The Role of GLP-1 Therapies in Type 2 Diabetes Prevention and Treatment

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GLP-1 Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes impacts millions of people in the US alone, and can seem overwhelming for those who experience it. With the need for constant monitoring of blood sugar levels, well-balanced diets, and insulin injections, both types of diabetes can present a burden. Fortunately, both types are manageable, especially type 2 diabetes, which occurs when high glucose levels result in too much sugar circulating in the blood.

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes was formerly referred to as adult-onset diabetes. As you might expect, historically, it used to be more common in adults than children. While it remains more common in adults, the gap is closing between the number of cases in adults and children. Type 2 diabetes can impact children the same as adults.

In cases of type 2 diabetes, two things occur within the body that can cause excessive glucose in the blood:

  • There is not enough insulin production from the pancreas
  • Cellular response to insulin is limited, resulting in a reduction of glucose uptake by the body

Left untreated, the long-term impacts of too much glucose in the blood can result in damage to the body’s circulatory, nervous, and immune systems, leading to heart disease, vision loss, kidney issues, and more. This condition does not have a cure, but it can be regulated through proper diet, exercise, and weight management. If these steps do not yield results, patients may need to utilize insulin therapies.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

Increased risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Increased weight
  • Distribution of body fat
  • Low activity level
  • Family history
  • Personal demographics, such as race or ethnicity
  • Increased lipid levels in the blood
  • Age
  • Prediabetic disposition
  • Risks related to pregnancy
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Recognizing the symptoms of type 2 diabetes can help patients with early detection to ensure regulatory treatments are put in place quickly. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms are similar to other conditions or everyday bodily functions and may be difficult to detect. This can lead to people living with type 2 diabetes for years without knowing.

Common symptoms include:

  • Increase in thirst
  • Urinating frequently
  • Increased appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Blurry vision
  • Sores that heal slowly
  • Infections occurring more frequently
  • Hand or feet tingling or numbness
  • Darkened skin around the armpits and neck

Anyone who is experiencing these symptoms, particularly more than one at the same time, should seek advice from a medical professional.

Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

If type 2 diabetes is left untreated, you could face the potential for severe medical conditions and complications, including:

  • Disease of the heart and blood vessels
  • Damage to the nerves in the limbs
  • Generalized nerve damage throughout the body
  • Disease of the kidneys
  • Damage to the eyes
  • Skin conditions
  • Physical injuries are slow to heal
  • Impaired hearing
  • Difficulty sleeping, including sleep apnea
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s

These complications and others could arise, resulting in significant lifestyle changes, medical expenses, and more.

GLP-1 Therapies

What is GLP-1?

As you can see, type 2 diabetes comes with a host of problems that could result in significant medical complications. One way medical professionals look to help those with the condition is through the use of GLP-1 therapies. These medications work to lower a person’s blood sugar level and help to manage weight loss.

GLP-1 medications mimic the natural GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide) the body produces. This hormone is created in the small intestine and works with your body to naturally work against conditions like diabetes. Some of the ways GLP-1 works within your body include:

  • Causing your pancreas to distribute insulin- Insulin is another natural hormone that is produced by the body and helps to create energy from the food you consume. Insulin is the main way in which your body works to reduce your blood sugar levels.
  • Builds a barrier from glucagon secretion- Another hormone in your body is glucagon, which works to maintain your blood sugar levels. This hormone causes blood glucose to rise when it is necessary and fall when it is not. GLP-1 works with this hormone to regulate your body’s blood sugar levels.
  • Reducing stomach emptying speed- When your body’s digestion slows, less sugar is released from the foods that you eat. Slowing your body’s digestion can keep blood sugar levels low.
  • Increasing satiety- This is the way in which your body feels full after eating. By increasing this feeling, your body will limit its intake because it no longer thinks it needs food.

GLP-1 medications were designed to mirror this hormone’s function and help all of these processes continue to work within your body by supplementing what your body naturally creates. This medication, however, must be properly regulated. The dosage is designed to supplement what may be missing from your body’s natural GLP-1 production, but it does not limit itself like vitamins or other supplements. That means that the higher the dose, the stronger the effects.

In a 2021 study, GLP-1 therapies have been determined to be among the most effective medications for blood sugar management and weight loss. With proper weight management, type 2 diabetes can be effectively regulated.

STAAR LABS Supplements

In existence since 2020, STAAR LABS is on the cutting edge of performance supplements, with the goal of helping people push their boundaries and limits in order to increase their maximum potential. However, while the brand’s focus is on athletes, they use the same science and product design to create supplements that can benefit everyone.

When it comes to GLP-1 therapies and type 2 diabetes, there are a number of available options on the market. However, if you’re taking a GLP-1 therapy in conjunction with other supplements, there are opportunities to maximize the effects of the drug’s ability to control type 2 diabetes. The most beneficial supplements can help boost the most vital functions of weight management and blood sugar control.

STAAR Labs products which can optimize GLP-1 therapies include:

ULTRABRRN Weight Loss Supplement
ULTRABRRN Weight Loss Supplement- When this supplement is combined with a GLP-1 therapy, there is an increased opportunity to meet weight loss goals by increasing metabolism, suppressing your appetite, and optimizing fat-burning potential.

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EG3G Green Tea Extract
EG3G Green Tea Extract- This supplement is most commonly used to help with boosting metabolism and inflammation. However, one of the added benefits is that may help control blood sugar levels. It may also help boost your body’s natural fat burning process.

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SLM+ for Healthy Weight Management
SLM+ for Healthy Weight Management- Made with banana leaf extract, this supplement contains corosolic acid which may help to improve the body’s insulin sensitivity and balance the body’s blood sugar levels.

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Managing weight and promoting healthy natural body responses can be effective in treating the symptoms of type 2 diabetes when enhanced by diabetes drugs and weight loss supplements.

