Trulicity (Dulaglutide) is an injectable medication used weekly to help lower and control blood sugar for adults with type 2 diabetes. It's also used to prevent stroke, heart attack, and other severe heart issues in those with type 2 and heart disease.
If you use Trulicity, you might wonder if certain foods may affect the medication and cause adverse reactions. We put together this guide to help you maintain a healthy diet and decrease the risk of potential side effects.
How does Trulicity work?
Trulicity is not insulin. It triggers the GLP-1 receptor, alerting your body to release more insulin, slow down digestion, and stop releasing more sugar into the bloodstream.
Side effects of Trulicity
As with any medication, some people may experience side effects when taking Trulicity.
The most common side effects include:
loss of appetite
If you experience any allergic reactions, hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, seek medical attention immediately.
While uncommon, serious side effects can also occur. You should also seek emergency medical treatment right away if you experience the following while taking Trulicity:
change in mental status (agitation, hostility, confusion)
change in vision
severe stomach issues
fatigue, weakness, lethargy
Which foods should I avoid on Trulicity?
There are no known food-medication interactions with Trulicity, meaning it will work no matter what you eat.
However, there are a few foods to consume in moderation or avoid to help you reduce side effects and help manage your type 2 diabetes.
Foods with added sugar
Some foods, like milk and fruit, are naturally sweet. However, others, such as fruit juice, soda, and desserts, are sweetened with chemically manufactured sugar that can cause inflammation, a spike in blood sugar, and increase the risk of nausea from taking Trulicity.
Sometimes "added sugar" can be hard to spot. However, it's commonly used in foods marketed as healthy, like yogurt and granola bars. Always check the nutritional label - under "total carbohydrates," you will find the total amount of "added sugars."
It's also helpful to look at the ingredient list for these added sugars:
fruit juice concentrates
high-fructose corn syrup
ingredients ending in "ose" (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
According to the University of California, there are at least 61 different names that food manufacturers use on food labels for sugar.
Not all high-fat foods are bad. Several offer significant health benefits, like avocados, full-fat yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, and chia seeds, including lowering blood sugar.
However, saturated or trans fat foods can increase bloating, nausea, and vomiting if you are taking Trulicity.. These unhealthy processed foods can cause weight gain, higher glucose levels, and contribute to your risk of developing heart disease.
Examples of saturated and trans fat foods include:
Simple and complex carbohydrates
There are two kinds of carbs; simple and complex. Like high-fat foods, consuming the right ones is key to your overall health, especially when it comes to diabetes.
Simple carbs are quickly digested, sending immediate bursts of energy into the bloodstream. They are found naturally in foods as well as in processed and refined foods.
Our bodies digest complex carbs more slowly, allowing a steady release of glucose (energy) into the bloodstream.
So which carbs should you stay away from when taking Trulicity? Both simple and complex carbs are in foods you should avoid such as:
cereals high in sugar
doughnuts, cakes, cookies
When people with type 2 diabetes eat or drink too many carbs, their blood sugar levels can become dangerously high. Instead, opt for these carbs to balance blood glucose:
garbanzo, kidney, lima, or pinto beans
While you don't need to eliminate alcohol altogether, you should be mindful of how much you drink when taking Trulicity or any other medication for diabetes.
When you drink, take your blood sugar before and after, and try not to drink on an empty stomach.
What foods should I eat when taking Trulicity?
There is no one-size-fits-all diet for type 2 diabetes. Most healthcare professionals agree you should strive for a balanced diet and regular exercise when taking medication for diabetes, including Trulicity.
A healthy diet includes superfoods naturally packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Some foods to add to your diet if you have type 2 diabetes include:
green leafy vegetables (spinach, collards, and kale)
nuts (peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, and pecans)
fatty fish (salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, mackerel, and herring)
beans (kidney, pinto, navy, or black)
berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
whole grains (whole oats, quinoa, barley, and farro)
milk and yogurt (just check for added sugar in yogurt!)
Consult your physician or dietitian for a diet that works for your treatment plan.
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