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Lifestyle Changes for Type 2 Diabetes

Many lifestyle changes have been shown to be very effective at controlling type 2 diabetes (especially early type 2 diabetes). These lifestyle changes include losing weight, increasing physical activity (see Diabetes and Exercise), and making dietary changes (see Diabetic Diet). In fact, these changes are important for anyone who has type 2 diabetes, including people taking diabetes medications.
 
For many people, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to adequately control type 2 diabetes. For these people, medications (including oral and injectable medications) may be necessary.
 

Insulin and Other Injectable Diabetes Medications

There are a variety of different types of insulin and other injectable medications used for treating type 2 diabetes, including:
 
  • Insulin
  • Incretin mimetics
  • Amylin analogues.
     
Insulin
There are several insulins available, including short-, rapid-, long-, or intermediate-acting insulins.
 
Incretin Mimetics
There are four incretin mimetics available: exenatide (Byetta®), long-acting exenatide (Bydureon®), iraglutide (Victoza®), and dulaglutide (Trulicity™). They work by acting like the hormone incretin in the body, increasing insulin production and slowing digestion. Byetta is taken twice daily, while Victoza is taken once daily, and Bydureon and Trulicity are both taken just once a week. All are taken as an injection just under the skin (subcutaneous injection).
  
Amylin Analogues
There is one amylin analogue available, called pramlintide (Symlin®). This medication works in a similar way as the hormone amylin in the body, increasing insulin production, slowing digestion, decreasing the production of glucose by the liver, and reducing appetite.
 
Type 2 Diabetes: Fact or Fiction

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