Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes

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Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body is unable to produce enough or any insulin, causing elevated levels of blood glucose. This typically occurs slowly over time, and many adults in the 45-65 age range develop this disease through years of low activity level and poor diet. This results in excess body fat which inhibits the body's ability to use insulin. Genetics and family history also play a part in this disease. The majority of interventions and treatments for Type 2 diabetes focus educating patients on creating healthier lifestyles through diet, exercise, and appropriate medication.

Diet and Exercise

Carbohydrates turn to sugar in the body, therefore, "one of the main goals of treating patients with type 2 diabetes is to produce near-normal glucose levels to prevent the development of diabetic complications" (Turner et al. 2005). Hence, carbohydrate restriction is a simple yet important intervention for Type 2 diabetes. Patients are typically prescribed a low-fat, high-fiber diet. The ADA recommends "limiting carbohydrate intake to provide 45-65% of the calories" in one's daily intake (Arora and McFarlane 7). Aurora and McFarlane found that patients were resistant to dietary changes based on familiarity with fad diets such as Atkins. However, when with variations and planning, patients were able to find suitable solutions replacing carbohydrates with protein and monounsaturated fats to help stabilize blood glucose levels. This diet not only improves blood sugar but also assists with weight loss.

Exercise also aids in weight loss and stabilization of blood glucose levels. Tuomileehto et al. provided men and women at high risk for diabetes with "counseling regarding physical exercise including components designed to improve both cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength (1349). In particular, yoga, an ancient approach for balance and health of mind and body, has been shown to lower triglycerides, and HDL, LDL, and VLDL cholesterol in adults age 49-69. Additionally, yoga aids in stress relief which lowers cortisol levels, another problem with many diabetes patients (Vedamurthachar et al. 83). The combination of exercise and healthy diet makes up the majority of Type 2 diabetes intervention.

Diabetes Education

Many people who have Type 2 diabetes due to poor diet and exercise are unaware of how to make specific improvements. Goldhaber-Fiebert et al. studied Type 2 diabetes in a group of 75 adults with an average age of 59. All participants received basic diabetes education. In addition, the intervention group received 11 weeks of nutrition classes and participation in a walking group triweekly. The results proved effective with the intervention group losing up to 2.2 kg compared with weight gain in the control group (24). Education is extremely important for many patients with Type 2 diabetes. Nutrition and exercise education gives concrete tasks for patients to follow in order to improve lifestyle.


Many patients with Type 2 diabetes are on medications which are effective at managing symptoms when taken as directed. In addition, non-pharmaceutical medical approaches have been found effective with cholesterol levels. In a study of 48 year old adults, Hundal et al. studied the effects of two weeks of high-dose aspirin treatment. They discovered a "significant decreases in concentrations of plasma cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides" (1324). Also notable are a significant decrease in glucose production, improved blood oxidation, and greater insulin responsiveness (Hundal et al. 1325).


The most effective treatment for Type 2 diabetes in 45-65 year old adults is undoubtedly an improvement in lifestyle. When given proper education on how to best take care of themselves regarding exercise, diet, and medication, patients can lose weight, stabilize blood glucose levels, and take appropriate medication. With these interventions, adults with Type 2 diabetes can live a normal and healthy life.

Works Cited

Arora, Surender, and Samy McFarlane. "The case for low carbohydrate diets in diabetes management." Nutrition & Metabolism vol. 2, no. 16, 2005, pp. 1-9.

Goldhaber-Fiebert, J. D., S. N. Goldhaber-Fiebert, M. L. Tristan, and D. M. Nathan. "Randomized Controlled Community-Based Nutrition And Exercise Intervention Improves Glycemia And Cardiovascular Risk Factors In Type 2 Diabetic Patients In Rural Costa Rica." Diabetes Care vol. 26, no. 1, 2003, pp. 24-29.

Hundal, Ripudaman S., Kitt F. Petersen, Adam B. Mayerson, Pritpal S. Randhawa, Silvio Inzucchi, Steven E. Shoelson, and Gerald I. Shulman. "Mechanism By Which High-dose Aspirin Improves Glucose Metabolism In Type 2 Diabetes." Journal of Clinical Investigation vol. 109, no. 10, 2002, pp. 1321-1326.

Tuomilehto, Jaakko, Jouko Sundvall, Vesa Martikkala, and Marjo Mannelin. "Prevention Of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus By Changes In Lifestyle Among Subjects With Impaired Glucose Tolerance." New England Journal of Medicine vol. 344, no. 18, 2001, pp. 1343-1350.

Turner, Robert, Carole Cull, Valeria Frighi, and Rury Holman. "Glycemic Control With Diet, Sulfonylurea, Metformin, or Insulin in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Progressive Requirement for Multiple Therapies." JAMA vol. 281, no. 21, 1999, pp. 2005-2012.

Vedamurthachar A., Anita Bijoor, Agte Vaishali, Swathe Reddy, and B. Lakshmi. "Sudarshan Kriya Yoga for Treating Type 2 Diabetes: A Preliminary Study." Research Journal of Chemical Sciences vol. 1, no. 9, 2011, pp. 83-86.