Diabetes is a chronic disease in which your blood sugar levels are higher than the healthy limit of 200 mg/dL. This happens when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or your immune system attacks the insulin-making cells in your pancreas.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetes but it can be managed through medication and lifestyle changes such as changes in diet and exercise.
Type 2 Diabetes has affected about 29 million people in the U.S, and about 84 million more people who have Pre-diabetes (where your blood glucose is high but high enough to term it as Diabetes yet).
Type 2 Diabetes is where Pancreas produces less insulin than what our body needs or our blood cells stop responding to the insulin. This causes excess amounts of sugar to build up in our bloodstream.
Without the insulin to break down the carbohydrates from our food and turn them into energy, we are likely to feel light-headed and weak. However, if your blood sugar stays high for an extended period, it leads to a lot more serious health complications such as – cardiovascular diseases, kidney failure, vision loss, and so on.
Type 2 Diabetes mostly affects middle-aged people, probably over the age of 45. Though lately, Type 2 Diabetes has been seen in children and young adults too. Type 2 Diabetes is usually a result of genetics, pre-diabetes, unhealthy eating habits, and lack of exercise.
The Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes develop slowly over time, so you should always keep an eye.
- Blurred Vision
- Feeling very hungry or thirsty.
- Increased need to urinate (usually at night).
- Slow healing of cuts or sores.
- Numbness in your hands or feet
- Weight Loss
- Yeast Infections
- Feeling Cranky
- Prone to Infections
If you feel these symptoms, you should have yourself checked for diabetes, consult a doctor, and get started on the treatment right away. Before high blood sugar causes serious health issues.
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
As a commonly occurring disease, there are a few ways to you get Type 2 Diabetes:
- Some of us may have different pieces of DNA which affect the insulin-making process in our bodies.
- Extra Weight
- Obesity or being overweight can potentially make your body insulin-resistant. If the extra weight is stored around the waist area, then it’s more likely to lead to diabetes.
- Metabolic Syndrome
- This means you are resistant to Insulin and often have conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, extra fat, high cholesterol, and so on.
- Your Liver Exudes Too Much Sugar
- The liver is responsible for releasing and controlling the amount of sugar to flow into the bloodstream. However, your Liver might not be this, therefore keep your blood glucose levels high.
- Bad Signal Connection between Cells
- Sometimes the cells send wrong signals or interpret messages incorrectly. This affects the cells’ ability to produce insulin or glucose, and therefore this chain reaction of misplaced communication between cells leads to Diabetes.
- If someone in your immediate family has Type 2 Diabetes, you are more likely to get Diabetes.
- If your blood sugar levels are higher than the normal limit of 140 mg/dL but less than the classified limit of 200 mg/dL. This could lead to Diabetes if you don’t keep your sugar levels in check.
- Gestational Diabetes
- If you suffered from Diabetes during your pregnancy, then you are likely to develop diabetes sooner or later.
Effects of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes can cause a whole host of problems in your sugar levels aren’t kept in check, such as:
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- Nerve Damage
- Kidney Diseases or Failure
- Eye Damage – Cataracts, Glaucoma or blindness
- Bacterial or Fungal Infections
- Hearing Impairment
- Sleep Apnea
It’s advisable to get diagnosed as soon as possible if you suspect you might be suffering from diabetes.
The healthcare providers will diagnose whether you have diabetes or not through a few tests such as:
Blood Glucose Test
The most common test undertaken to determine if you are diabetic or not is to check your blood sugar levels. There are a few ways to check the blood glucose levels such as:
Fasting Blood Glucose Levels
You’ll be asked to fast for 12 hours before drawing your blood. The empty stomach blood glucose levels should be up to 100 mg/dL. Anything above 126 mg/dL would suggest that you have diabetes.
Post-Prandial (post-eating) Blood Glucose Levels
This test is done two hours after you start eating a meal. This test is done to know how your body reacts to starch and sugar post eating a meal. The normal blood glucose range is below 140 mg/dL. If your post-prandial levels are above 200mg/dL, then you will be considered diabetic.
Random Blood Glucose Test
As the title suggests, these tests are done randomly, at any point of the day, post-eating anything. These tests are repeated a few times. If the pattern of high blood sugar levels is maintained, then you’d have developed diabetes. In these tests, anything below 200 mg/dL is considered normal. But if it goes beyond that 200 thresholds, you will be diagnosed with diabetes.
Urine Test for Blood Glucose levels
The urine test to check for blood glucose levels is not always accurate or real-time information about the body. However, the urine test for blood sugar does reveal if your sugar levels are being managed well. It’s also undertaken regularly to keep a check on your Kidney Function, Cholesterol levels, Liver function, and thyroid function.
Glycated Hemoglobin (A1C) test
This test reveals the average blood sugar levels over the past three months. This test measures the amount of glucose that is bound to the protein Hemoglobin in our red blood cells. This test is regularly undertaken by people who have already been diagnosed with diabetes.
Prevention, Treatment & Management
As mentioned before, there is no cure for diabetes, but there are various ways to treat and manage your blood sugar levels.
Managing your insulin intake is one of the most effective ways to control your blood glucose levels. The amount of insulin to be injected into your body and the interval between each intake depends on your glucose levels.
There are even different types of insulins based on the duration they last such as Rapid-acting, Regular or short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting. How you wish to administer insulin into your body is your choice. Some are injected through syringes, sometimes it comes in pre-filled pens, sometimes it can even be inhaled.
However, your dosage, type of insulin, and the intervals of intake will all be decided by a medical professional.
To combat diabetes and live a normal and healthy life, one needs to make changes in their lifestyle. Exercise helps maintain glucose levels in the bloodstream. However, it doesn’t have to hardcore exercise routine, even the simple task of climbing a floor would be considered exercise.
The important part to remember, Is to prevent or manage diabetes, keep yourself moving. Avoid sedentary activities. But if you suffer from hyperglycemia, you should be mindful of your exertion.
Diet plays a crucial role in controlling your glucose levels. It would be preferable to follow a balanced and healthy diet. Avoid unwanted sugar and sugary products. You could consult a dietician and create a meal chart plan that keeps your glucose level in check and makes sure your body gets enough nutrition and minerals at the same time.