What Is Type 2 Diabetes?
The body of type 2 diabetes patient is unable to convert carbohydrates in food into energy. This causes sugar to accumulate in the blood, increasing risk for heart disease, nerve and organ damage, blindness and other serious health disease. Early symptoms of type 2 diabetes is mild and it affects people of all ages. About 1 out of 3 people with type 2 diabetes are unaware they have it.
People with type 2 diabetes often have no symptoms at the early stage. However, when they symptoms appear, they may include;
- Being thirsty a lot
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Appetite increases
- Weight loss or gain
As your blood sugar levels get higher, you may have other problems like blurred vision, headaches, and fatigue.
Signs of Serious Problems
Type 2 diabetes isn’t discovered in most cases until it becomes severe. Some signs include:
- Cuts or sores that are slow to heal
- Frequent yeast infections or urinary tract infections
- Itchy skin, especially in the groin area
It Can Affect Your Sex Life
Diabetes can cause damage to blood vessels and nerves in your genitals, killing any form of sexual desire and making it difficult to achieve an orgasm. Women with this type of diabetes are also susceptible to to vaginal dryness. About 1 in 3 who have diabetes will have some form of sexual trouble. Between 35% and 70% of men who have the disease will suffer some degree of impotence.
Controllable Risk Factors
Some health habits and medical conditions related to your lifestyle can raise your chances of having type 2 diabetes. Some risks factors include;
- Being overweight, especially at the waist
- A couch potato lifestyle
- Eating a lot of red meat, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, and sweets
- Unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Risk Factors You Can’t Control
Other risk factors are out of your control, including:
- Family history:Having a parent or sibling with diabetes increases your chances of having it.
- Race:Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians are more likely to suffer Type 2 diabetes.
- Age:Being 45 and older increases your risk.
The more risk factors you have, the more likely you’ll get type 2 diabetes.
Risk Factors for Women
For women, some risks factors may include;
- Had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant
- Delivered a baby that weighed over 9 pounds
- Had polycystic ovary syndrome
How Does Insulin Work?
In a healthy person, insulin helps turn food into energy. Your stomach breaks down carbohydrates into sugars. They enter the bloodstream, prompting your pancreas to release the hormone insulin in just the right amount. It helps your cells use the sugar for fuel.
In type 2 diabetes, your cells can’t utilize sugar appropriately, thereby causing a lot of it to be in your blood. If you have a condition called insulin resistance, your body makes the hormone, but your cells don’t use it or respond to it like they should. If you’ve had type 2 diabetes for a while but haven’t treated it, your pancreas will make less insulin.
READ ALSO: Symptoms Of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes
Your doctor will take some blood and do an A1c test. The result will show your average blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months. If you already have symptoms, he might give you a random blood glucose test, which shows what your current level is.
Ways to manage Type 2 Diabetes
Your Diet Matters
When it comes to diabetes, the type of food you consume matters. You can control blood sugar levels by changing your diet and losing extra weight. That will also decrease your risk of complications. Carefully track the carbs in your diet. Keep amounts the same at every meal, watch how much fat and protein you eat, and cut calories. Ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian to help you make healthy choices and an eating plan.
Regular exercise, like strength training or walking, improves your body’s use of insulin and can lower blood sugar levels. Being active also helps get rid of body fat, lower blood pressure, and protect you from heart disease. Try to get 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week.
Stress can increase your blood pressure and blood sugar. Practice relaxation methods like meditation, deep breathing, or visualization. Talking to a friend, family member, counselor, or a religious leader could help.
Oral Medications Can Help
Your doctor may administer medication if diet and exercise can’t control your blood sugar. There are many types of diabetes pills available. Some work by telling your pancreas to produce more insulin. Others help your body use it better or block the digestion of starches. Some medication also slow the breakdown of insulin.
Early in your treatment, your doctor may likely prescribe insulin and combine it with pills. It can also help people with type 2 diabetes who develop beta-cell failure (the cells in your pancreas no longer produce insulin when blood sugar is high). Insulin will become part of your daily medication if this occurs.
Medications called non-insulin injectables are also available for people with type 2 diabetes. These injectables cause your body to make insulin to control blood sugar levels.
Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Attack
If diabetes is left untreated, the person may likely to get plaque in the arteries. This plaque – a sticky substance, slows blood flow and surges your risk of blood clots. It can eventually lead to hardening of the arteries called atherosclerosis, which makes you more likely to have a stroke or heart attack.