Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, that is also known as adult-onset diabetes, is a form of diabetes that is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin. With type 2 diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin ( a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells )or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels.
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that keeps your body from using insulin the way it should. People with type 2 diabetes are said to have insulin resistance.
People who are middle-aged or older are most likely to get this kind of diabetes, so it used to be called adult-onset diabetes. But type 2 diabetes also affects kids and teens, mainly because of childhood obesity. It is the most common type of diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes Causes
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in the body for use as energy.
When it comes to type 2 diabetes, the body cells don’t respond normally to insulin; this is called insulin resistance. the pancreas, therefore, makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond.
Eventually, the pancreas will not keep up, and the blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar is damaging to the body and can cause other serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
Lifestyle and genetic factors can as well be the cause and development of type 2 diabetes. Some of these factors are under personal control for example diet and obesity, however, other factors are not, such as age, gender and genetics.
Type 2 Diabetes Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly and might go for several years without being noticed. This is because the symptoms can be a little hard to spot, therefore it is important to know the following signs of type 2 diabetes and consult with your doctor about them:
- Being very thirsty.
- Peeing a lot.
- Blurry vision.
- Being cranky.
- Tingling or numbness in your hands or feet.
- Fatigue/feeling worn out.
- Wounds that don’t heal.
- Yeast infections that keep coming back.
- Weight loss without trying.
- Getting more infections.
Type 2 Diabetes Risk factors
Type 2 diabetes is believed to have a strong genetic link, in that it tends to run in families. Several genes may be related to type 2 diabetes. If you have any of the following risk factors, it’s important to ask your doctor about a diabetes test. A proper diet and healthy lifestyle habits, along with medication, if you need it, can help you manage type 2 diabetes just like you manage other areas of your life:
- Weight: Being overweight is the main risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, you don’t have to be overweight to develop type 2 diabetes.
- Ageing: Increasing age is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes begins to rise significantly at about age 45 and rises considerably after age 65.
- Gestational diabetes: If you developed gestational diabetes while you were pregnant, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases. If you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), you’re also at risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Prediabetes: Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Left untreated, prediabetes often progresses to type 2 diabetes.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): For women, having polycystic ovarian syndrome ( a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity ) increases the risk of diabetes.
- Family history.
- Obesity or being overweight.
- High alcohol intake.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- High-fat and carbohydrate diet.
- High blood pressure.
Type 2 Diabetes Complications
Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be easy to ignore, especially in the early stages when you’re feeling fine. But diabetes affects many major body organs, such as the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Controlling your blood sugar levels can help prevent these complications.
However, long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually, they can eventually be disabling or even life-threatening. Some of the potential complications of diabetes include:
- Kidney damage. Diabetes can sometimes lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
- Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess sugar can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Eventually, you may lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs.Damage to the nerves that control digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation. For men, erectile dysfunction may be an issue.
- Eye damage. Diabetes increases the risk of serious eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma, and may damage the blood vessels of the retina, potentially and might lead to blindness.
- Slow-healing sores. If it is left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections, which may heal poorly. Severe damage might require toe, foot or leg amputation.
- Heart and blood vessel disease. Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and narrowing of blood vessels (atherosclerosis).
- Skin conditions. Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
- Alzheimer’s disease. Type 2 diabetes seems to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, though it’s not clear why. The worse your blood sugar control, the greater the risk appears to be.
Type 2 Diabetes Preventions
The onset of type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented through healthy lifestyle choices, and that’s true even if you have diabetes in your family. If you’ve already received a diagnosis of diabetes, you can use healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent complications. If you have prediabetes, lifestyle changes can slow or stop the progression of diabetes.
Eating healthy foods. Choose foods lower in fat and calories and higher in fibre. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Getting active. Aim for a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days. Take a brisk daily walk. Ride a bike. Swim laps. If you can’t fit in a long workout, spread your activity throughout the day.
