Type 2 Diabetes Explained

Type 2 Diabetes Explained

Approximately 90% of the people with diabetes have type 2.  It usually develops later in life, when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough natural insulin for the body.  The body needs insulin to help manufacture glucose that is essential for energy. 

Did you know that some people that don’t have diabetes just don’t handle sugar well.  This is referred to as impaired glucose tolerance and up to forty percent of people with it will develop type 2 diabetes.

 The good news is that type 2 diabetes is preventable. 

 What Causes This Type of Diabetes?

There are two key scenarios regarding insulin.  Either the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin and/or your body isn’t making use of it. 

Although pinpointing an absolute cause is not realistic, there are pre-disposing factors:

* family history

* heightened cholesterol

* impaired glucose tolerance

* unhealthy weight

* over forty years of age

* blood pressure is high

* had gestational diabetes

* delivered a baby weighing over nine pounds

* you are of Hispanic, Asian, South African, South Asian or Aboriginal descent

These factors by no means guarantee you are going to develop type 2 diabetes.  But in combination they do increase your risk.

How Do You Find Out If You Have It?

Your health practitioner will take a sample of your blood and test your sugar level. 

If your result is higher than 7.0 mmo/L you have diabetes.  It can also be labelled if you have a random glucose level of 11.1 mmo/L or higher, along with symptoms associated with diabetes.

 What Are The Red Flags?

 Unknowingly many people have type 2 diabetes for years before being diagnosed.  Usually because of complications caused by diabetes.

 Here are a few of the symptoms common with type 2 diabetes:

 * fatigue

* dry skin

* increase bladder and vaginal infections

* always thirsty/hungry

* delayed healing of sores

* needing to urinate frequently

* numbness of hands/feet

* impotence issues

* blurred vision

 Remember, you could have a few of these symptoms and have type 2 diabetes.  Or you could have most of them and not have it.  If you suspect you might, it is very important that you speak with your healthcare provider about it. 

Serious Issues That Arise From Type 2 Diabetes

People that have diabetes are at increased risk for issues involving damage to nerves and smaller blood vessels because there are high concentrations of glucose in the blood.  There is also an increased risk of the arteries hardening, which can lead to a stroke or heart attack. 

Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness.  Diabetic nephropathy is damage to the kidneys and diabetic neuropathy is when the nerves are damaged that supply the gastrointestinal tract, legs and arms.  Some so serious that eventual amputation is required. 

Non-ketonic hyperglycemia-hyperosmolar coma is serious and a result of extremely high blood glucose.  The person may be dizzy, disoriented and have seizures. 

The good news is these issues can be avoided or in the least slowed by controlling blood glucose levels. 

 How Do You Prevent Or Treat It?

Well maintaining constant glucose blood levels is the main goal.  Committing to regular exercise, weight management and healthy eating are all factors in dealing with diabetes.  With that said, proper nutrition is the most important. 

If healthy habits isn’t enough, your healthcare provider may recommend medication to keep your glucose levels in the safe range.  These can be taken orally in tablet form.  Worst case scenario, your doctor may still need to prescribe insulin injections. 

It is vital that you monitor your glucose levels with a glucose monitor.  You also need to be aware of indications that your levels have fallen too low.

Some of these are:

* shakes

* heart palpitations

* headache

* hunger

* damp, cold skin

* unsteady

* upset stomach

* nervous

* grumpy

* sweats

* weak

 One can’t stress how important it is to eat healthy, exercise and monitor your glucose levels when dealing with type 2 diabetes.

Although there is no cure, you can control it and prevent your health from deteriorating unnecessarily. 

Educate yourself, ask questions and most importantly keep in close contact with your doctor to ensure you are utilizing all means possible to ensure you live a very long, fulfilling life!