The four cornerstones of type 2 diabetes treatment are diet, exercise, medications, and blood sugar monitoring.

The main goal of diabetes management is to maintain blood glucose levels as close to a normal range as possible.

Weight control, diet, and exercise are all important components of management. The most important and main treatment for type 2 diabetes is nutrition. Although some people with this type of diabetes are a healthy weight, at least 80% are overweight or obese. Losing 5% to 10% of body weight can help lower blood glucose levels and heart disease risk. For many people, following a healthy diet and an exercise program may be all that is needed to help control glucose levels.

For others, healthy eating and exercise alone aren't enough to lower blood glucose levels. They may need to take medications in order to keep glucose levels within a healthy range. Medications for type 2 diabetes are usually taken by mouth in the form of tablets and should always be taken as prescribed by the health care provider. However, if blood glucose is not controlled by oral medications, a physician or primary health care provider may recommend insulin injections.