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What should you expect from your type 2 diabetes treatment?

If your treatment isn’t bringing you the results you expected or helping you reach your treatment goals, it might be time to reevaluate.

If you're living with type 2 diabetes, it is recommended that you see your doctor every 3-6 months. It's important to set goals early on and keep track of progress with your physician, so you can better understand what you should expect from your specific treatment and stay up to date with the latest diabetes management tools and strategies.1

You and your doctor should define your unique treatment goals, along with any risk factors you might have that could influence your medication choice.1

To get started, you can consider the general recommendations from the 2022 consensus report1 by the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. This report (created by a panel of experts and looking at new scientific research) provides guidelines for professional healthcare teams for the management of type 2 diabetes. They suggest considering the following factors when setting treatment goals:1

Blood Sugar Control

The earlier your blood sugar (HbA1c) levels are lowered, the better. Different treatments control blood sugar in different ways so make sure you discuss which option suits your needs best.1,2

Why is this important? Every 1% drop in HbA1c can significantly reduce your risk of complications like eyesight issues, kidney disease, nerve problems, amputations, heart attacks, and even diabetes-related death.2 It's a powerful motivator to act now and gain control over your health.

Weight Management

Some type 2 diabetes treatments have shown weight loss results of up to 4-6.2%3 Shedding this extra weight can help reduce blood pressure, improve lipid levels, and manage blood sugar effectively.4

Weight management could also be an important goal for you personally, to potentially boost your energy or self-confidence, so speak to your doctor if this is relevant to you.

Heart Health Risks

For example, some people have reduced their cardiovascular risk and improved their heart health with certain type 2 diabetes medications, which could contribute to fewer complications in the future.5-8

Kindey Health Risks

Certain medications are particularly effective in managing kidney health, especially for individuals with kidney disease who face an increased risk of progression. For some people, these medications can be recommended regardless of blood sugar levels.1

Why should we discuss my treatment goals?

Once you've thought about your goals and personal treatment preferences, it will be easier to talk with your doctor about your medication options. Talk with them about your expectations for your type 2 diabetes medication, whether you prefer to take a pill or an injection (if the option is available), as well as if there are any daily habits and small changes you can make to have a big impact on your overall health.

Want to learn more about different treatment options?


  1. Davies MJ, Aroda VR, Collins BS, et al., Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes, 2022. A Consensus Report by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). Diabetes Care. 2022 Nov 1;45(11):2753-2786.
  2. Stratton IM, Adler AI, Neil HA et al., Association of glycaemia with macrovascular and microvascular complications of type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 35): prospective observational study. BMJ. 2000 Aug 12;321(7258):405-12.
  3. Jensterle M, Rizzo M, Haluzik M, Janez A. Efficacy of GLP-1 RA Approved for Weight Management in Patients With or Without Diabetes: A Narrative Review. Adv Ther. 2022 Jun;39(6):2452-2467. Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Calanna S, et al. Once-weekly semaglutide in adults with overweight or obesity. N Engl J Med. 2021;3841(11):989-1002.
  4. Zhao X, Wang M, Wen Z, et al. GLP-1 Receptor Agonists: Beyond Their Pancreatic Effects. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021;12:721135.
  5. Mannucci E, Dicembrini I, reu B, et al. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with and without prior cardiovascular events: An updated meta-analysis and subgroup analysis of randomized controlled trials. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2020;22:203-211.
  6. Almdal T, Scharling H, Jensen JS, et al. The independent effect of type 2 diabetes mellitus on ischemic heart disease, stroke, and death: a population-based study of 13,000 men and women with 20 years of follow-up. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:1422-6.
  7. Nahmias A, Stahel P, Xiao C, et al. Glycemia and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease: Exploring the Gap Between Risk Marker and Risk Factor. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2020;7:100.

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