What you need to know about Type 2 Diabetes
What you need to know about Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes the level
of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high.
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high.
Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
According to research 1, by 2030, 5.5 million people in the United Kingdom will have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects approximately 90% of diabetics. Type 1 diabetes affects approximately 8% of people with diabetes. Rarer kinds of diabetes affect about 2% of people with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a long-term medical disorder in which sugar (glucose) levels in the bloodstream rise.
Insulin is a hormone that aids in the transport of glucose from the bloodstream to the cells, where it is used for energy. The cells in your body with type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, are unable to respond to insulin as well as they should. Your body may not create enough insulin in the later stages of the disease.
Type 2 diabetes that is not well controlled can result in chronically high blood glucose levels, which can cause a variety of symptoms as well as significant complications.
The following statistics come from the World Health Organization (WHO)2:
- Diabetes affectes 8.5 percent of people worldwide in 2014.
- Only 4.7 percent of persons in the world had diabetes in 1980.
- In 2016, diabetes was directly responsible for around 1.6 million fatalities worldwide.
- Adults with diabetes have a roughly threefold increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Diabetes is also a leading cause of kidney failure.
What are the signs and
symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
What are the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
Your body can’t effectively use insulin to bring glucose into your cells if you have type 2 diabetes. As a result, your tissues, muscles, and organs must rely on different energy sources. This is a series of events that can result in a range of symptoms.
Type 2 diabetes can take a long time to develop. At first, the symptoms may appear to be minor and easy to dismiss. Early signs and symptoms may include:
- Constant hunger
- A lack of energy
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
- Pain, tingling, or numbness in your hands or feet
The symptoms become more severe as the disease advances, and they can lead to certain potentially hazardous complications.
Complications can arise if your blood glucose levels have been elevated for a long time:
- Eye problems (diabetic retinopathy)
- Feelings of numbness in your extremities, or neuropathy
- Kidney disease (nephropathy)
- Gum disease
- Heart attack or stroke
Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes?
Insulin is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. When you eat, your pancreas creates it and releases it. Insulin aids in the movement of glucose from the bloodstream to the cells of the body, where it is used for energy.
Your body becomes insulin resistant if you have type 2 diabetes. The hormone is no longer being used effectively by your body. Your pancreas will have to work harder to produce more insulin as a result of this.
This can harm cells in your pancreas over time. Your pancreas may eventually be unable to produce any insulin.
Glucose builds up in your bloodstream if you don’t create enough insulin or if your body doesn’t utilise it effectively. This depletes the energy supply to your body’s cells. Doctors aren’t sure what sets off this chain of events. It could be related to pancreatic cell malfunction or cell signalling and control.
While type 2 diabetes is mostly caused by lifestyle decisions, you may be more likely to be diagnosed if:
- There’s a genetic predisposition to developing type 2 diabetes in your family
- There’s a genetic predisposition to developing obesity in your family, which can increase the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes
- You are at least 45 years old
While your body’s resistance to insulin is the definitive cause of type 2 diabetes, there are usually a number of factors that raise your chances of developing that resistance.
How is type 2 diabetes
How is type 2 diabetes diagnosed?
If you suspect you have diabetic symptoms, regardless of whether you have prediabetes, you should see your doctor straight once. Blood tests can provide your doctor with a wealth of information. The following diagnostic tests may be used:
- A1C test for haemoglobin. The average blood glucose levels for the past two or three months are measured in this test. You don’t have to fast for this test, and the results can help your doctor diagnose you. A glycosylated haemoglobin test is another name for it.
- Glucose levels in the blood are measured after a period of fasting. This test determines the amount of glucose in your blood. It’s possible that you’ll need to fast for 8 hours before taking it.
- Test for oral glucose tolerance. Your blood is drawn three times during this test: before, one hour after, and two hours after you consume a glucose dose. The results of the test reveal how well your body handles glucose before and after the drink.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will provide you advice on how to manage your condition, including:
- How to Self-Monitor Your Blood Glucose Levels
- Dietary recommendations
- Suggestions for physical activities
- Information on any medications you may require
It’s possible that you’ll need to consult an endocrinologist who specialises in diabetes therapy. To ensure that your treatment plan is working, you’ll probably need to see your doctor more frequently at first.
