Start on medication
Metformin, a generic drug, is generally recommended as a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes. The reason, says Buse, is that people who try to manage the disease with lifestyle changes alone are not always successful, while metformin, which has little risk of side effects, can help get blood glucose down to healthy levels. If your blood sugar still doesn't budge, however, your doctor may prescribe a different diabetes drug. In addition, says Buse, diabetics over age 40 should talk to their doctor about taking a cholesterol-lowering statin to protect against heart disease, the No. 1 killer of people with diabetes. The ADA also advises that most men older than 50 and women over age 60 take 75 to 162 milligrams of aspirin every day to prevent heart attacks.