Type 2 Diabetes

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

When you have Type 2 Diabetes, it means that your body cannot produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels in control.  A person becomes immune to what insulin does but it can be controlled. Lifestyle changes will help keep you healthy and have normal glucose levels in the blood. There are many different causes of Type 2 diabetes.

What are the Features of Type 2 Diabetes?

With Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to supply enough insulin to the body or it does not work the way it should.  Sometimes, insulin resistance occurs in which the cells are unable to respond to insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes that many people suffer from.  It is common in adults who are ages 45 and older but can occur in anyone, even children and young adults. If you have a family history of this illness, it is possible you will develop it too.

What will happen to me if I have Type 2 Diabetes?

This type of diabetes does not develop all of a sudden, however it develops over time. Resistance to insulin starts when it cannot control sugar levels, which in turn leads to the pancreas producing more insulin to try to balance glucose levels in the blood.

Eventually the cells get worn out and before Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, most of the cells are already gone. This is the reason why insulin production and effectiveness is reduced. With Type 2 diabetes, sometimes you may have low insulin levels or you may not effectively make use of insulin. Unfortunately, the cells destruct on a regular basis, in other words, the damage does not stop.

Changes in lifestyle can help control the issue.  You will need to change your eating habits and avoid things that can increase your sugar levels.  Also, being physically active will also help control your sugar levels. Both combined can decrease the risk of developing complications from Type 2 diabetes.

What are the causes Type 2 Diabetes?

Sometimes, Type 2 Diabetes can be passed down genetically if your parents have the illness.  This will leave you at a higher risk for developing it in childhood or later on down the road as an adult.

Other causes include having high blood pressure, not getting enough or any exercise, being overweight and not eating healthy foods. Other causes include but are not limited to:

  • If you are older than age 55, you may be a higher risk.
  • Susceptibility will increase if you are overweight and over the age of 45.
  • People who have an Aboriginal background may be more prone to Type 2 Diabetes, especially over the age of 35.
  • Women who had or have gestational diabetes may be more susceptible as well as women who have delivered babies weighing more than 9 pounds.

What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Since everyone is different, the symptoms will vary as well. There are some who do not have any symptoms while others have severe symptoms.  Some of the typical symptoms are excessive thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, hunger, becoming overweight or weight gain, irregular moods and also wounds that heal very slow. Other symptoms include dizziness and vision impairment as well as headaches.

Unfortunately, there are millions of people who have diabetes and do not have the ability to control sugar levels with normal insulin functioning. It is important for insulin to get sugar in the blood and convert it into usable energy. With insulin problems such as lack of production or improper functioning, the sugar is not converted to energy.

Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Frequent Urination

The reason for the thirst is that the sugar excess is removed from the body through the urine.  With frequent urination, you will feel excessively thirsty.  By drinking more liquids, you will urinate more. If you notice that you have to use the toilet more, a light bulb should go on. It may be a sign of diabetes.  You should also take not of whether you wake up frequently at night because of the urge to urinate.

Excessive Thirst

To make up for the frequent urination which causes of a loss of water, you will have the urge to drink more.  This is the body’s natural response of the body telling you to avoid dehydration. You may also feel that your mouth is dry and want more fluid to balance this feeling.  Noticing the urge to drink more fluid may indicate that you have Type 2 diabetes.

Loss of Weight for no Reason

Sometimes, unknown weight loss can be caused by cells that do not have the glucose they need to stay healthy.  Frequent urination can also contribute to this factor, especially if the condition is not treated or if diabetes is not controlled. If the Type 2 diabetes remains uncontrolled, you may lose weight unintentionally.

Excessive Hunger

Because of insulin resistance amongst diabetics, the glucose does not distribute into the body’s cells when insulin is not functioning properly. The insulin found in a person’s fat, and other body tissues does not function as intended so the pancreas works excessively to produce insulin. The excessive insulin or high levels of it may make your brain think that you are hungry.

Poor Immune System

Since diabetics have high sugar levels, it makes a good environment for bacteria to survive and this can lead to negative conditions for you.  Diabetics may not have the ability to fight off infections and may frequently get them. Various types of infections are possible, such as vaginal infections and foot infections.  Some of the infections can do damage to the body part’s architecture.

Numbness in the Feet

If high sugar levels are not controlled and left high for a long period of time, it is possible to suffer from diabetic neuropathy which is define as damage of the nerves in the body. You may not know there is damage since some people do not have symptoms of this. Some may feel pain or a tingling sensation. Usually, this ailment affects the feet first and then other areas of the body after travelling upwards. Not only is this condition possible with diabetics, it can also occur in individuals who are prediabetic as well.

Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes

There are many different ways to diagnose Type 2 diabetes.  The most common test is the glycated hemoglobin test, also known as the A1C test. With this type of test, your sugar recent sugar level history for the past quarter is reviewed.  It measure how much sugar you have in the hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is the protein that is responsible for transporting oxygen into the red blood cells.  When you sugar levels are higher, you will have more sugar contained in the hemoglobin. If your sugar level from an A1C test is 6.5 percent or exceeding this, you have diabetes but if your sugar levels fall between 5.7 to 6.4 percent then you are in the prediabetes stage. At this level, you are at an extremely high risk for developing diabetes.

Other tests may be done also if you are unable to take an A1C test. This may be possible if you suffer from pre-existing medical conditions such as pregnancy or if you have a type of hemoglobin that is not standard. In this case, the A1C test will not be accurate so other tests must be used.

Random Blood Sugar Test

With this type of test, your blood will be drawn at any time of day for sugar level testing. This is measure in milligrams per deciliter or as millimoles per liter. With a level of 200 mg/dL or more is considered to be diabetic level. You may experience typical diabetes symptoms such as urinating frequently and also excessive thirst.

Fasting Diabetic Testing

This type of blood sugar test can only done when the patient has been fasting during the overnight hours.  If the blood sugar is at a level lower than 100 mg/dL, the patient is not a diabetic.  If the sugar levels ranges from 100 to 125 mg/dL, the patient is considered prediabetic. Anything above this level is considered to be diabetes.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Testing

Similar to the Fasting test, you will also need to fast overnight for this.  The level of sugar is measured before consuming a drink for this purpose, and then after drinking it.  You must wait a period of two hours before blood is drawn again after consuming the drink. If the patient’s blood sugar level is below 140 mg/dL, the patient does not suffer from diabetes.  A range of 140 to 199 mg/dL is prediabetic stage and 200 or over this is a sign of diabetes.

If you are diabetic, it is recommended you test for Type 2 diabetes regularly, mainly after the age of 45. This is especially more important if you are overweight. If you’re not sure, then it is best to ask your physician for a frequency recommendation. Even if you are younger than 45 and have a problem with your weight, it is a good idea to be tested regularly to ensure good health. Other factors may also contribute to Type 2 diabetes such as genetics and your lifestyle. Pregnant women should also be tested during their pregnancy.

 

NOTICE: The material on this site for informational use only and should not be taken as medical advice. This email does not constitute any doctor-patient relationship, or any other type of relationship. The material has been thoroughly researched and believed to be the most up to date information at time of publishing. This material is offered as information only and the reader has the responsibility to verify any medical decisions or actions with his or her health care team.

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