Diabetes is a chronic medical condition where the level of sugar in the blood, or glucose, increases in your blood circulation. Pancreatic hormone insulin helps to displace glucose from your blood into your cells, where it is used for energy.
With type 2 diabetes, the cells of your body cannot respond to insulin normally. In later stages of illness, your body may not make the necessary insulin.
Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can lead to very high chronic blood sugar levels, leading to numerous symptoms and severe complications.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, your body is not able to make effective use of insulin to introduce glucose into cells. This makes your body dependent on other sources of energy in your tissues, muscles and organs. It is a chain reaction which may cause a wide range of symptoms.
Type 2 diabetes can take a long time to develop. Symptoms can be mild and easier to overcome in the beginning. The first symptoms may be:
- excessive thirst
- frequent urination
- dry mouth
- constant hunger
- not enough energy.
- weight loss
- itchy skin
- blurry vision
If your blood sugar level is elevated for a long time, symptoms may include:
- yeast infections
- slow-healing cuts or sores
- dark spots on the skin, an illness known as acanthosis nigricans.
- foot pain
- numbness to the extremities, or neuropathy.
If you experience at least two of these symptoms, check with your doctor. If not treated, diabetes can become extremely dangerous.
Causes of type 2 diabetes
Insulin is a natural peptidic hormone secreted by the pancreas when you eat. Insulin helps to transfer glucose from the bloodstream to the cells of your body, where it is used for energy.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body will develop insulin resistance. Your body cannot use the hormone in an effective way. It causes the pancreas to work harder to produce more insulin.
This can damage the cells of your pancreas over time. At the end of the day, your pancreas may be unable to produce insulin.
If you are not producing enough insulin or if your body is not using it effectively, glucose increases in your bloodstream. This results in starvation of body cells for energy. The doctors are unaware of the actual cause that triggers this sequence of events.
It may have to do with the dysfunction of cells within the pancreas or with the signalling and regulation of cells. For some people, the liver makes a lot of glucose. There is a potential genetic predisposition for type 2 diabetes.
There must be some genetic predisposition to obesity, which prevents the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. It may also have an environmental trigger.
Quite possibly, it’s a combination of factors that inhibit the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Treatment for type 2 diabetes
You have the ability to effectively control type 2 diabetes. Your doctor will let you know how often you should test your blood sugar. The aim is to remain within a specified range.
- Make healthy foods high in fiber and carbohydrates a part of your diet. Eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains will help to maintain normal blood glucose.
- Take approximately half an hour of aerobic activity a day to help your heart stay healthy. Exercise is also used to control blood sugar levels.
Your doctor will advise you how to recognize the first symptoms of blood sugar which is too high or too low and what to do in each situation. They will also help you select a healthy diet for managing type 2 diabetes.
Not everyone who has type 2 diabetes needs insulin. The reason you do it is that your pancreas does not produce the necessary insulin. It is important for you to use insulin as directed. Other medications can also be helpful.
Medications for type 2 diabetes
Sometimes lifestyle changes are enough to keep type 2 diabetes under control. Otherwise, there are many drugs which can help. Some of these drugs consist of:
- metformin, Which can lower your blood sugar levels and improve your body’s response to insulin, is the preferred treatment for most people with type 2 diabetes.
- sulfonylureas, They are oral medicines that help your pancreas produce more insulin.
- meglitinides, which are short-acting, rapid-acting medications that boost your pancreas to release more insulin.
- thiazolidinediones, that make the body more sensitive to insulin.
- dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, These are milder medications that help lower blood sugar levels.
- glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, They slow down digestion and increase blood sugar levels.
- sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, help keep the kidneys from reabsorbing glucose in the blood and excreting in your urine.
All these drugs may lead to certain side effects. It may take a while to find the right medicine or combination of medicines to treat your diabetes.
If you have abnormal blood pressure or cholesterol levels, you may need to take medication to normalize them.
If your body is not capable of producing enough insulin, you may require insulin therapy. You may only need an extended-action injection that you can take overnight, or you may need to take insulin several times a day.
Diet for type 2 diabetes
Nutrition is an important tool for keeping your heart healthy and blood glucose in a safe and healthy range.
The recommended diet for people suffering from type 2 diabetes is the same diet almost everyone should follow.
- Eat lunch and snacks as scheduled.
- Choose a variety of nutritious, low-calorie, empty foods.
- Make sure you don’t over-eat.
- Look at food labels carefully.
Foods and beverages to avoid
There are some foods and drinks that you should restrict or avoid completely. These include:
- processed snacks
- sugary drinks, including the juices.
