- by Dr Paramesh S
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- Feb 09 2017
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Diabetes is a life-long disease that affects the way our body handles glucose, a kind of sugar, in your blood. Most people with diabetes have type 2. There are about 27 million people in the U.S. with it. In this condition, cells cannot use blood sugar efficiently for energy. This happens when the cells become insensitive to insulin and the blood sugar gradually gets too high.
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin. Exactly why this happens is unknown, although genetics and environmental factors, such as excess weight and inactivity, seem to be contributing factors.
In this condition, the body becomes resistant to insulin and body is no longer using the hormone efficiently. This forces your pancreas to work harder to make more insulin. Over time, this can damage cells in your pancreas. Eventually, your pancreas may not be able to produce any insulin.
If you don’t produce enough insulin or if your body doesn’t use it efficiently, glucose builds up in your bloodstream. This leaves your body’s cells starved for energy.
The early symptoms may include:
- Constant hunger
- A lack of energy
- Weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Itchy skin
- Blurry vision
As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more severe and potentially dangerous. If your blood sugar levels have been high for a long time, the symptoms can include:
- Yeast infections
- Slow-healing cuts or sores
- Dark patches on your skin
- Foot pain
- Feelings of numbness in your extremities, or neuropathy.
Women with diabetes are twice as likely to have another heart attack after the first one.
A blood test is done to diagnose this condition. The blood is tested for glucose and if it is greater than 125 fasting, more than 200 when randomly tested, the diagnosis is diabetes if the fasting blood sugar is between100-125, and the person has a diagnosis of pre-diabetes. To diagnose type 2 diabetes, you will be given a:
Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test: this blood test indicates average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells.
Management of type 2 diabetes includes:
Possibly, diabetes medication or insulin therapy
Blood sugar monitoring
These steps will help keep your blood sugar level closer to normal, which can delay or prevent complications.
Eat high fiber, low-fat foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fewer animal products, refined carbohydrates, and sweets.
People with type 2 diabetes needs aerobic exercise. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days of the week. Physical activity lowers blood sugar.
Monitoring blood sugar
Check and record blood sugar level every now and then or, if you’re on insulin, multiple times a day. Sometimes blood sugar levels can be unpredictable.
Diabetes medications and insulin therapy
The doctor might even combine drugs from different classes to help your blood sugar in several different ways.
If you have type 2 diabetes and your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 35, you may be a candidate for weight-loss surgery. Blood sugar level returns to normal in 55 to 95 percent of people with diabetes, depending on the procedure performed.
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