Type 2 diabetes medication: blood sugar, weight loss

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Medical experts say lifestyle is key to controlling type 2 diabetes. Maskot/Getty Images
  • A newly approved type 2 diabetes drug worked well in a new study, researchers say.
  • They say the drug tirzepatide achieved weight loss and blood sugar control goals more quickly than other treatments.
  • Experts say that in addition to medication, type 2 diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise programs.

The drug tirzepatide (Mounjaro), which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in May 2022, was found to help achieve goals of blood sugar control and weight loss weight faster than other types of diabetes drugs in a new study. .

Research presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Sweden showed that for adults who took injectable doses of tirzepatide instead of Rybelsus or daily insulin:

  • Blood glucose targets were reached four weeks earlier.
  • Weight loss goals of a 5% weight reduction were achieved in 12 weeks instead of 24 weeks.
  • Achieving A1c levels below 7% took about 8 weeks compared to 12 weeks.
  • Achieving A1c levels below 6.5% took 12 weeks compared to 16 to 24 weeks.

“Even a small weight loss, 5 to 10 percent, can dramatically improve your blood glucose numbers,” Lauren Sepe, a clinical nutritionist at the Kellman Wellness Center in New York, told Healthline.

Mounjaro mimics two natural insulin-releasing and appetite-suppressing hormones in one shot. Because of the drug’s effects on blood sugar levels and weight loss, adults with type 2 diabetes may also have fewer long-term complications than those who don’t take the drug, the researchers said.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health.

It occurs when blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high. Blood sugar comes from our food and is our main source of energy.

“For many people with diabetes, their cells do not respond properly to insulin. So the pancreas continues to pump out more and more insulin. However, circulating glucose levels remain high in the bloodstream,” he said. explain Sepe.

“Over time, this persistently high glucose level can lead to diabetes, which leads to chronic inflammation, which can put you at risk for other chronic conditions,” he added.

There are certain lifestyle factors and health conditions that can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes:

  • physical inactivity
  • Arterial hypertension
  • Family history of diabetes
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian American, and some Pacific Islander ethnicities
  • Being overweight
  • To smoke
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • depression
  • Be over 45 years old

Symptoms can develop so gradually that you may not notice them until you have underlying health problems, such as heart disease.

Symptoms include:

  • increased thirst and urination
  • increase in hunger
  • feeling tired
  • blurred vision
  • numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
  • sores that do not heal
  • unexplained weight loss

Some people have no symptoms, so experts say regular checkups and routine blood tests are essential.

Reducing your intake of sugar and carbohydrates is essential, but controlling diabetes is not as simple as eliminating certain items from your diet.

Lori Chong, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, offers the following tips for controlling your weight and blood sugar.

  • Calories matter, but so does food quality: ultra-processed foods tend to promote inflammation, disrupt the gut microbiome, and are low in fiber and micronutrients.
  • A low-carb diet can help control blood sugar, but not so low-carb that we sacrifice fiber. Fiber is crucial to your overall health.
  • Try to avoid the cycle of weight loss and weight gain. When this happens, blood sugar control and heart health tend to worsen.
  • Exercise is essential but not for burning calories. We need physical activity for blood flow and to maintain or improve muscle mass.

With diabetes, blood sugar isn’t the only concern. It can also affect the health of the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.

Because dietary changes can be difficult to make, Chong suggests working with a registered dietitian for personalized advice.

He said it is essential to make changes that are sustainable over time.

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