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Review
, 15 Suppl 2, 17-25

What Are the Preferred Strategies for Control of Glycaemic Variability in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus?

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Review

What Are the Preferred Strategies for Control of Glycaemic Variability in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus?

L Zenari et al. Diabetes Obes Metab.

Abstract

The aim of therapy in type 2 diabetes in terms of blood glucose control is to reduce to target levels HbA1c and to reduce glycaemic variability in order to avoid both hypoglycaemia and wide excursions of postprandial glucose. The first approach to reduce glycaemic variability should consider a dietary and behavioural approach aiming to limit the glycaemic index and the glycaemic load of food and the prescription and implementation of a physical activity plan appropriate for the subject. From the pharmacological point of view, the diabetes specialist has now a much richer therapeutic armamentarium. The therapeutic algorithms can help the physician to choose the most appropriate drug. The traditional approach involves: i) metformin, acting mainly on fasting blood glucose; ii) sulphonylureas, that have shown a number of drawbacks, including the high risk of hypoglycemia; iii) pioglitazone, with a substantial effect on fasting and postprandial glucose and a low risk of hypoglycaemia; iv) insulin, that can be utilized with the basal or prandial approach. The new drugs belonging to the class of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors have shown the reduction of postprandial glucose, a neutral effect on weight increase, a good safety profile and preliminary positive cardiovascular effects. When excess weight prevails, the glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists may be the preferred choice for their effect on weight reduction, reduction of hyperinsulinism and glycaemic variability.

Keywords: dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors; drug therapy; glucagon-like peptide-1 analogues; glycaemic variability; incretins; lifestyle; type 2 diabetes.

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