Type 2 diabetes is a common condition, which is associated with high blood sugar levels. Middle-aged people are more likely to experience this condition, and it was known as adult-onset diabetes. However, in children, type 2 diabetes occurs mainly due to obesity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, over 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and of them, 90-95 percent have type 2 diabetes.
Major Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Sometimes, symptoms of type 2 diabetes are mild, and patients are unable to notice them unless they perform blood sugar tests. However, the common signs include-
- Blurry vision
- Increased thirst & hunger
- Weight loss
- Numbness in hands & feet
- Frequent urination
- Slow healing of wounds
Since the increased sugar levels lead to poor wound healing, it may enhance the chances of infections.
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Glucose provides energy to the cells, thus helping in building muscles & performing other functions. It comes from foods you eat and is stored in the liver. When your glucose levels are low, the liver helps in maintaining the optimal glucose levels by breaking down the stored glycogen into glucose.
In the case of type 2 diabetes, sugar builds up in the bloodstream instead of entering the cells. In other words, blood sugar levels become too high.
There are many factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes-
Excessive Body Weight
Obesity can cause various health issues. If you carry extra body weight, especially around your belly, it can lead to insulin resistance.
It’s a combination of conditions, which increase the risks of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It involves hypertension, high levels of cholesterol & triglycerides, and high blood sugar.
Extra Glucose From Liver
When blood sugar levels are low, the body uses glucose from the liver. When you eat foods, the blood sugar levels rise, allowing the liver to store glucose for later. But, this doesn’t happen to everyone. Systems of some people keep on using sugar.
Type 2 diabetes can run in families. This is because family members share genes. Thus, if your father or mother had this disease, chances are more that your brothers/sisters or you develop it. However, it’s difficult to say which genes contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.
When the cells don’t send or receive correct signals, it may affect the way cells make & use insulin, thus causing type 2 diabetes.
Lack of Exercise
The less physically active you are, the greater your risks of excessive weight gain, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors
Certain things make it more likely for people to experience type 2 diabetes. These include-
- Age. As we get older, the risks of type 2 diabetes increase.
- Obesity. People who are overweight are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Prediabetes. When you have blood sugar levels rise above the normal range. If left untreated, prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes. Most women don’t show any sign until the condition is detected during a blood sugar test. In some cases, women with this condition may experience increased thirst.
- Race. Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic or Latino have higher risks of developing type 2 diabetes.
Treatment Options For Type 2 Diabetes Patients
- Sulfonylureas promotes the production of insulin.
- Metformin is prescribed to most patients. It works by lowering the blood sugar levels and boosting the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
- DPP-4 inhibitors reduce blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain.
- Thiazolidinediones improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin just like metformin.
- SGLT2 inhibitors help in preventing the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar into the blood.
- Insulin therapy can help in achieving glycemic control. You may require to take insulin several times a day or only a long-acting injection.
Losing those extra pounds can help you reduce blood sugar levels. Experts believe that losing 5-10 percent of body weight can provide significant benefits. For instance, if you weigh 170 pounds, then losing 12 pounds can help you lower blood sugar levels, and promote wellness.
Exercising can help you reduce blood sugar levels. However, you need not do intense workouts. Walking, biking, swimming, etc. can help you get great results. You can pair these physical exercises with yoga or relaxation exercises. During the COVID-19 lockdown, we advise you to prefer home workouts. Check out this article on amazing stay-at-home exercises for type 2 diabetes.
Eat a Healthy Diet
This is very important. Eating fewer calories a day can help you burn stored fat, thus managing type 2 diabetes. Add more vegetables and fruits in your diet and avoid eating foods that contain saturated fats. Talk to a registered dietician to get a perfect dieting plan.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
Irrespective of the treatment plan you are following, it’s important to check your blood sugar levels regularly. If you are taking insulin therapy, do it many times a day. However, you can contact your doctor to know how often you need to check your blood sugar.
Get Professional Support Online
Since everyone’s condition is different, you require a customized treatment plan for type 2 diabetes. During the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s not safe to visit a doctor’s clinic. You can prefer seeing a doctor through telemedicine instead. Here’s the complete process-
- Sign up an account
- Talk to a doctor online through HIPAA-compliant software
- Receive your prescription letter in PDF format instantly
Type 2 diabetes is a condition associated with increased blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can lead to several health issues such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, trouble with digestion, sleep apnea, hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. Although medications may help in lowering blood sugar, they may lead to certain side-effects. For example, Metformin can cause nausea and diarrhea. Lifestyle changes such as eating healthy foods, regular exercise, weight management, etc. can help in managing type 2 diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly, and make required changes to promote wellness.
Talk to a doctor online to discuss your condition and seek professional help for type 2 diabetes today.
In this tough time, we request you to stay home and practice social distancing. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and maintain good hygiene. Talk to your friends, family members, and colleagues through online chats and video conferences regularly to cope with the coronavirus anxiety & depression. Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. Prefer telemedicine to meet your medical needs remotely instead of visiting a clinic physically. Stay home. Stay protected.