- Foods with high levels of saturated and trans fats.
- organ meats, like beef and liver.
- processed meats
- margarine and shortening
- bakery products such as whitebread, bagels.
- dairy products rich in fat.
- pasta or white rice
Skip salted or fried foods is also recommended.
Foods to choose
Healthy carbs can supply you with fiber. The options include:
- whole fruits
- non-starchy vegetables
- legumes, such as beans
- whole grains, for example, oats or quinoa.
- sweet potatoes
Foods that contain heart-safe omega-3 fats include:
- flax seeds
You can obtain healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from a number of products, such as:
- oils, such as olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil
- nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and walnuts
While these healthy fat options are right for you, they are also high in calories. By selecting low-fat dairy products, you will also keep your fat intake as low as possible.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes
We may not understand the real reasons for type 2 diabetes, However, we know that certain factors can increase the risk.
There are a few things you can’t control:
- You are at greater risk if you have a sibling or relative with type 2 diabetes.
- You may have type 2 diabetes at any age, but the risk increases with age. Your risk is especially high when you get to the age of 45.
- Women affected by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are at high risk.
It is possible that you can modify or control these factors:
- Being overweight means that you have more fat tissue, so your cells are more resistant to insulin. Excess fat in the belly raises your risk more than excess fat in the hips and thighs.
- The risk increases if you are not active. Regular exercise reduces blood sugar levels and helps your cells respond more effectively to insulin.
- Eating plenty of junk food or eating bulk significantly increases the level of glucose.
You are also at high risk if you have had gestational diabetes or pre-diabetes, both conditions have caused increased levels of glucose.
Receiving a type 2 diabetes diagnosis
Whether you have prediabetes or not, you should seek medical attention immediately if you have diabetes symptoms. Your doctor may obtain considerable information from your blood samples. Diagnostic tests can consist of the following:
- Hemoglobin A1C test. It measures the average blood sugar for the last two to three months. No fasting is necessary for this test, and your physician may diagnose you based on the results. It’s also known as a glycosylated haemoglobin test.
- Fasting plasma glucose test. This test measures how much glucose your plasma contains. You may be required to fast for eight hours before doing this.
- Oral glucose tolerance test. During this test, your blood sample is collected three times: before, an hour after, and two hours after taking a dose of glucose. The results of the tests tell how your body treats glucose before and after consumption.
If you suffer from diabetes, your doctor will give you information on how to manage the disease, including:
- how to monitor glucose levels in the bloodstream yourself.
- dietary recommendations
- recommendations for exercise.
- information about the medications you require.
You may need to see an endocrinologist that specializes in treating diabetes. You may need to consult with your doctor often enough at the beginning to make sure your treatment plan works.
Tips for how to prevent type 2 diabetes
People cannot always protect themselves against type 2 diabetes. You can’t do anything for your genetics, ethnicity, or age.
However, some lifestyle habits can delay or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, regardless of whether you have diabetes risk factors like pre-diabetes.
Your diet should be lower in sugar and refined carbohydrates should be replaced by t with low glycemic whole grains, carbohydrates and fiber. Lean meat, poultry or fish supply protein. You also need heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids from some types of fish, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Dairy products will also be expected to be low-fat.
It is not just what you eat, but the quantity of your food that matters. You should pay attention to the size of the portions and try to eat food at about the same time every day.
Type 2 diabetes is linked to lack of activity. Doing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day may enhance your overall health. Also attempt to add additional movements throughout the day.
You are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes if you are overweight. Healthy and balanced nutrition and daily exercise should help you maintain your weight under control. If these changes are not working, your doctor may advise you to lose weight safely.
These changes in nutrition, exercise and control weight work together to help maintain your blood sugar levels in the normal range throughout the day.
Complications associated with type 2 diabetes
For a lot of people, type 2 diabetes can be handled effectively. If not properly managed, it can affect almost every organ and cause serious problems, including:
- Skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
- damage to nerve cells, or neuropathy, which may cause loss of sensation or numbness and tingling in your extremities as well as digestive problems, such as vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation.
- poor flow to the feet, making it hard for your feet to heal when you have a cut injury or infection and may also cause gangrene and loose foot or leg.
- hearing impairment
- retinal lesions, or retinopathy, and ocular lesions, which can lead to impaired vision, glaucoma, and cataracts.
- cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, narrowing of the arteries, angina, heart attack, and stroke
Hypoglycaemia can happen when your blood sugar levels are below normal. Symptoms like shaking, dizziness, and difficulty speaking can be seen. You can generally cure this by having a “quick fix” of food or drinks, like fruit juice, a soft drink, or a hard candy.
Hyperglycemia can happen when blood glucose is high. It is usually characterised by frequent urination (polyurea) and increased thirst (polydipsia) as well as frequent feeding (polyphagia), Exercise may help to reduce your blood sugar.
Complications during and after pregnancy
If you suffer from diabetes during your pregnancy, you should check your health with care. Poorly controlled diabetes may result in:
- complicated pregnancy, labor, and delivery
- Your baby get too much weight.
- Make your baby gain a lot of weight.
It may also increase your baby’s risk of developing diabetes in the course of his or her life.
There are many complications associated with diabetes.
Women who have diabetes are twice as likely have another heart attack after the first one. Their risk of heart failure is four times higher than those who do not have diabetes. People who have diabetes are 3.5 times as likely development of erectile dysfunction (ED).
Type 2 diabetes in children
Type 2 diabetes in children has become an increasingly important problem. As per the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Approximately 193,000 Americans under 20 have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. One study observed that the incidence of type 2 diabetes among youth has increased to about 5,000 new cases per year. Another study suggested significant growth, especially for ethnic minorities and ethnic groups.
The causes are complex, but risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
- Excess weight or body mass index in excess of 85th percentile.
- have a birthweight equal to or greater than 9 lbs.
- born to a mother who developed diabetes during pregnancy.
- have a relative who suffers from type 2 diabetes.
- have a sedentary life style.
- be Afro-American, Hispanic American, Asian-American, Amerindian, or a Pacific Islander.
Children experience the same symptoms of type 2 diabetes as adults. They include:
- excess thirst or hunger.
- increased urination
- Wounds that take so long to heal.
- frequent infections
- blurry vision
- dark areas in the skin.
If your child has these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
In 2018, the ADA recommended all overweight children with other diabetes risk factors tested for pre-diabetes or type 2. Untreated diabetes can lead to very severe or even fatal complications.
A random blood sugar test may reveal high blood sugar levels. An A1C hemoglobin test can provide more information about the average blood sugar over a few months. Your child may also require a fasting glycemia test.
If your child is diagnosed with diabetes, his or her doctor will have to determine whether it is type 1 or type 2 before prescribing any particular treatment.
Statistics about type 2 diabetes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report the following US diabetes stats:
- More than 30 millions people suffer from diabetes. This amounts to about 10% of the population.
- One person out of four does not know that she is diabetic.
- Prediabetes affects 84.1 million adults, with 90 per cent not knowing.
- Non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and Native American adults are about twice as likely Develop diabetes as non-Hispanic white adults.
The ADA following statistics are available:
- In 2017, diabetes cost US$327 billion in direct medical expenses and reduced productivity.
- The average medical cost for diabetics is approximately 2.3 times higher than without diabetes.
- Diabetes is the 7th most common cause of death in the United States, either as an underlying cause of death or as a cause of death.
The World Health Organization (WHO) following statistics are available:
- The worldwide prevalence of diabetes in 2014 was 8.5 per cent among adults.
- In 1980, only 4.7 percent of adults around the world were diagnosed with diabetes.
- Diabetes directly killed an estimated 1.6 million people around the world in 2016.
- Diabetes almost doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke among adults.
- Diabetes is also one of the most common causes of kidney disease.
The impact of diabetes is wide-spread. This affects the lives of almost half a billion people worldwide.
Managing type 2 diabetes
Management of type 2 diabetes requires team work. You will need to follow all of your doctor’s advice, and many results depend on what you do.
Your doctor may want to conduct regular blood tests to verify your blood glucose levels. This will assist you in determining how you manage the illness. If you are taking drugs, these tests will help you determine if they are working properly.
Since diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, your doctor will also monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
If you are experiencing symptoms of heart disease, you may require some additional tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) or a heart stress test.
Use these tips to manage your diabetes:
- Maintain a balanced diet, which includes non-traditional vegetables, whole grain fibre, lean protein and unsaturated fats. Stay away from unhealthy fats, sugars and simple carbs.
- Reach and keep a healthy weight.
- Exercise daily.
- Take all your medicine as advised.
- Use a home monitoring system to check your blood sugar between visits to your doctor. Your doctor will suggest the frequency with which you should verify this and what should be your target range.
It can also be helpful to let your family know. Learn about the warning signs of abnormal blood sugar so they can help in an emergency.