Exercise As a Preventative and Treatment Strategy

While supplements and GLP-1 therapies are a great addition to type 2 diabetes management, there are other ways to boost your prevention and treatment for type 2 diabetes symptoms. Whether you’re using exercise as a regular part of preventing type 2 diabetes or to manage your condition, you will benefit from being more active. Research has shown that regular exercise can increase insulin hormones in the body, which are necessary to maintain the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar.

The study suggests that when your weekly exercise routine balances cardio with dynamic movements designed to work specific muscle groups for a combined 150 minutes per week, the results can significantly improve your type 2 diabetes management or prevention efforts. This type of routine helps with weight management, promotes a healthy heart, improves restorative sleep, lowers bad cholesterol, and enhances good cholesterol, all while maintaining blood pressure.

Starting an exercise routine is simple and doesn’t mean that you have to run out and purchase an expensive gym membership. Types of exercises that can be considered moderate intensity include walking, swimming, cycling, and even housework such as cleaning or mowing the lawn.

There are plenty of ways to get active while using body weight for resistance, either around the house or while spending time outside. That means physical activity can be both fun and easy. For those who want to continue to take it to the next level, consider purchasing resistance bands, a smartwatch to track your exercise and caloric burn, or other equipment that could help you on your path to a healthier you.

If you’re planning such a routine, it is best to spread your exercise throughout the week. In other words, don’t spend one day cleaning the house for two hours and then take the rest of the week off. Try to incorporate at least 25 minutes per day.

Dietary Modifications

One of the most important ways you can help prevent or treat the symptoms of type 2 diabetes is to maintain a healthy diet. In fact, exercise combined with a healthy diet can work double time to improve your overall health, which enables your body to spend its resources producing insulin hormones and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

Research suggests that foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts can have a positive impact on a person who has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. These foods aid in providing the body with proper energy and nutrients. In addition, when your body feels healthy, you are more likely to get out and exercise. When your body is functioning as it should, energy levels increase.

Knowing the caloric intake that you need to maintain a healthy weight can help your body to control blood sugar levels. When the body is inundated with extra calories or carbohydrates, it may increase blood sugar levels. Limiting salt intake can prevent proper hydration and prevent the body from producing the natural hormones that it needs. Similarly, limiting the intake of alcohol, processed foods, sugar, and red meats can also help to maintain the body’s natural ability to properly process, digest, and utilize the foods that are taken in. Foods to avoid include those high in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

How to Eat Healthy to Prevent Diabetes

If you’ve purchased the appropriate foods and are planning a healthy meal, one recommendation from the American Diabetes Association is to plate in the following manner:

    • Ensure half your plate is filled with vegetables that are not starchy. This includes vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, and spinach.
    • A quarter of your plate should contain lean protein such as chicken, a lean cut of pork, or a healthy fish such as tuna.
    • The final quarter of the plate should contain a carbohydrate such as brown rice or a starch vegetable such as green peas.
    • Although healthy, fattier foods such as avocados should be incorporated into meals in a limited capacity.
    • To compliment your meal, include a beverage such as unsweetened tea or coffee, water, and a serving of fruit or limited dairy.

This is a final reminder to monitor your intake of carbohydrate-heavy foods. Carbohydrates become sugars when digested, which could mean that eating more carbohydrates could increase your blood sugar levels or make them difficult to maintain. A recommendation is to stick between 12 and 15 grams of carbs daily.

Compounding Pharmacy of America Can Help You with Your Medications and Supplements

Help with Medications and Supplements

Type 2 diabetes can be difficult to live with and can be a significant source of frustration and hardship for those who suffer from it. However, with the right diet, a solid exercise routine, and a regimen of GLP-1 therapies combined with supplements such as those from STAAR LABS, type 2 diabetes does not have to rule your life. By incorporating the right choices, you can improve your natural production of insulin as well as properly process foods to maintain the right blood sugar levels.

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, know someone who does, or have questions, contact the team at Compounding Pharmacy of America and let us help you make the right supplement choices to keep you healthy while preventing and treating your type 2 diabetes.


Resources:

  1. Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Type 2 diabetes – Symptoms and causes. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193
  2. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). GLP-1 agonists. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/13901-glp-1-agonists
  3. Dhir, A., & Kulkarni, S. K. (2021). GLP-1 receptor agonists: A potential treatment for neurodegenerative disorders. British Journal of Pharmacology, 178(1), 36-51. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.15788
  4. Melmed, S., Auchus, R. J., Goldfine, A. B., & Koenig, R. J. (2020). In Williams textbook of endocrinology (14th ed.). Elsevier. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-73234-9_36
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Get active. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/active.html#:~:text=The%20goal%20is%20to%20get,%2C%20shoulders%2C%20and%20arms).
  6. American Diabetes Association. (2016). Standards of medical care in diabetes – 2016. Diabetes Care, 39(Supplement 1), S1-S112. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc16-S001
  7. Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Diabetes diet: Create your healthy-eating plan. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-diet/art-20044295

About Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

Chief Operating Officer, The Compounding Pharmacy of America Matthew Poteet, Pharm.D. graduated with Honors from Lee University with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Science. After his undergraduate training, he completed the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, graduating in 2004. Dr. Poteet has spent much of his pharmacy career on staff at two of the most prestigious academic teaching hospitals in the Southeast; Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. At these institutions he received extensive experience and training in sterile products compounding. He returned home to East Tennessee in 2010, where he has held the position of Pharmacy Director at two sterile products pharmacies in Knoxville. Matthew lives in Knoxville with his wife, Chris. Dr. Poteet is Tennessee’s first Board Certified Anti-Aging Pharmacist by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Read More About Matthew Poteet, PharmD