Diabetes is one of the most medical conditions and it makes the sugar or glucose levels rise up in the bloodstream. To put it simply, body’s natural way of metabolizing sugar is affected in diabetes. Insulin is something that controls the sugar movement in the cells. What happens in type 2 diabetes is that body is unable to produce sufficient level of insulin to keep the ideal sugar level. Though it is more common in the adults, obese kids are more prone to the type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes Causes
There are 2 major reasons when type 2 diabetes starts to develop. First, when our body becomes resistant to the insulin or when the pancreas are unable to produce sufficient insulin. The exact cause of why this happens is still unknown, but doctors and researchers suggest that genetics and a few environmental factors play a major role in its development. [i]Besides that, sedentary lifestyle and obesity also plays a major role in type 2 diabetes development.
To understand more about diabetes, it is important to understand the role of glucose as well. It is simply our body’s primary source of energy that makes muscles and a few tissues. Our body forms glucose from liver and the food we eat. Our liver is primarily responsible for storing and making glucose. It is also the liver that breaks down the stored glycogen and converts it into glucose when we haven’t eaten in a while, to meet our body’s glucose requirements.
However, in type 2 diabetes, sugar forms in our bloodstream rather than in the cells. Ultimately, what happens is that insufficient amount of insulin is produced and body’s requirements are not met.
Type 2 diabetes signs and symptoms
Type 2 diabetes symptoms are not shown in the earlier stages, rather they develop gradually. As a matter of fact, many people have type 2 diabetes for years without them knowing about it. However, there are a few conditions that you should look for:
- A constant and insatiable hunger even after maintaining a healthy diet. This is because of excessive of sugar in the cells as different organs are deprived of energy.
- Excessive thirst even if the water intake is good
- Unexplained weight loss. Despite feeling hungry all the time and increasing your diet, the type 2 diabetes patients lose weight. Their body uses alternative fuels from the muscles and fats when the glucose is not metabolized.
- Frequent urination is also a symptom of type 2 diabetes
- Frequent infections and weakened ability of the body to heal the wounds could also be a symptom[ii]
- For some people, they may experience dark patches on their skin, usually on the neck and in the armpits. Acanthosis nigricans is the term known for this condition, which could very well lead to type 2 diabetes.
This is a rather risky diseases from a perspective that it can be very easy to ignore. Because the symptoms do not start to appear in the beginning, one may think that they are healthy. However, Diabetes affects a lot of organs including eyes, kidneys and the heart. It is recommended to learn how you can manage your blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes treatments
The diagnoses is usually done by a Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This test simply checks for the blood sugar level in the past 60 to 90 days. Other test that the doctors may ask you to take is a simple blood sugar test. Your blood sample will be taken randomly to check for blood sugar levels.
Since type 1 and type 2 diabetes require different treatments, the doctors may require additional tests to be taken after your diabetes is diagnosed. This is to ascertain whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
There is not “one size fits all” treatment for type 2 diabetes. The treatment may vary from person to person, hence it is recommended to see a doctor prior to sticking to one treatment. For example, for some people, type 2 diabetes is controlled just by making some lifestyle and dietary changes. For others, adding medicines to these 2 things is also necessary.
Treating Diabetes through lifestyle and dietary changes
The first step that every doctor recommends in treating diabetes is to start practicing healthier lifestyle habits. All of this usually revolves around having a clean diet, getting more exercise and controlling your weight. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are high-fiber and low fats foods, hence highly recommended by the doctors. It makes complete sense to completely cut off animal products and sweets. If you want to know more about the suitable diets, get in touch with a dietician to help develop the best meal plan for yourself.
Get to spend more time in aerobic exercises with the consultation of your doctor. Then choose an activity that interests you most. It may be swimming, brisk walks, running or even cycling. All of the physical activities decrease the blood sugar, so it is a good idea to check the blood sugar level before working out.
Medications and insulin therapies
For people who don’t get better with clean eating and lifestyle changes, insulin therapy is a good option. The doctor may even form a class of different drugs to control the blood sugar level. [iii]
Metformin is the most commonly used treatment and it fixes the sensitivity level of the body tissues. As a result, the usage of insulin by the body becomes more efficient. Sulfonylureas are the medicines that enhances the ability of body to secrete more insulin. Glyburide and glimepiride are most commonly prescribed medicines.
Meglitinides are medicines with a goal to stimulate the pancreas and the goal is the same as sulfonylureas. The major difference is that these act much faster and have lower side effects than the sulfonylureas.
therapy is used as a last resort for people who show no signs of improvements
even after taking the medicines.