Are you worried about your health and want to learn more about Type 2 diabetes causes? If so, keep reading!
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes your blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of this condition. Essentially, if you have type 2, either your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells ignore insulin. This is called insulin resistance.
At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. However, over time it isn’t able to keep this up. Consequently, your body can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
Insulin resistance is partly genetic. But there are other important contributors. One of the most important contributing factors was found by researchers using statistical data and the scientific method.
Keep reading to learn what they found in this study:
Looking into the cells of people with insulin resistance, they found tiny particles of fat. These fat particles are especially common in muscle cells. Furthermore, fat particles in cells interfere with insulin’s ability to open the cell membrane and allow glucose inside. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause two problems:
• Your cells may be starved for energy very quickly
• Over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.
Who is at risk for type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders; however, it can affect people of both sexes, as well people over 45 years of age.
Diabetic blood sugar levels
Blood glucose or blood sugar is an essential to your health. Blood sugar or blood glucose refers to sugar that is transported through the bloodstream to supply energy to all the cells in our body. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body.
The human body regulates blood glucose levels so that they are neither too high nor too low. This helps to maintain a condition of stability in the blood’s internal environment called homeostasis. Ultimately, homeostasis is necessary for our bodies to function.
Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Like the signs of most illnesses, diabetes symptoms are usually easy to spot but can be confused for other illnesses. One of the most prominent symptoms is an excessive thirst. This symptom is common to both types of diabetes (type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes) and is usually accompanied with frequent urination.
There are many signs and symptoms; however, since certain symptoms can be associated with other illnesses, sometimes diabetes is not discovered in the early stages.
Other Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms Include:
- Excessive thirst
- Increases in appetite
- Dry mouth
- Drastic weight fluctuations (can be a symptom).
- Fatigue (bouts and throughout the day)
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing wounds
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained weight loss
- Headaches and migraines
In general, sufferers of type 1 diabetes battle with these symptoms their entire lives. Type 2 diabetes sufferers generally see a slower onset of some but not all of the symptoms. A medical professional must always be made aware of all symptoms that the sufferer is experiencing so that the appropriate diabetes testing and treatment will be prescribed. Like the symptoms, the treatments for the two types of illness vary so it is important to get an accurate diagnosis.
Type 2 Diabetes and Blood Glucose Tests
Blood glucose levels typically increase slightly after you eat. Consequently, your pancreas react by releasing insulin so that your blood glucose levels don’t get too high.
Alternatively, blood glucose levels that remain high over time can damage your internal organs: eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, and more. Check out the list below for more information on different methods for type 2 diabetes testing:
Types of testing for diabetes
- Fasting glucose (fasting blood glucose, FBG) – this is a test conducted in order to determine the body’s glucose level after an 8 hour fast.
- 2-hour glucose tolerance test (GTT) – The subject of this test drinks 75 grams of glucose after the aforementioned FBG test is performed. Another blood sample is drawn 2 hours after the glucose drink. This “challenges” the person’s body to process the glucose. Normally, the blood glucose level rises after the drink and stimulates the pancreas to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin allows the glucose to be taken up by cells. As time passes, the blood glucose level is expected to decrease again. When a person is unable to produce enough insulin, or if the body’s cells are resistant to its effects (insulin resistance), then less glucose is transported from the blood into cells and the blood glucose level remains high.
- A test called hemoglobin A1c may be used as an alternative to glucose testing for screening and diagnosis.
How the blood glucose test may be used
- To detect hyperglycemia, also known as high blood glucose, as well as the opposite: hypoglycemia
- Help diagnose diabetes, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes
- Monitor glucose levels in people diagnosed with diabetes
- Screen for diabetes in people who are at risk; some conditions may develop with no early warning indicators or symptoms
Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Plans
For the type 2 diabetes sufferer, changes in diet and physical exercise like yoga can drastically improve you chances of not suffering from the devastating and even fatal complications that can arise if diabetes is left undetected.
Additionally, your treatment plan will more than likely include smaller and well-planned caloric intake, much higher levels of physical activity, and the possible use of medication to help you meet your target blood glucose levels.
If insulin is needed, you’ll need to work closely with your healthcare provider to determine which insulin or insulin’s are best for you and your body.
Ultimately, nutrition is one of the most important changes that will need to be made. Understanding how different foods affect your blood glucose and learning to develop solid meal plans will be a crucial part of your daily routine. With the correct strategies in place, you can take steps today to monitor your condition, prevent serious complications, and feel better while living with diabetes.
How will I know if my treatment is working?
Getting an A1C test at least twice a year helps you and your health care team keep track of how well you are controlling your blood glucose levels.
Your A1C check tells you your average blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months. Your health care provider may call this your estimated average glucose or eAG. The eAG gives your A1C in the same units (mg/dl) as the glucose meter you use at home.
Additionally, your blood pressure numbers tell you the force of blood inside your blood vessels. When your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder.
Finally, your cholesterol numbers tell you about the amount of fat in your blood. One type in particular, referred to as low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol can clog your blood vessels and lead to heart disease.
Consult your doctor before using any health treatment, plan, or activity — including vitamins, herbal supplements and natural remedies. Also, tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications. The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as a substitute for medical advice or counseling.
About the author
Elana B. is an award-winning writer, speaker, and internationally published author. As a writer and ghostwriter she has written hundreds of stories from shorts to books to screenplays. As a healthcare enthusiast she has studied nutrition, health and wellness, as well as eating right to live a better life.
A gifted storyteller, Elana B.’s company Bee Smart Publishing seeks to teach in a fun, creative way. Stories published through this company incorporate some of the most important lessons in life. Through this entertaining series of books, children will learn morals, manners, how important it is to achieve goals, as well as conflict resolution.
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