An Easy Guide to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

An Easy Guide to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

An Easy Guide to Manage Type 2 Diabetes
An Easy Guide to Manage Type 2 Diabetes
An Easy Guide to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

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Type 1 and type 2 diabetes explained

In type 1 diabetes, your pancreas cannot produce insulin - which is the hormone that helps the body regulate glucose or sugar. In type 2 diabetes, insulin production may be impaired, or your body may no longer be able to use it effectively.

In both scenarios, blood glucose or blood sugar is not utilized efficiently as an energy source, allowing it to accumulate in your blood and cause hyperglycemia. That’s why diabetes is characterized by increased blood sugar levels.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may not always be noticeable and can sometimes take years to appear.

Here are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes:

●      Increased thirst and hunger

●      Increased frequency of visiting the toilet

●      Lack of energy or tiredness

●      Delayed wound healing (i.e., cuts and grazes take longer to heal)

●      Feeling of numbness or tingling in the hands and feet

●      Darkening of armpit and neck skin

●      Unexpected weight loss

●      Blurred vision

Risk factors of type 2 diabetes.

Some of the factors that impact your glucose levels include the following:

●      Overweight and obesity

●      Excess belly fat

●      Low levels of physical activity

●      Family history of diabetes

●      High cholesterol level

●      Age (the risk of type 2 diabetes increases as you get older, especially after age 45).

●      History of pre-diabetes

●      Presence of conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

●      History of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)

Diagnosing type 2 diabetes 

To confirm the diagnosis of diabetes, your healthcare professional may perform the following tests, which may vary from the clinical setting. The tests may include the following but are not limited to1:

●      Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) test – measures average blood glucose levels over the past few months and doesn’t require fasting.

●      Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – This is not a commonly performed test, and it measures blood sugar levels at two intervals – once before having a glucose drink (fasting for at least 8 hours beforehand), and then two hours after having the drink, to see how your body responds to the glucose. A version of this test is most commonly used to diagnose gestational diabetes (a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy). In addition, healthcare professionals may recommend further tests to determine type 1 or type 2 diabetes, depending on the outcome. This is for them to help you take better control of the condition as soon as possible. The extra care that healthcare professionals provide also includes regular diagnostic and screening tests to ensure effective management of the condition.

●      A1C test - This test is used to identify pre-diabetes and diabetes. It is crucial in diabetes management as it helps monitor the efficacy of your diabetes treatment over time. It is a simple blood test that indicates your average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. If you meet your diabetes management goals, your healthcare professional would recommend testing at least twice a year. If not, you may be required to test more often.

●      PC test - Also known as Post Cibum (PC) or Postprandial (PP), measures your blood glucose levels precisely two hours after eating a meal. Your healthcare professional may also order a fasting blood glucose test along with this test. If you are asked to fast, avoid eating for a minimum of 8 hours, drinking juice, coffee, or tea, smoking, chewing gum, or exercising.

Managing the condition after diagnosis

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can be overwhelming, so here are some suggestions for lifestyle and management tips to put into practice to help you feel more in control.

Knowing what to eat

A healthy, diabetes-friendly diet should focus on ‘whole’ or unprocessed foods, including fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and lean meats, while excluding heavily or ultra-processed foods which often contain many added ingredients such as sugar, trans fat, artificial colors or preservatives.

Foods containing slow-digesting carbs (i.e., whole grains, barley, brown rice), healthy fats, proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals are important in any diet. Essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can be obtained through balanced eating and supplementation.

Speak to your healthcare professional to help you make a personalized meal plan focusing on low glycemic foods (read more about this in our article here) as this can help avoid blood sugar level spikes.

In addition to your diet, it will also help to adopt healthy eating habits, such as regulating portion size and eating at fixed and regular intervals to give yourself better blood glucose control and avoid spikes.  


Any kind of physical activity, including aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming, or cycling, can help to improve blood glucose control. Try to do at least 30 minutes of such activities 3 days a week2. In addition, weight training exercises and yoga can help build strength and balance, improving fitness and further boosting weight loss.

