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Get the 411 on pharmacy news
+ health & wellness tips

Your most commonly asked diabetes questions—answered.

Written by Lucie Calloway
On July 20, 2021

Diabetes FAQ

Who is most likely to develop type 2 diabetes?

Some of the following people are more likely to get type 2 diabetes 1:

  • Overweight and/or have substantial belly fat
  • 45 or older
  • Have an immediate family member with diabetes
  • Exercise less than 3x/week
  • Have prediabetes
  • Have or had gestational diabetes (diabetes when pregnant)
  • Are black, indigenous, or a person of color
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Statistics and other data courtesy of CDC. 2

Can you have diabetes if you’re not overweight?

Although it’s less common, it’s possible to become diabetic while still in a healthy weight range. When a thin person lacks diet and exercise they can still obtain a type of fat called visceral fat. Visceral fat grows around your organs instead of under your skin, so it isn’t visible like it would be on an overweight person. As a result, this fat can still contribute to increased fatty acids and inflammation, which leads to insulin resistance.

What are common diabetes symptoms?

If you have any of the following diabetes symptoms, see your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested:

  • Urge to pee a lot, often at night
  • Are very thirsty and/or hungry
  • Lose weight without trying
  • Have blurry vision
  • Have numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Feel very tired
  • Have sores or infections that heal slowly 4

This is not an exhaustive list. For more symptoms, click here.

How do I test to see if I’m diabetic?

Symptoms or not, the only surefire way to find out if you have diabetes is to get a blood test done. Your doctor will check your blood sugar (glucose) levels to determine if you’re diabetic. 5

  • Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c): This test measures the average blood sugar (glucose) over the last 3 months
  • Fasting blood sugar levels (serum glucose): Fasting blood sugar or serum glucose is a measure of your blood sugar first thing in the morning before eating.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test: This test measures how high blood sugar levels get at fixed time intervals after consuming a high sugar content beverage.

What are the best foods to lower my blood sugar?

Take time to savor and enjoy your meal while focusing on these foods as primary ingredients 6:

Eat
  • Fish with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids such as tuna, salmon, sardines, cod,or halibut
  • Raw, whole fruits
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Whole grains such as oats or quinoa
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Oils, such as olive oil & canola oil
  • Nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and walnuts
  • Avocados
Don’t Eat
  • Highly processed carbs
  • Sugary drinks
  • Trans and saturated fats
  • Red and processed meats
  • Fruit juice and dried fruit
  • Sweets such as candy, cake, ice cream, pie, pastries, and cookies
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Processed snack foods, such as potato chips, tortilla chips
  • Reduced-fat dairy products

Aside from changing my diet, what can I do to treat my illness?

When it comes to diabetes, it’s can be very challenging to manage your health, but every little bit you do is a step towards keeping your diabetes in check! 7

  • You’ll need to check your blood sugar and blood pressure regularly. Use a home monitoring system to so this. Ask your doctor how often you should check it and what your target levels should be.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Take all your medication as recommended.

There are many ways you can connect with your doctor to best manage your illness. Read more here.

Speaking of medications, are there any new medications that I could use to help manage my diabetes?

Your doctor will know best if lifestyle changes aren’t helping you get to your target blood sugar levels. When this happens, medication may be prescribed. Medicine is always evolving, but currently some of the most common for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Metformin. Metformin is usually the first medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. It lowers the amount of glucose your liver makes and helps your body respond better to the insulin it does make.
  • Meglitinides. They help your body make more insulin, and they work faster than sulfonylureas. These include Nateglinide and Repaglinide.
  • Thiazolidinediones. Like Metformin, medications such as Pioglitazone or Avandia make you more sensitive to insulin. But they also raise your risk of heart problems, so they aren’t usually a first choice for treatment.
  • DPP-4 inhibitors. These medications — Tradjenta, Onglyza, and Januvia — help lower your blood sugar levels, but they can also cause joint pain and could inflame your pancreas.
  • SGLT2 inhibitors. These help your kidneys filter out more glucose. You may be prescribed InvokanaFarxiga, or Jardiance to help.
  • GLP-1 receptor agonists. Some medications need to be injected with a needle to slow digestion and lower blood sugar levels. Your doctor can train you on how to properly use such medications.
  • Insulin. You might take long-lasting shots at night of insulin to help manage your symptoms as well. 8

This is not an exhaustive list, and these drugs may come under different names depending on what your doctor prescribes you. GeniusRx can work alongside your pharmacist to help you receive your diabetes medication and assist with any additional questions you may have.

Diabetes is tough. But you are tougher.

Together with you and your doctor, GeniusRx is here to help you along your journey with diabetes. We offer FDA-approved medications that can help you treat your diabetes, all with fast local delivery to your home.

Data and information from:  (1) NIDDK, (2) CDC, (3) Geisinger (4) WebMD (5) CDC (6) MedicineNet (7) Mayo Clinic (8) WebMD

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