Risk factors & Complications for type 2 diabetes
Risk factors & Complications for type 2 diabetes
While some risk factors for type 2 diabetes are beyond your control (such as your age and family history, as noted above), some lifestyle decisions can significantly increase your chances of acquiring the disease. Here are a few examples:
- Living with an excessive amount of weight. When you’re overweight, you’re likely to have extra fatty tissue, which can make your cells more insulin resistant.
- Adopting a more sedentary way of living. Physical activity improves the response of your cells to insulin.
- Consumption of a high-fat, high-processed diet. Sugar and refined carbs are often disguised in highly processed foods. If your lifestyle necessitates a more “grab-and-go” eating habit, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about healthy substitutions.
If you’ve had gestational diabetes or prediabetes, both of which are caused by high glucose levels, you’re at a higher risk.
Complications associated with type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be properly treated for many people. It can damage practically all of your organs and cause major issues if not treated properly, including:
- Infections of the skin, such as bacterial or fungal infections
- Nerve damage, also known as neuropathy, can cause numbness and tingling in your extremities, as well as digestive problems such as vomiting, diarrhoea, and constipation.
- Poor circulation in the feet makes it difficult for your feet to recover after a cut or infection, and it can potentially progress to gangrene and leg amputation.
- Hearing impairment
- Retinal damage, also known as retinopathy, and eye damage can result in blurred vision, glaucoma, and cataracts.
- High blood pressure, artery narrowing, angina, heart attack, and stroke are all examples of cardiovascular illnesses.
- Women with diabetes are more likely than women without diabetes to have a heart attack at a younger age
- Erectile dysfunction is 3.5 times more frequent in males with diabetes (ED)
When your blood sugar is low, hypoglycemia can occur. Shakiness, dizziness, and difficulty speaking are some of the symptoms. You can usually repair this by eating or drinking anything “quick-fix,” such as fruit juice, soft drink, or hard candy.
When blood sugar levels are too high, hyperglycemia can occur. It’s characterised by increased thirst and frequent urination. Hyperglycemia can be avoided by closely monitoring your blood glucose levels and being active.
Complications during and after pregnancy
If you have diabetes while pregnant, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your condition. Diabetes that isn’t well managed can lead to:
- Pregnancy, labour, and delivery are made more difficult
- Endangering your child’s developing organs
- Cause your baby to gain excessive weight
It can also raise your baby’s risk of developing diabetes later in life.
How is type 2
How is type 2 diabetes treated?
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled and even reversed in rare situations. Your doctor will inform you how often you should monitor your blood glucose levels as part of most treatment options. The objective is to stay within a certain range.
Your doctor will most likely recommend the following lifestyle adjustments to help you manage your type 2 diabetes:
- Consuming high-fibre and low-carbohydrate foods — fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help maintain a constant blood glucose level.
- Eating on a regular basis
- Learning to pay attention to your body and quit eating when you’re satisfied
- Manage your weight and keep your heart healthy by avoiding processed carbohydrates, sweets, and animal fats as much as possible.
- To keep your heart healthy, get around half an hour of physical activity every day, exercise can also help you control your blood glucose levels.
Your doctor will show you how to spot the early signs of high or low blood sugar and what to do in each case.
Working with a dietitian can also help you figure out which foods will help you manage your blood sugar and which will make it unbalanced.
Insulin isn’t required for everyone with type 2 diabetes. If you do, it’s because your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin on its own, and taking insulin as prescribed is critical. Other prescription drugs may also be beneficial.
Medications for type 2 diabetes
In some cases, lifestyle adjustments are sufficient to control type 2 diabetes. If not, there are a number of drugs that may be of assistance. These are a few of the drugs available:
- Metformin. This can help you lower your blood glucose levels and enhance your insulin sensitivity. For most persons with type 2 diabetes, it is the first-line treatment.
- Sulfonylureas. These are oral drugs that aid in the production of insulin in the body.
- Meglitinides. These are short-acting drugs that encourage your pancreas to produce more insulin.
- Thiazolidinediones. These increase your body’s insulin sensitivity.
- Inhibitors of the dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) enzyme. These are less potent drugs that aid in the reduction of blood glucose levels.
- Agonists for glucagon-like peptide-1. These help to delay digestion and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Inhibitors of the sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2). These aid in the removal of sugar from your body through urine by your kidneys.
Each of the medications listed above has the potential to induce negative effects. Finding the optimal medicine or combination of medications to treat your diabetes may take some time for you and your doctor to figure out.
