The most common type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes which is caused due to insulin resistance in the human system. In this condition the body does not utilize the insulin properly, and at first the pancreas produces extra insulin, but over time they give up and the body becomes deficient in insulin and hence the blood glucose level rises. This ailment is treated with the help of oral medicines, insulin and lifestyle changes. Two problems occur when glucose starts building up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells:
- The cells are starved of energy
- Over a period of time high glucose levels will damage the eyes, kidneys and nerves of heart
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes
- Genetics: Research has found that there are certain types of DNA that affect the way the human body makes and uses insulin
- Overweight: obesity can cause insulin resistance, especially if you are heavy around the middle of the body. Type 2 diabetes can occur at any age – childhood, teenage, or adulthood.
- Metabolic syndrome: Along with extra weight, people with type 2 diabetes often have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Too much glucose from your liver: When the blood sugar in the body is low the liver produces sugar and sends it out to the blood stream. Blood sugar level usually rises after you eat when the liver slows down and stores this glucose for later use. However, in some people the liver simply keeps producing glucose without letting up.
- Ineffective communication between cells: Sometimes there is a mix up in the sending and receiving of messages by the cells. When this happens with the cells that are responsible for making or using insulin, a chain reaction is set off which causes diabetes.
- Broken beta cells: If the cells making insulin produce the wrong amount of insulin especially at a wrong time, then the blood sugar gets thrown off. High levels of glucose in the blood cause damage to these cells as well.
Risk Factors and Prevention
Of course there are some factors which make getting diabetes more likely, but the presence of these factors does not mean that you will definitely get the ailment:
- Age – 45 years or older
- Family history –One of the parents, or siblings who have diabetes
- Ethnicity – Alaska native, African American, Asian American, Native American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander American
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Low HDL (good) cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Extra weight
- High triglycerides
- Some other risk factors are dependent on daily habits and lifestyle and these are the ones you can control with a little effort.
- Little or no exercise
- Sleeping too little or too much
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
The symptoms of this ailment may be so mild that a person may fail to notice them. In fact there are 8 million such people who have diabetes but don’t know it.
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Blurry vision
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Slow healing of wounds
- Repeated yeast infections
Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes
The best way to diagnose type 2 diabetes is to get a blood sugar level test done. The tests will be taken on two different days to confirm the ailment.
- A1C: It is the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 2 to 3 months
- Fasting plasma glucose: This test is the measurement of your blood glucose level on an empty stomach.
- Oral glucose tolerance test: This is a test done before and 2 hours after you consume a sweet drink
Long term Effects of Type 2 Diabetes
Consistently high blood glucose levels can damage the:
- Blood vessels and heart
- Nervous system which can cause problems with digestion, sensation in the feet and sexual response
- Healing of wounds
In order to avoid these complications you should manage your diabetes properly and for that you need to:
- Be sure to take your insulin or oral medication on time and regularly
- Keep a check on your blood glucose levels
- Eat a healthy diabetic diet and do not skip meals
Treatment For Type 2 Diabetes
Treatment of type 2 diabetes includes:
- Healthy eating – High fiber low fat and low calorie foods
- Physical exercise – Aerobic exercise which should be started with the doctor’s consent
- Regular monitoring of blood sugar –You should keep a check on your blood sugar level by getting it checked every now and then. If you are on insulin then check it several times a day.
- Diabetes medication – Diabetes medicines include – Metformin, Sulfonyureas, Meglitinides, Thiazolidinediones, DPP 4 inhibitors, GLP 1 receptor agonists, SGL T2 inhibitors and insulin therapy.