Type 2 diabetes- what you must know
Diabetes is one of the most prevailing health conditions around the world. However, ongoing researches in recent years have improved diagnosis, treatment, and knowledge about type 2 diabetes, allowing for better prevention and management.
What is diabetes ?
Diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which sugar, or glucose, levels build up in the bloodstream and cause problems. It is caused due to the body’s inability to either make or use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
In type 2 diabetes the body is not able to effectively use insulin to bring glucose into the cells. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body metabolizes glucose which is an important source of fuel for the body. In people with type 2 diabetes, the body either resists the effects of insulin or does not produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes when uncontrolled can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels which can cause several symptoms and potentially leading to serious complications.
Diagnosis and risk factors
Many cases of type 2 diabetes are undiagnosed because of a lack of known symptoms or because people do not recognize them. Causes of symptoms such as fatigue, increased hunger, and increased thirst are sometimes hard to pin down and they often develop over time with the person knowing. For this reason, it is very important to get tested. If it is left undiagnosed and untreated for too long, type 2 diabetes can lead to many life-threatening complications.
Some research has shown that some people are more at risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than others. Risk factors for people who are likely to have type 2 diabetes include being overweight or obese, carry most of their fat in their midsection and not their thighs or buttocks, being inactive, exercising less than three times a week, family history of diabetes, with a parent or sibling who has the condition, history of gestational diabetes, history of prediabetes, history of insulin resistance, such as those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), being black, Hispanic, American Indian, Pacific Islander, and/or an Asian American background, aged 45 or older, those with high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol levels, and those with high blood pressure.
Symptoms and complications
Type 2 diabetes can develop slowly and there are many symptoms which may be mild and easy to dismiss at first. The early symptoms may include constant hunger, a lack of energy, fatigue, weight loss, excessive thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, itchy skin and blurry vision.
Types 2 diabetes is known to lead to many potentially dangerous complications for the patient. These complications and risks include cardiovascular diseases, diabetic eye disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, hearing damage, and increased risk for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. These are among the major complications that people with type 2 diabetes face.
Maintaining a close watch on blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure are very important in lowering these risks. Early detection and treatment, a healthy lifestyle, and regular checkups are key to managing your life with diabetes.
Managing and prevention tips
Diabetes is a chronic condition, which means that it lasts a long time. But currently, there is no cure, so it takes careful management and sometimes medication to keep blood sugar levels within the target range. Few lifestyle changes can help delay or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. These changes in diet, exercise, and weight management work together to help keep the body's blood sugar levels within the ideal range.
Diet - Your diet should contain nutrient-rich carbohydrates and fiber foods. You also need heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids from certain fishes and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Dairy products should be low in fat. Not only what you eat matter but also how much you eat. You should be careful about meal sizes and try to eat meals at about the same time every day.
Try to limit sugary drinks and saturated fats in your regular diet and add more fruits , veggies, and remove processed foods.
Exercise - Type 2 diabetes is associated with inactivity and getting few minutes of aerobic exercise every day can improve your overall health. Also try to add in extra movement throughout the day. You can do 30 minutes of regular, moderately intense physical activity daily, or vigorous exercise 3 days a week to improve your fitness.
Weight management - You are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are overweight or obese. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting regular exercise can help keep your weight under control. If these changes are not working then your doctor can make some recommendations for losing weight safely.
Avoid tobacco use as it increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. You must regularly check your blood sugar if you have been diagnosed to prevent further complications.