Losing weight. If you’re overweight, losing 5 to 10 per cent of your body weight can reduce the risk of diabetes. To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.
Avoiding being sedentary for long periods. Sitting still for long periods can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Try to get up every 30 minutes and move around for at least a few minutes.
Type 2 Diabetes Useful Contacts
- Diabetes UK
- Helps people with diabetes and their families. Represents and campaigns for their interests, and funds research into the condition.
- Careline: 0845 120 2960
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.diabetes.org.uk
- The Diabetes Monitor
- Resource for patients to educate themselves about their role as active participants in the care of their condition.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.diabetesmonitor.com
- International Diabetic Athletes Association
- Members include people with diabetes who participate in fitness activities at all levels, healthcare professionals, and everyone interested in the relationship between (or special problems of) diabetes and sport.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.diabetes-exercise.org
- World Diabetes Foundation
- Dedicated to supporting the prevention and treatment of diabetes in developing countries.
- Website: www.worlddiabetesfoundation.org/
Type 2 Diabetes FAQs
How long does it take to develop type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes develops gradually. Blood-glucose levels start rising once beta cells in the pancreas can’t make enough insulin to keep up with the level of glucose in the blood. This process can take about 10 years for adults but more quickly in children.
What causes type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, although genetics and environmental factors, such as being overweight and inactive, seem to be contributing factors.
Who is at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes?
Those who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes:
- are overweight or obese.
- are age 45 or older.
- have a family history of diabetes.
- are African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.
- have high blood pressure.
- have a low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol or a high level of triglycerides.
Are diabetes mellitus and diabetes type 2 the same?
Not exactly, however, the most common form of diabetes mellitus is type 2 diabetes since it is characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood.
Is type 1 diabetes worse or better than type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is often milder than type 1. But it can still cause major health complications, especially in the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys, nerves, and eyes. Type 2 also raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
How to prevent getting type 2 diabetes?
- Manage your weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet.
- Limit takeaway and processed foods.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Quit smoking.
- Control your blood pressure.
Is it true that skinny people don’t get type 2 diabetes?
You don’t have to be overweight or obese to get type 2 diabetes. In fact, you can have high blood sugar even if you look thin. Around 10% to 15% of people with type 2 diabetes are at a healthy weight. It’s called lean diabetes.
What are the similarities between Type 1 diabetes and Type 2?
Type 1 and type 2 have different causes, but they both involve insulin. Thus, making the similarities between the two types of diabetes.
How does obesity contribute to the risk of Type 2 diabetes?
Well, obesity causes increased levels of fatty acids and inflammation, leading to insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to type 2 diabetes. … As a result of this insulin resistance, glucose (blood sugar) builds up in the body, leading to high blood sugar.
Can you have hypoglycemia and turn into type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes involves a problem with insulin. Some people with type 2 need to take insulin or other drugs to reduce their blood sugar levels. If the dose is too high, blood sugar levels can fall too far, leading to hypoglycemia.
Can we get diabetes at the age of 23?
Yes, it is possible to develop diabetes in your 20’s. However, it’s quite challenging nowadays to determine the type of diabetes an individual has. Early-onset diabetes observed in a much younger population and diagnosed mostly in the teens.
Can you still get diabetes even if you eat no sugar?
Eating no sugar is an important first step. But starchy foods can also contribute to getting diabetes. Starchy food is broken down into sugar, which is absorbed and it metabolizes into LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. The triglycerides get deposited into your fatty tissue. LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol that contributes to hardening of the arteries.
Can kombucha help control glucose and type 2 diabetes?
Kombucha is said to help regulate blood sugar and possibly help with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, making it a drink of interest to diabetics.
Is gestational diabetes a type 2 diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is an early sign of Type 2 diabetes risk. Gestational diabetes arises in certain women who cannot overcome the insulin resistance that develops during pregnancy. However, women who have gestational diabetes have increased risks of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
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