Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes is a chronic health condition where your body fails to metabolize glucose, your body's important source of fuel. With the onset of type 2 diabetes your body either resists the effects of insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.
Type 2 diabetes is rampant in adults, but now it is increasingly been seen in children as the result of childhood obesity. It is non-curable but can very well be managed by eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. If diet and exercise fail to control blood sugar levels, you may need diabetes medications or insulin therapy.
Symptoms associated with Type 2 diabetes
Signs and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes develop slowly, so slowly that you may be able to notice them. Some of the signs you need to look at include:
- Increased thirst and frequent urination: More than required sugar development in your blood causes fluid to be pulled from the tissues resulting in more than usual drink and urination.
- Increased appetite: Without proper insulin, your muscles and organs become depleted of energy, triggering increased appetite.
- Weight loss: Despite eating more, you may experience weight loss because the body uses alternative fuels stored in muscle and fat.
- Fatigue: If your cells are not fed with sugar, you may become tired and irritable.
- Blurred vision: The fluid may be pulled the lenses of your eyes because of high blood sugar resulting in blurry vision.
- Darkened skin: Some type 2 diabetics have patches of dark, velvety skin in the folds and creases of their bodies. This is usually a sign of insulin resistance.
Factors behind Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin. The reason for this is unknown. But genes and environmental factors like excess weight and inactivity seem to be contributing factors.
In type 2 diabetes, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. As blood sugar levels increase, the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas produce more insulin. After a while these cells become impaired and can't make enough insulin to meet the body's demands.
Available treatments and drugs for Type 2 diabetes
Management of type 2 diabetes includes:
- Healthy eating: There's no specific diabetes diet. It's important to focus on diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You will also need to eat fewer animal products, refined carbohydrates and sweets.
- Physical activity: Regular exercise often helps in controlling blood sugar more effectively. You can choose between walking, swimming and biking but only after your doctor says OK. It is important to check your blood sugar level before any activity.
- Watching blood sugar levels: Depending on your treatment plan, you may check and record your blood sugar level every now and then or, if you're on insulin, multiple times a day. Sometimes, blood sugar levels can be unpredictable. With the help of your doctor, you'll learn how your blood sugar level changes in response to food, exercise, alcohol, illness and medication.
- Diabetes medications and insulin therapy: Some people who have type 2 diabetes can attain required blood sugar levels with diet and exercise alone, but some may require diabetes medications or insulin therapy. The medicines and insulin therapy depends on health problems you have and your blood sugar level.
Taking professional help may help you cope with the lifestyle changes that come with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.