Dulaglutide, marketed under the brand name Trulicity, is a treatment for diabetic patients, specifically for those with type 2 diabetes. Patients with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin in their cells; hence, they cannot use Trulicity in their situation, as this medication stimulates insulin production within the cells.
Alongside helping manage blood sugar levels within the body, Trulicity is also used to reduce risks of major cardiovascular episodes in patients with type 2 diabetes, who may already have a cardiovascular illness or are at risk for such issues. Dulaglutide often gets mixed up with semaglutide. However, the two medications are different and can be differentiated with Trulicity and Ozempic.
Trulicity is taken once a week as an injection under the skin. It can be used by itself or alongside other medications for type 2 diabetes, such as metformin, insulin, sulphonylureas, and thiazolidinediones. Trulicity is paired with lifestyle modifications such as a healthier diet and increased exercise levels to improve outcomes.
Common and minor side effects of Trulicity include gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, and abdominal pain. More adverse side effects include hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), renal impairment, and acute pancreatitis. The use of Trulicity is associated with the development of some types of thyroid cancer. Patients with a family history of such cancers are not recommended to take this medication.
Dulaglutide is a commonly prescribed medication in the United States; it ranked 134th in 2019, having five million prescriptions. American patients purchase their medications (such as Trulicity and Ozempic) through Canadian pharmacies, as they are able to save thousands of dollars per year.
What Foods Should I Stay Away From While I am on Trulicity?
As mentioned above, Trulicity is prescribed along with lifestyle modifications. One of the modifications is altering your diet. Since patients prescribed Trulicity have type 2 diabetes, their diets must reflect the management of such a disease.
Usually, patients with type 2 diabetes are recommended to reduce their sugar intake and simple carbohydrates. They may be asked to follow the kind of diet catered towards weight loss. The management of blood sugar levels is a key factor in how effective the medication will be on your body.
However, even when managing a disease like diabetes, it is not recommended to cut out food groups entirely. It can become difficult to stick to a diet plan when extreme restrictions are set.
Rather, it is better to account for foods you enjoy – such as ice cream and fast food – while maintaining an overall healthy diet. Including foods you love that lie outside of the healthy realm from time to time helps you to maintain a healthy diet in the long term.
Overly Spicy/Seasoned and Oily Foods
The intake of Trulicity is associated with GI and digestion problems. Patients who are prescribed the medication are recommended to consume bland foods with minimal oil to avoid such issues.
Whether you have diabetes or not, we all know that excess consumption of processed sugar is harmful to our health.
Unlike the natural sugar found in fruits and honey, processed sugar spikes our blood sugar levels as it is absorbed a lot faster by our body. Due to this, the energy gained from such sugars is not sustained and lasts for a shorter amount of time. To keep our energy level high, we keep eating sugar to maintain it.
Foods made with processed sugars such as cakes, donuts, ice cream, etc., have these adverse effects on our body and should be avoided when managing diabetes. However, patients on Trulicity should also avoid complex sugars such as honey and fruits to keep their blood sugar levels low.
Sugary drinks such as fizzy drinks and processed fruit juices are some of the unhealthiest foods on the planet.
Even though such drinks consist of the same amount of sugar and calories found in solid foods containing processed sugars, our bodies do not register them as they do not make us feel full. Since these drinks do not make us full, it becomes hard to compensate for them within our diet.
We end up consuming more calories and sugars over the drinks we consume. This can lead to extremely high blood sugar when enjoyed in excess.
Refined carbohydrates – such as white flour, white bread, and white pasta – have the same effects on our bodies as processed sugars.
When carbs are overly refined, they are stripped of their fiber and many of their vitamins and minerals. When foods lack fiber, they are absorbed faster into our bloodstream, raising glucose and insulin levels.
Refined carbs have a reduced ability to make us feel full and satisfied. This can lead to overeating, which plays against type 2 diabetes management.
Cheap prices paired with convenience makes fast food a quick solution for meals. Despite being advertised as well-rounded foods, most fast food is chock-full of refined carbs, sugars, and meat. Lacking fiber, these foods rank low on how satisfied they make us feel. Fast food companies spend millions on marketing a year, and do their best to convince you of the need of their products.
Alongside this, the high sodium content in such foods may cause water retention, which may tip the scale in the opposite direction. Although you may believe burgers and fries are from cows and potatoes, fast food companies use processed ingredients that are the farthest thing from organic.
Processed Snack Foods
Processed foods such as chips, candies, granola bars, and most foods categorized as “snacks” are filled with empty calories and have minimal nutritional value.
Most of these foods are laden with unhealthy oils, refined carbs, and added sugars.
When looking at alcohol in terms of weight gain, the type of alcohol consumed is important. The effects of alcohol on weight will depend on the number of calories contained and what percentage of those calories are carbs. In this light, beer is associated with weight gain and high blood sugar.
Although drinking in moderation has no known effects on weight, heavy drinking is linked to weight gain.
What Should I Include in My Diet While on Trulicity?
Vegetables are full of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. They help lose weight and have many additional benefits, such as healthy skin and hair, better digestion, and more energy.
It is recommended that patients pair each meal with servings of vegetables. Their high fiber content aids in keeping you full for longer. However, vegetables that are high in starch (such as potatoes) should be avoided.
Protein has been proven to aid weight loss and blood sugar by giving a sense of fullness and satisfaction. They release energy over a spread-out period of time, reducing your hunger levels and making sure you don’t overeat.
Healthy protein options include chicken, salmon, lentils, chickpeas, eggs, tofu, and spinach.
When on Trulicity, patients are encouraged to increase their exercise intake. Protein is important for muscle and tissue repair, which is necessary when increasing your exercise levels.
Healthy fats help to create a sense of fullness, add flavor to food, and slow down digestion. Good sources of such fats include avocados, olive oil, nuts, nut and seed butters, dark chocolate, and fatty fish.
These fats contain compounds linked to reduced obesity, and hence, reduced high blood sugar.
Not only found in vegetables but also in whole grains, beans, and nuts, fiber plays a great role in hunger levels.
Although fiber cannot be digested, it is beneficial for gut health. This helps aid in the GI and digestive issues that result from Trulicity and may help prevent constipation. Fiber also takes up more room in your stomach, which helps to keep you full for a longer amount of time.
Most foods high in fiber tend to be low in sugar; this helps keep patients on Trulicity on track with their recommended diet.
Trulicity is prescribed to patients who have type 2 diabetes. The main goal of this medication is to help patients manage their blood sugar levels.
Even though this medication aids in blood sugar management, patients should not rely on this medication alone. They must follow through with lifestyle changes to manage their disease.
Foods that are higher in calories but provide, comparatively, lower nutritional benefits should be avoided. These foods are mostly processed and packaged and consist mainly of refined ingredients.
More important than the types of food eaten are the eating habits that encompass the patients’ lives. Rather than completely avoiding certain foods, patients should aim to enjoy certain foods in moderation.
Having a serving of ice cream from time to time or fast food for a meal once a week will not disrupt a patient’s progress, but it is important to make sure that such foods do not encompass the entirety of their diet.
Even within regular meals, the proportion of the foods eaten should be balanced. Meals should include protein, whole grains, vegetables, and healthy fats. Pairing these things together makes the meal well balanced – this makes it so that the meal has an ideal effect on the body. Foods that should be avoided while using Trulicity are also related to diets with Saxenda and Ozempic.
Patients should have a healthy attitude towards food – categorizing foods into “good” and “bad” or “foods that I can eat” and “foods I cannot eat” tends to reduce the effectiveness of the diet itself. Everything should be enjoyed in moderation rather than being completely avoided.