Type 2 Diabetes Drug: Blood Sugar, Weight Loss

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Medical experts say lifestyle habits are key to managing type 2 diabetes. Maskot/Getty Images
  • Researchers say a newly approved drug for type 2 diabetes performed well in a new study.
  • They say the medication tirzepatide reached weight loss and blood sugar control goals faster than other treatments.
  • Experts say that in addition to medication, type 2 diabetes can be managed through diet and exercise programs.

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

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 target values ​​were reached four weeks earlier.
  • The weight loss goals of 5% weight loss were achieved in 12 weeks instead of 24 weeks.
  • Achieving A1c levels of less than 7% took about 8 weeks compared to 12 weeks.
  • Achieving A1c levels of less than 6.5% took 12 weeks compared to 16 to 24 weeks.

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

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

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

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

“In many people with diabetes, their cells do not respond well to the insulin. Therefore, the pancreas continues to pump out more and more insulin. Yet circulating glucose levels remain high in the bloodstream,” explains Sepe.

“Over time, this persistently elevated glucose levels can lead to diabetes, which leads to chronic inflammation, which puts you at risk for other chronic conditions,” she added.

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

  • Physical Inactivity
  • High bloodpressure
  • Family history of diabetes
  • History of Gestational Diabetes
  • Black, Hispanic/Latin, Native American, Asian-American, and some Pacific Islander ethnicities
  • Being overweight
  • To smoke
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Depression
  • Be older than 45

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

Symptoms include:

  • increased thirst and urination
  • increased hunger
  • feeling tired
  • blurred vision
  • numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
  • sores that don’t heal
  • unexplained weight loss

Some people have no symptoms, so experts say it’s essential to have regular checkups and routine blood tests.

Reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake is essential, but managing diabetes isn’t as simple as cutting certain items from your diet.

Lori Chong, a registered dietitian at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, offers the following suggestions for managing weight and blood sugar.

  • Calories are important, but so is food quality — ultra-processed foods tend to promote inflammation, alter the gut microbiome, and are low in fiber and micronutrients.
  • A low-carb diet can help control blood sugar, but it’s not so low in carbs 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 and heart health tend to deteriorate.
  • Exercise is essential, but not to burn calories. We need physical activity for blood flow and to maintain or improve muscle mass.

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

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

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

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