If your blood pressure or cholesterol levels aren’t where they should be, you might need to take medicine to address those issues as well.
Insulin therapy may be required if your body is unable to produce enough insulin. It’s possible that you’ll just require a long-acting injection at night, or that you’ll need to take insulin numerous times a day.
Learn about diabetes drugs that can help you manage your condition.
Diet & Managing
type 2 diabetes
Diet & Managing type 2 diabetes
Diet is a key strategy for maintaining good heart health and blood glucose levels in a healthy range.
The diet that is recommended for people with type 2 diabetes is the same diet that should be followed by almost everyone. It all comes down to a few critical steps:
- Choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods that are low in empty calories.
- Make an effort to be careful of portion sizes and to quit eating when you’re satisfied.
- Read food labels carefully to determine the amount of sugar or carbohydrates in a serving size.
Limit your intake of certain foods and beverages.
If you have type 2 diabetes, or even if you’re attempting to avoid diabetes and lose weight, there are several foods and beverages you should avoid if at all possible. These are some of them:
- Saturated or trans-fat-rich foods (like red meat and full-fat dairy products)
- Meats that have been processed (like hotdogs and salami)
- Shortening and margarine
- Baked items that have been refined (like white bread and cake)
- Snacks with a lot of sugar and are extensively processed (packaged cookies and some cereals)
- Sugary beverages (like regular soda and some fruit juices)
While no single meal should derail your healthy lifestyle, it’s a good idea to see your doctor about dietary limits based on your blood sugar levels. After consuming these items, some people may need to check their glucose levels more closely than others.
Foods to select
Carbs aren’t off the table just because you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Carbohydrates that are good for you might give you energy and fibre. Among the possibilities are:
- Whole fruits
- Non-starchy vegetables (like broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower)
- Legumes, like beans
- Whole grains, like oats or quinoa
- Sweet potatoes
It’s also not off the menu to eat fat. Instead, it’s all about picking the appropriate fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in the following foods:
- Flax seeds
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can be found in a variety of foods, including:
- Oils, such as olive oil
- Almonds, pecans, and walnuts.
Discuss your personal nutrition objectives with your doctor. They may suggest that you meet with a nutritionist who specialises in diabetes diets. You can come up with a diet plan that tastes wonderful and fits your lifestyle needs if you work together.
Managing type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes management necessitates collaboration. You’ll need to work closely with your doctor, but your choices will have a big impact on the outcome.
Periodic blood tests to determine your blood glucose levels may be recommended by your doctor. This will assist you to figure out how well you’re handling the situation. These tests will help you determine how effectively your medication is working if you take it.
Your doctor may also suggest that you use home monitoring equipment to check your blood glucose levels in between appointments. They’ll tell you how often you should use it and what range you should aim for.
Your doctor may want to check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels because diabetes can raise your risk of cardiovascular disease. If you have heart disease symptoms, you may require more tests. An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) or a heart stress test are examples of these tests.
Including your family in the process may also be beneficial. They will be able to assist in an emergency if they are aware of the warning indications of blood glucose levels that are too high or too low.
Type 2 diabetes in children
Type 2 diabetes in children
According to Diabetes UK, about 7,000 children in the United Kingdom have type 2 diabetes. Around 40% of children with type 2 diabetes have no signs or symptoms and are diagnosed during routine physical examinations.
According to a 2016 study, the number of new occurrences of type 2 diabetes among teenagers has climbed to almost 5,000 each year. Another study from 2017 found a significant rise, especially among minorities and ethnic groupings.
If your child has been diagnosed with diabetes, their doctor will need to figure out if it is type 1 or type 2 before recommending a treatment plan.
You can help lower your child’s risk by encouraging them to eat healthily and be physically active every day, just as you can help adults manage or even reverse their type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Type 2 diabetes is a disorder that occurs when glucose levels in the bloodstream become too high. It’s a frequent ailment that can be brought on by certain lifestyle choices. However, genetics, age, and family history can all enhance the chances of a diagnosis.
Certain lifestyle adjustments can help manage, and even reverse type 2 diabetes. Medication is provided for more serious situations.
If you have type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor about building a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle. Because type 2 diabetes is so common, there are a variety of tools and first-hand accounts to assist you in managing, or breaking free from, the disease.