Type 2 Diabetes Fact vs Myth Module

Fact or Myth

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There are different ways medications can help me control blood sugar.

All diabetes medications can cause weight gain.

All diabetes medications can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that can affect various aspects of my health.

Type 2 diabetes can be cured or reversed.

Exercise is only beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes because it helps with weight loss.

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This is a myth.

This is a fact.

There are many types of diabetes medications available to help you control your blood sugar. Some medications allow you to excrete extra glucose through your urine ("pee out the extra sugar"). Other medications can prevent the sugars from being absorbed through the intestines into your body. Some diabetes medications work in your body to increase the amount of insulin released or to improve your body's response to insulin. Agents with different mechanisms of action are often used together to obtain the best sugar control. Managing your diabetes often includes making sure that your medication is the most suitable for you. Find out more about the various classes of antidiabetic medications available for managing blood sugars.

Weight gain is sometimes attributed to diabetes treatment. The truth is that some medications can cause you to gain weight, whereas others may not affect your weight at all, and others can cause weight loss. Your doctor may recommend weight control as an aspect of managing your diabetes. Speak to your physician if weight management is a concern for you.

Hypoglycemia caused by diabetes medication is a major obstacle for people trying to achieve their target sugar level. Some people may be more prone to experiencing hypoglycemia than others. Some symptoms of hypoglycemia include trembling, sweating, palpitations, feeling anxious or confused, and having difficulty concentrating.

Not all medications will cause hypoglycemia. The likelihood of a medication causing hypoglycemia is often associated with the way it works or the other medications it is combined with. Making sure that your medication is the most suitable for you is often the first step of managing your diabetes. Use the Doctor Discussion Guide to help you prepare for your discussion with your doctor about low blood sugars.

Diabetes can have many severe consequences. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and non-accident-related amputation in Canadian adults. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in people with diabetes. Having diabetes increases the risk of heart disease by 2- to 4-fold. Managing your blood sugar can reduce the risk of complications related to diabetes. If you are unsure about how well you are managing your diabetes, you may want to speak to your doctor. Answer a few questions to see how well your diabetes is being managed.

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition that cannot be cured or reversed. However, it can be successfully managed through lifestyle changes. If diet and exercise are not enough to manage blood sugar levels, you may need diabetes medication or insulin therapy. Keeping to the target A1C level (a reflection of the average sugar levels in the past 3 months) is important to successfully managing diabetes. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends an A1C goal of 7% or less. It also recommends a fasting blood sugar reading of 4-7 mmol/L and a 2-hour post-eating reading of 5-10 mmol/L. If your readings or your A1C levels are consistently high, you may want to speak to your doctor about how to improve your diabetes management strategies.

Regular exercise not only helps with weight loss, it can also help people with diabetes achieve a variety of goals, including increased fitness and increased energy level, improved blood sugar control, and reduced blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Studies that followed patients over 15 to 20 years have also shown that it can reduce the risk of death by 39% to 70%.

Therefore, the Canadian Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes complete a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-to-high-intensity aerobic exercise each week. You may want to speak to your doctor about what type of exercise is appropriate for you. Get your personalized Doctor Discussion Guide to help you prepare to visit your doctor.