Yoga is also known to reduce cortisol (your body’s primary stress hormone that works to control your mood, motivation, and fear). Lower cortisol levels mean lowered feelings of stress in the body3


If you can't maintain your target blood sugar level with diet and exercise, your healthcare professional may prescribe diabetes medications. Medication needs can change over time as nowadays medications are quite advanced.

The role of supplements in managing type 2 diabetes

Diabetes-specific nutrition, when used as a meal replacement for breakfast and afternoon or evening snacks, can result in lower blood glucose levels after breakfast for those living with type 2 diabetes.

Supplements with micronutrients like zinc and chromium may also benefit those with diabetes. Zinc and chromium are important for carbohydrate metabolism, and supplementation has shown benefits in glycemic control among people living with type 2 diabetes 4, 5.

In addition, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) can increase protection against heart disease by improving various factors that affect heart disease risk6. Vitamin B12 is also recommended for people who have low levels of this vitamin, including people who take the diabetes medication metformin7

* Source: Euromonitor International Limited; total global retail sales in 2020 for diabetic diet enhancer drinks that are not marketed as a meal replacement product. Euromonitor and Abbott calculation based in part on Lifestyle Nutrition custom homescan panel database and Health Shopper survey for Abbott’s custom Diabetes Nutrition category for the 52 weeks ending January 2nd, 2021 time period, Total US All Outlet. Copyright © 2021, NielsenIQ Consumer LLC., and Euromonitor Passport Consumer Health 2021.

** Glucerna includes slow release carbohydrates to help minimize blood sugar spikes among people living with diabetes.

Devitt, A.A., Oliver, J.S., Hegazi, R.A. and Mustad, V.A., 2012. Glycemia targeted specialized nutrition (GTSN) improves postprandial glycemia and GLP-1 with similar appetitive responses compared to a healthful whole food breakfast in persons with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled trial. Journal of Diabetes Research and Clinical Metabolism, 1(20), pp.1-18.

1 Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2021; American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2021 Jan 1:44(Supplement 1):S15-33.

2 Sheri R. Colberg, Ronald J. Sigal, Jane E. Yardley, Michael C. Riddell, David W. Dunstan, Paddy C. Dempsey, Edward S. Horton, Kristin Castorino and Deborah F. Tate. Physical Activity/Exercise and Diabetes: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care 2016 Nov; 39(11): 2065-2079.

3Herpreet Thind, Ryan Lantini, Brittany L. Balletto, Marissa L. Donahue, Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher, Beth C. Bock, and Lori A.J. Scott-Sheldon. The effects of yoga among adults with type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.  National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

4Huang, H., G. Chen, Y. Dong, Y. Zhu, and H. Chen; Chromium supplementation for adjuvant treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: Results from a pooled analysis. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018, 62, 1700438

5Wang, X., W. Wu, W. Zheng, X. Fang, L. Chen, L. Rink, J. Min, and F. Wang; Zinc supplementation improves glycemic control for diabetes prevention and management: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2019, 110, 76-90.

6Sanz-París A, Matía-Martín P, Martín-Palmero Á, Gómez-Candela C, Robles MC. Diabetes-specific formulas high in monounsaturated fatty acids and metabolic outcomes in patients with diabetes or hyperglycemia. A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Nutrition. 2020 Nov 1;39(11):3273-82.

7Reinstatler L, Qi YP, Williamson RS, Garn JV, Oakley GP. Association of biochemical B12 deficiency with metformin therapy and vitamin B12 supplements: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2006. Diabetes care. 2012 Feb 1;35(2):327-33.

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Glucerna® is the number 1 selling diabetes nutritional supplement in the Philippines*. It contains 35 nutrients, slow-release carbohydrates and 4x more inositol vs previous formulation, that delivers a dual action for tight blood sugar control.

* NielsenIQ Retail Index, Dietetics-Adult Segment-Diabetes Subsegment, July 2020 – June 2021