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WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES?

WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES?

Overview
Type 2 diabetes is a severe condition that affects how your body metabolizes sugar (glucose) — an essential source of fuel for your body.
Talking about type 2 diabetes, it is your either your body resists the effects of insulin (a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells) or doesn't produce enough insulin required to maintain normal glucose levels in the body.




Type 2 diabetes as usually being known to be adult-onset diabetes, but nowadays more children are being diagnosed with the ailment, this is probably because of the rise in childhood obesity. Can Diabetes Type 2 Be Cured? Currently, there's no cure for type 2 diabetes, but losing weight, eating required meal and exercising can help in managing the disorder. If dieting and exercise aren't doing well in managing your blood sugar well, you may then require diabetes medications or insulin therapy.

Symptoms





How do you feel when your blood sugar is too high?

The signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes most times develop gradually. In fact, you can have type 2 diabetes for several years and not know. Take note of the following:

·         Increased thirst
·         Frequent urination
·         Increased hunger
·         Unintended weight loss



·         Fatigue
·         Blurred vision
·         Slow-healing sores
·         Frequent infections
·         Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck

When to see a doctor

See your doctor only if you observe type 2 diabetes symptoms.

Causes


What causes Type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body resists the effects of insulin (a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells) or when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin. Reason for this occurrence is still unknown, although genetics and some environmental factors, like being overweight and inactive, seem to be part of the contributing factors.

How insulin works


Insulin is the hormone that comes from the gland located behind and under the stomach (pancreas).
·         The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream.
·         The insulin circulates, thereby allowing sugar to enter the cells.
·         Insulin reduces the amount of sugar in your bloodstream.
·         As the level of your blood sugar drops, so also is the secretion of insulin from your pancreas.

The role of glucose


Glucose (a sugar) is a major source of energy for the cells that constitute muscles and other tissues.
·         Glucose is derived from two major sources: your food and your liver.
·         Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, with the help of insulin where it enters the cells.
·         Your liver stores and produces glucose.
·         When your levels of glucose are low, like when you have not eaten in a long time, the liver breaks down your stored glycogen into glucose to keep the level of your glucose within a normal range.




What is difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?

In type 2 diabetes, this process does not really work well. Sugar develops in your bloodstream instead of moving into your cells. As blood sugar levels rises, the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas secretes more insulin, but eventually these cells become impaired and cannot produce sufficient insulin to meet the body's requirements.
In type 1 diabetes which is the much less common type, the immune system erroneously destroys the beta cells, leaving the body with less to no insulin.

Risk factors


Factors that may increase your risk of having type 2 diabetes include:
·         Weight. Being overweight is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, you do not necessarily have to be overweight to develop type 2 diabetes.
·         Fat distribution. If you store fat majorly in your abdomen, you have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than if you store your fat elsewhere, like in your hips and thighs. Your risk of type 2 diabetes increases if you are a man with a waist girth above 40 inches (101.6 centimeters) or a woman with a waist that is wider than 35 inches (88.9 centimeters).
·         Inactivity. The lesser your activeness, the greater your risk of having type 2 diabetes. Physical activity assists you to control your weight, by using up glucose as energy and allows your cells to be more sensitive to insulin.
·         Family history. There is a higher chance of having type 2 diabetes if your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.

·         Race. Although it's unclear why some certain races, including black, American Indian, Hispanic and Asian-American people, are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than the whites are.
·         Age. The risk of type 2 diabetes rises as you get older, mostly after age 45. That is probably because most people from that age tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as they increase in age. But type 2 diabetes is also growing surprisingly among children, adolescents and younger adults.
·         Prediabetes. Prediabetes is a situation where your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be termed as diabetes. If care is not taken, prediabetes usually progresses to type 2 diabetes.
·         Gestational diabetes. If you developed gestational diabetes when pregnant, there is an increase in your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), you are also at risk of type 2 diabetes.
·         Polycystic ovarian syndrome. For women, having polycystic ovarian syndrome — a common condition characterized by obesity, irregular menstrual periods and excess hair growth— increases the risk of diabetes.
·         Areas of darkened skin, mostly in the armpits and neck. This condition often shows insulin resistance.

Complications

Is type 2 diabetes serious? Type 2 diabetes can be ignored easily, especially during the early stages when you are still feeling well. But diabetes affects many major body organs, which includes the heart, eyes, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. Controlling your blood sugar levels can help to prevent these complications.
Although long-term complications of diabetes develop bit by bit, they can eventually be disabling or even life-threatening. Some of the potential complications of diabetes include:
·         Heart and blood vessel disease. Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and narrowing of blood vessels (atherosclerosis).



·         Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess sugar can cause numbness, tingling, burning or pain that always starts at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Eventually, you may possibly lose all your sense of feeling in the affected limbs.
Damage to the nerves that control your digestion can lead to problems including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, it may lead to erectile dysfunction.
·         Kidney damage. Diabetes can sometimes lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
·         Eye damage. Diabetes increases the risk of severe eye diseases, for instance, cataracts and glaucoma, and may damage the blood vessels of the retina, potentially resulting to blindness.
·         Slow healing. Cuts and blisters that are left untreated can become serious infections, which may heal poorly and not as expected. Chronic damage might require toe, foot or leg amputation.
·         Hearing impairment. Hearing problems are usually common with diabetes patients.
·         Skin conditions. Diabetes may leave you more prone to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
·         Sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea usually occurs in people with type 2 diabetes. Obesity may be the major contributing factor to both conditions. Treating sleep apnea may reduce your blood pressure and make you feel calm and more rested, but it's not certain whether it helps improve blood sugar control.



·         Alzheimer's disease. Type 2 diabetes also seems to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, though the reason is not clear. The lesser your blood sugar control, the greater the risk appears to be.

Prevention


The choices of living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent type 2 diabetes, and that is very true even if you there are diabetes patients in your family. If you have already received a diagnosis of diabetes, you can imbibe the culture of living a healthy lifestyle which can help prevent complications. If you have prediabetes, living a healthy lifestyle can slow or halt the progression to diabetes.
A healthy lifestyle includes:
·         Eating healthy foods. What type 2 diabetics should not eat? What can I eat with type 2 diabetes? Consume foods that are lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber. Eat more of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
·         Getting active. Plan for a minimum of 40 to 60 minutes of light physical activity or 20 to 30 minutes of energetic and vigorous aerobic activity on most days. Take a quick and energetic daily walk. Ride on a bike. Swim convenient laps. If you find it difficult to have a long term workout, spread your activity throughout the day.
·         Losing weight. If you have excess weight, losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can lower the risk of diabetes. To have a healthy weight range, try having permanent changes on your eating and exercise habits. Encourage yourself by reminding yourself the benefits of losing weight, such as more energy, a healthier heart and improved self-esteem.
·         Avoiding being sedentary and inactive for long periods. Sitting calm or still for long periods can increase your risk of having type 2 diabetes. Try getting up every 30 minutes and walk around for a few minutes.
Read also Diabetes Mellitus: An Overview: Management and Treatment
Sometimes medication might be an option too. Metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others), an oral diabetes medication, may also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. But even if you use medication, healthy lifestyle choices remain very important for preventing or managing diabetes.








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