Type 2 Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment
Diabetes is a disease which remains for the lifetime and affects the body. The body is unable to handle glucose in our body. Most of the diabetic patients are actually having the type 2 condition.
Table of Contents
- Who can have diabetes due to lifestyle problems?
- What causes Type 2 diabetes?
- What are the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?
- Risk Factors involved with Diabetes
- Long-term Serious Effect of High Blood Sugar
- Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes
- How can you prevent diabetes?
- Managing diabetes with the help of exercise
Who can have diabetes due to lifestyle problems?
Lifestyle plays an important role in determining whether you can have this condition or not.
- If one does not do any kind of exercise, they have higher chances of getting this condition.
- Obesity is one of the main reasons for people getting diabetes.
- Lying idle on the bed and watching TV all day is a primary cause for people to develop this condition.
- It is a myth that people who intake more sugar have higher chances of getting diabetes. However, if you intake too much of sweetened drinks or other products, and do any physical exercise, this can be a very good reason for you to get diabetes.
- Leading a stressful life and lack of sleep can also be a cause for diabetes.
What causes Type 2 diabetes?
Our pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. This insulin lets the cells in our body turn glucose into energy.
People who have type 2 diabetes also produce insulin, but the body is not able to use it in the right way. This is known as insulin resistance.
Initially, the pancreas tries to cope up by making more insulin to get glucose used by cells but can’t keep up with the pace. This results in building up of sugar in the blood instead. There are basically two things that are responsible for type 2 diabetes.
a.Genetically passed on
Researchers have found that the structure of DNA can play a role in the production of insulin in our body.
If one is obese or overweight, it can be responsible for insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes affects kids, teenagers, as well as adults. The reason being obesity.
People having insulin resistance are often found to have certain conditions such as high blood sugar, belly fat, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and triglycerides.
c. Excess glucose secretion from liver
If the blood sugar is low, the liver produces glucose and send it out. After eating, the blood sugar levels go up. This slows down the liver and stores the glucose for later on.
However, this doesn’t happen to everyone. In some people, the liver doesn’t slow down and keeps cranking out sugar.
d. Improper Functioning of Cells
Sometimes, the cells send wrong signals. This affects how the body makes use of insulin, and the chain of reaction can cause diabetes.
e. Broken Cells
If the cells send out the wrong signals at the wrong time, the blood sugar level can go to extreme ends. High blood sugar damages the cells.
What are the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?
Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes can be mild and most people don’t even notice it. But it is important for people to be aware of these symptoms. These symptoms are-
- Excessive thirst
- A lot of urination
- Blurred Vision
- Numb sensations in hands and feet
- Exhausted or tiredness
- Healing of wounds taking a lot of time
If you notice one of these symptoms you should immediately consult a doctor.
Risk Factors involved with Diabetes
While certain things can increase the risk of getting diabetes, they won’t give the disease. But this increases the chances of getting it.
Some things are beyond our control such as-
- Age-related diabetes– After a certain age (45 above), one needs to keep their body in shape and healthy in order to avoid diabetes.
- Genetic Reasons- If one’s parents have diabetes, the chances of it getting passed on to their children increases. In this case, one needs to remain alert and take good care of their body.
Diabetes can also take place depending on your health condition and medical history. Many other reasons can be responsible for getting type 2 diabetes. It depends upon the habits you inculcate and lifestyle that you enjoy. Habits such as-
- No physical activity
- Sleep Deprivation; can cause diabetes. One can simply bring changes in their lifestyle in order to avoid the disease.
Long-term Serious Effect of High Blood Sugar
If the high blood sugar is not tackled properly, it can do some great damages to the body. It can affect
- Nervous system
- Immunity system ( a lot of time to heal a small cut or wound)
Life Expectancy after detection of Type 2 diabetes
Many researchers have found that a person with type 2 diabetes may die earlier than a person without diabetes.
Many people die not because of diabetes but because of the complications it causes in the body because of it. Kidney failure, heart disease is a common example of such a problem.
However, this is not always the case. If one can take good care of themselves by controlling their blood sugar level and adopting a healthy lifestyle, they can surely avoid the effects of this disease.
Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes
Consulting a doctor on time can help you in diagnosing your diabetes on time. The doctor will test your sugar levels through a blood test.
In most cases, doctors will take a test in two days in order to confirm the disease. There are different types of tests for detecting sugar levels.
Oral Glucose Test- This test basically checks sugar levels two hours before and after drinking a sugary drink. It is taken to see the body’s ability to handle the sugar.
Fasting Glucose Test- This test is taken on an empty stomach. One is not allowed to eat or drink anything before eight hours of taking the test.
A1C- This test takes an average of the blood sugar tests of three months.
How can you prevent diabetes?
One can certainly choose to lead a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid such a life-threatening disease.
1. Shedding extra Kilos
This is the most important prerequisite to reducing the risks involved with type 2 diabetes. If one decides to lose at least 8 to 10 kilos of their weight, the risks involved with type 2 diabetes will cut in half.
2. Get more Active
This is something that one hears from everyone. But it is true as well. Getting active and doing a simple task such as walking involves moving of muscles and uses insulin.
Brisk walking for around 30 minutes every day can cut the risk by one-third proportion.
3. Eating Right Food
Diabetes patients should avoid food items rich in carbohydrates, sugary drinks, and food items with trans and saturated fats. One should also avoid red meat as well as processed meat.
Smoking isn’t right for patients with diabetes.
Treatment for Type 2 diabetes
Different type of measures can be taken to treat diabetes. These are-
- Healthy eating plan
- Exercising regularly
- Losing weight
- Oral Drugs
- Treating lifestyle problems such as stress or lack of sleep
- Dietary supplements
One can avoid taking medications altogether if they just bring some changes in their eating habits. Along with that if they exercise more often and live a healthy lifestyle, they can totally beat diabetes.
