a vital role in managing type 2 diabetes. It helps burn calories, contributes to weight loss, and improves blood sugar control by enhancing insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. The American Diabetes Association provides exercise guidelines for individuals with type 2 diabetes:

  • Aim for 150 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity per week, spread out over at least three days.
  • Include two to three sessions of resistance exercise per week.
  • For older adults, incorporate flexibility and balance training into the routine.
  • Avoid prolonged periods of sitting and make an effort to move around every 30 minutes or so to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


  •  Quitting Smoking

Smoking increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Even the use of smokeless tobacco can increase the risk. Quitting smoking improves diabetes symptoms and enhances overall health. If assistance is needed in quitting smoking, consult a healthcare provider or a certified diabetes educator for various options.

Type 2 Diabetes Medications

Sometimes lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to control blood sugar levels for individuals with type 2 diabetes. In such cases, medications can be beneficial. Let’s explore some of the FDA-approved medications commonly used for type 2 diabetes treatment.

  • Glucophage (Metformin)

Glucophage, also known as metformin, is an oral medication widely prescribed as a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes. It lowers glucose production in the liver and improves insulin sensitivity. Metformin is usually the initial medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes management due to its effectiveness and relatively low risk of side effects. Common side effects may include gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and stomach pain. It is important to consult a healthcare provider regarding any concerns about the metformin product being used.

  • Sulfonylureas

Sulfonylureas are the oldest class of oral diabetes medications. They work by stimulating the pancreas to release more insulin. Commonly prescribed sulfonylureas include Glucotrol (glipizide), DiaBeta, Glynase (glyburide), and Amaryl (glimepiride). These medications may be prescribed in combination with other drugs to achieve better blood sugar control. It’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of sulfonylureas with a healthcare provider.

  • Thiazolidinediones

Thiazolidinediones sensitize muscle and fat cells to accept insulin more readily. They are another class of medications used to treat type 2 diabetes. Examples include Avandia (rosiglitazone) and Actos (pioglitazone). Thiazolidinediones come with certain health risks and require careful consideration before prescribing. Consult with a healthcare provider to determine if this class of medication is appropriate for the individual.

  • Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors delay the conversion of carbohydrates to glucose during digestion. By regulating blood glucose levels, they help prevent sudden spikes. Examples include Precose, Prandase (acarbose), and Glyset (miglitol). These medications are usually taken before meals.

  • Meglitinides

Meglitinides stimulate insulin production in the presence of glucose and are particularly effective when blood sugar levels are elevated. Common meglitinides include Prandin (repaglinide) and Starlix (nateglinide). It is important to note that they are not as effective when blood sugar levels are low.

  • DPP-4 Inhibitors

DPP-4 inhibitors work by blocking the enzyme that destroys hormones called incretins. These hormones help the body produce more insulin when needed. Examples of DPP-4 inhibitors include Januvia (sitagliptin), Onglyza (saxagliptin), Tradjenta (linagliptin), and Nesina (alogliptin). It is important to inform a healthcare provider if severe and potentially disabling joint pain is experienced while taking DPP-4 inhibitors.

  • SGLT-2 Inhibitors

Selective sodium-glucose transporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors help lower blood sugar levels by facilitating the excretion of glucose through urine. Popular SGLT-2 inhibitors include Farxiga (dapagliflozin), Jardiance (empagliflozin), and Steglatro (ertugliflozin).


At Better You RX, we have provided a comprehensive guide to type 2 diabetes medications and treatment options. Incorporating healthy lifestyle changes, such as dietary modifications, exercise, and smoking cessation, can have a significant impact on managing type 2 diabetes. In cases where lifestyle changes alone may not suffice, various medications are available to help achieve optimal blood sugar control. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs.

By promoting a holistic approach to diabetes management, Better You RX strives to empower individuals with the knowledge and tools necessary to live a healthier life with type 2 diabetes. Stay informed, make educated decisions, and let us be your trusted companion on your diabetes journey. Together, we can achieve better health and well-being.

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