I just found out I have type 2 diabetes. Can I reduce my blood sugar with diet and exercise alone (without medicine)?
Medical nutrition therapy (diet) and exercise are important parts of the comprehensive management of type 2 diabetes. The answer to the question which you ask depends on a number of factors, including what the severity of your diabetes is.
Great control may require an oral hypoglycemic agent, combinations of different ones, and even insulin injections. You can certainly lower your blood sugars as well with both diet and exercise.
Unless you are symptomatic from hyperglycemia, your physician may trial a short period (two to three months) with diet and exercise alone. Whether you are able to achieve your target blood sugars without the addition of medication, will be something you can assess together. Checking your blood sugar with a glucose meter at home will assist in this process.
Some patients with type 2 diabetes start on medications (or even insulin) initially and, by reducing insulin resistance with weight loss through diet and exercise, are eventually able to decrease or even come off of medications. It is certainly possible. Remember, however, that needing medication(s) or insulin to manage your diabetes does not mean that you are a failure. It is important to find the "right tool for the job" and practice a combination of health behaviors to keep your diabetes in great control. Speak to your physician regarding the best options for you.
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