Dietary Plan for Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes should eat food that is rich in fiber and proteins. Include a lot of vegetables and fish, chicken, beans, and lentil to get protein. Apart from this, include other nutritious food items as well such as fruits, whole grains, nuts, dairy products but with low fat in your diet.
One should altogether avoid food with high sugar contents, rich in carbohydrates, processed food etc. Forget about eating loads of sweets, desserts, fried things such as chips or crackers.
Difficulty in Weight Loss
We all know how diabetes affects our body and is responsible for a number of problems. If one has diabetes and losing weight is their number one priority, it can be an intimidating task.
Being overweight and having type 2 diabetes is a dangerous combination which can result in risks and other complications.
But this problem can be tackled by inculcating healthy habits, eating healthy and physical activity. This will reduce the risk for complications and any other health risks. But if the things are not done right, it can turn into an obstacle between you and weight-loss.
Here are some reasons that can come between you and your goal weight and some tips to battle them out.
Maintaining your weight
Sometimes, people who are overweight may somehow manage to lose weight but it can be difficult to maintain that weight. One needs a commitment to maintain it.
One must start the day by eating a healthy breakfast. Then a healthy lunch and so on.
The toughest part of losing weight can be easily done with a little bit of discipline. Little cheats are okay but overall, a person should not forget their commitment to keeping their sugar under control by eating healthy.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
A quality sleep of 7 to 9 hours is mandatory for everybody. Also even if one hungry during the night, a midnight snack that is diabetes-friendly should be chosen.
Lack of sleep can also cause insulin resistance and can become a pain in the hormones that are responsible for weight gain. Inadequate sleep makes your body to produce more ghrelin (the hormone meant for appetite stimulation) and reduced leptin ( the hormone meant for suppressing appetite).
If one chooses to stay up till late at night, there are more chances that you will eat more. The chances for choosing a high calorie, starchy, salty snack is high. No doubt that it is a bad choice for sugar patients, especially when they are trying to lose weight.
The Long period of gaps between meals
Skipping meal is a worse idea for sugar patients. Include health options as well as healthy snacks.
Often people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes don’t know much about the dietary related things and the issues surrounding it. They hesitate before eating anything and this can be a reason for long gaps between meals. This can lead to fluctuations in the insulin and glucose levels, and therefore, weight gain rather than weight loss.
Eating large portions of meals
Well it might be true that must be eating a balanced diet, but the size of those meals also matters. Sticking to a healthy diabetes diet is good but controlling the sizes of the portion is also important.
Doctors have found many a time that patients choose a healthy diet and yet eat in large proportions. This increases the calorie intake in them and losing weight becomes difficult.
Unhealthy cooking techniques
This is one of the biggest problems that diabetes patients are naive about. They resort to good choices when it comes to choosing food items but with the wrong cooking techniques, they let their efforts go in vain.
Whenever you are cooking your food, do it in the small amount of olive oil or just spray some oil to saute food. In fact, try to use other methods such as bake, broil, grill, or stir-fry instead of frying it.
Intake of proteins is good for diabetic patients as it will not affect their blood sugar levels but it can definitely affect your cholesterol levels and waistline. While protein is a good choice for losing weight, it is important to cook them in the right way. Too much of butter or olive oil for frying or sautéing will do bad than good.
Just eating healthy is not enough. Opting for a healthier alternative is important and should be accompanied with mindful snacking.
While healthy snacking is important for sugar patients, but munching all the time will lead to weight gain rather than weight loss. Extra intake of 100 calories than what the body requires can lead to weight gain of around 4 to 5 kgs a year. The converse of this is also true, cutting down on extra 100 calories can reduce your weight by 4 to 5kg a year.
It is better to plan your diabetes snacks. Keep them prepared in advance and eat them while you are sitting down in one place and relaxed. Relish them rather than just munching them.
Obsession of desserts
People often think that because they have exercised, they can eat desserts. This can only be done if they do it in a way where they intake no or just a few calories.
The biggest problem with diabetes is to manage the blood sugar levels along with managing what to eat or drink and some physical activity. Sometimes, one feels the urge to eat or drink something sweet in order to satisfy their sweet tooth.
This is where they should learn to manage their food choices. If one wants to have a scoop of ice cream, they should keep the prior meal free of starch. In order to lose weight and control diabetes, they should do the necessary calculations as exercising won’t be enough to burn the calories received from the dessert.
The above tips may not straight away help you in weight loss but it can surely help you move forward in the direction of weight loss.
If the weight loss is not happening as you have planned, it is better to go see a doctor and get help on planning your diet. It varies from person to person and requires a different mechanism to shed those extra kilos.
Managing diabetes with the help of exercise
Well, diabetes can be beaten if one includes nutritious food in their diet and exercise regularly. It is a better choice rather than in taking a different kind of medications which come with their own set of complications and side effects.
Exercising is important as it makes the cells in the body more insulin sensitive and controls the sugar levels in our blood. It makes the body active and gives you energy.
1. Weight Training
Any kind of light exercise will do the trick but it is better if one does exercise that helps in building muscles, such as weight training. As soon as you involve yourself in physical activity, you will see changes in yourself and all that lethargic feelings will be gone.
2. Brisk Walking
Brisk walking every day will stimulate your muscles and make your heart do the extra work. This is the easiest thing that a person can do to avoid diabetes-related complications.
Doing yoga can reduce the risks involved with type 2 disease. It will not only control sugar levels in your blood but also help you in shedding extra kilos.
People who are not overweight but are facing diabetes problems due to stress, they should also do yoga as it gives you the peace of mind and helps you in getting relaxed.