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How to talk about treatment options

When you're living with type 2 diabetes, it's common to reevaluate and change your treatment to adjust to your changing personal health needs¹.

It's important that you feel empowered and ready to talk to your doctor whenever you feel a change could be beneficial. It can be difficult to start these conversations, but with your treatment goals in mind—and by educating yourself more about type 2 diabetes (like you're doing right now!)—you'll be able to communicate with your doctor more openly about treatment.

Your doctor is the medical expert, but you are the one living with type 2 diabetes. You know your mind and body, and it's important to advocate for your needs and preferences during your discussion. Come to every appointment prepared to talk, ask questions and find solutions together. Here are some topics to consider if you want to speak up about your type 2 diabetes treatment:

Shake your personal goals, whether, for example, it's better blood sugar control or weight management, and discuss with your doctor how your current treatment could be more effective.

Discuss any difficulties you've experienced with your current treatment such as side effects, if you would prefer a pill or an injection (if the option is available), if it fits into your lifestyle, or if the cost is too high. If relevant, you can also ask if there might be a better alternative that addresses these challenges.

Talk about your lifestyle and how another treatment might be better suited for you. For example, you could be travelling a lot for work and are looking for a medication that is easy to take, or you may need more support with your weight management goals despite already eating heahily and exercising to the best of your ability.

Ask questions or share concerns you may have about your current medication or trying another. This can mean talking through and understanding how these medications, and the kind of side effects you could experience-your doctor should have useful strategies that can help you manage them. Your doctor can also help decide if your current treatment is not working for you and if you should switch to something else.

Set realistic expectations with your doctor regarding the timeline and outcomes of another treatment. Understanding what to expect can help you stay motivated and evaluate if your medicine is working.

If you aretrying another treatment, discuss when you should follow-up on how it is working. Typically, type 2 diabetes patients should see their doctor every 3-6 months to check in and re-evaluate their treatment.

Remember, this conversation is about working together with your doctor to find the best treatment option for you. By speaking up, asking questions and being part of the decision-making process, you can create a personalized plan that could empower you on your journey towards better health.


  1. Buse JB, Wexler DJ, Tsapas A, et al., 2019 update to: Management of hyperglycaemia in type 2 diabetes, 2018. A consensus report by American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). Diabetologia. 2020 Feb;63(2):221-228

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