What You Need to Know About Diabetes Type 2
Before the name diabetes type 2, the disease was known as adult-onset diabetes. It was an adult disease before it changed its course to affect children and adolescents as well.
Current eating habits, lifestyles, and weight gain or obesity are more to blame for the disease.
Every meal you take would contain carbohydrates that are reduced to glucose after digestion and absorption. Glucose is useful in providing you with energy and body fuel when it moves into your body cells. Glucose in the bloodstream would require insulin to move into your body cells.
If your insulin fails to function correctly or is insufficient, your bloodstream would be saturated with glucose causing high blood sugar and then, diabetes.
What is Diabetes Type 2?
Diabetes type 2 or diabetes mellitus is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes. It is a chronic and insulin-resistant disorder. Insulin resistance means that your body cells are unable to respond to insulin or fail to get glucose for energy.
Quick Facts About Diabetes Type 2
Diabetes type 2 is an insulin-resistant disease whereby your body cells resist insulin effects of regulating glucose in the blood. The estimated cases of diabetes type 2 in 2018 were more than 500 million worldwide. The figure includes both the low-income and high-income countries.
Low and middle-income countries have the highest number of cases. The reason for such a rise is an adaptation to an unhealthy lifestyle and diet changes.
The prevalent type of diabetes among the rest is type 2 diabetes. It has a significant share of other types of diabetes, accounting for about 90% to 95%.
In response to insulin resistance, your beta cells continue to pump in more insulin while regulating glucose levels in the blood. Keeping up with insulin resistance causes insulin overproduction (hyperinsulinemia). With time, the beta cells eventually wear out and sometimes get damaged from overworking.
Insulin production then begins declining and causing insufficient insulin and blood glucose buildup.
Obese or overweight can positively contribute to insulin resistance and hence diabetes type 2 onset. Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease prevalent in inactive and overweight people.
As much as diabetes type 2 has different characteristics from diabetes type 1, both have one similarity. High blood sugar levels are common to both types of diabetes and hence share the name "Mellitus."
You can live long by really managing your diabetes type 2. Combining healthy physical activities with a healthier diet special for diabetes cases, and insulin or other medications can give you a quality life.
Both diabetes types 1 and 2 are called diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is a word borrowed from the Greek language, meaning 'siphon,' which refers to excessive urination. The term 'Mellitus' in the Latin language means 'sweet' or 'honeyed.' Wouldn't you agree that diabetes mellitus should mean 'excessive passing of sweetened urine'?
From the History of Diabetes, Indian physicians used ants to test diabetes mellitus in a patient in the ancient days. Probably they would pour some urine on a surface and wait to see whether ants would get attracted to the sugar content in the urine.
Other physicians would taste the urine to test the sugar. Thanks to modern technology, there are better ways to test sugar content in the urine than those archaic procedures.
Difference Between Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2?
Both of these two types of diabetes have a few things in common such as being chronic diseases. They also share one of their characteristics of having high blood sugar levels. However, they have a lot of differences that make them stand out from each other.
Cause Factor. Type 1 Diabetes is autoimmune. The immune system attacks the beta cells to damage and to destroy them. Without beta cells, your body cannot produce insulin to move glucose into the body cells.
Diabetes type 2 is an insulin-resistant disease whereby your body fails to use the insulin already produced by the beta cells. Your insulin-making cells can also fail to produce enough insulin to measure up to the blood glucose, leaving excess sugar in the blood.
Management Factor. You can only manage diabetes type 1 by administering or delivering insulin daily as directed by your doctor.
For diabetes type 2, you can manage the disease by eating a choice diet suitable for diabetic patients, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and healthy lifestyles. Your doctor can also prescribe some medication or insulin as may be best.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas' beta cells (insulin-producing cells). The primary function of insulin is to regulate sugar or glucose levels in the blood. It is a chemical messenger that directs the body cells to absorb glucose for energy.
The higher the glucose is in the blood, the more insulin your beta cells would produce to move glucose into the body cells, which then regulates sugar in the blood. Your body cells can fail to receive glucose, as it should be causing blood sugar buildup.
Two primary reasons why your body cells would fail to receive sufficient glucose are:
Your beta cells may get impaired or damaged and hence fail to produce insulin efficiently and sufficiently.
Metabolic factors such as hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), glucotoxicity (glucose toxicity), and lipotoxicity (lipid accumulation).
Drugs affect factors such as SSRI antidepressants and pentamidine (antimicrobial medication).
Environmental toxicity factors may include hydrocarbons and Vacor (rodenticide).
Your body cells can fail to respond to insulin or become resistant. The primary cause of insulin sensitivity is obesity and excess belly fat. Others are inactivity, genetics, aging, smoking, and sleep skimping.
Your insulin-making cells can fight back insulin resistance by producing insulin excessively, causing hypoglycemia (low glucose in the blood). High insulin levels in the blood equal low levels of blood sugar.
Arresting diabetes type 2 early enough can allow you to have an effective treatment and proper management of the disease if you know its signs and symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?
Some of the diabetes type 2 Mellitus symptoms include:
Frequent Passing of Urine. High blood sugar levels can overwork your kidneys while trying to flush out extra sugar from the blood. The kidneys do that by passing it out through urine and therefore causing frequent urination.
Increased Thirst. Frequent passing of urine would cause dehydration and hence increased thirst.
Losing Weight Unintentionally. When there is sugar buildup in your bloodstream due to insulin resistance and other reasons, it means that your body cells have insufficient energy for lack of glucose. In that case, then, your body turns to burn stored fat and muscles for body cells' energy. The use of fat for energy can cause unintentional weight loss.
Feeling Hungry Frequently. Your body cells need enough glucose supply for energy use in the body. In diabetes type 2, your body cells might not get enough glucose due to insulin-resistant, one of diabetes type 2 causes. For that reason, you experience an unsatiated appetite.
Blurred Vision. Type 2 diabetes can cause blindness or partial blindness. Your excess blood sugar can damage your eyes' tiny blood vessels causing them to leak blood on the eye retina. The retina is the eye's natural lens, and any fluid leaking into it can cause blurred images. Severe damage to the eyes' capillaries can lead to blindness.
Feeling Tired Frequently (Lack of Energy). Lack of enough glucose in the body cells due to insufficient insulin can result in a lack of energy and hence the fatigue-feeling.
Slow-Healing Sores. Diabetes type 2 can cause nerve damage (neuropathy). Constant high sugar levels in the bloodstream may damage your blood vessels and the nerves. It can then interfere with blood supply, especially to your body extremes.
Small cuts and wounds, especially to the limbs, may take a long time to heal due to poor blood circulation, which can cause infections.
Pain or Numbness in the Limbs. Poor blood circulation can lead to nerve damage, which can cause constant pain or numbness and sometimes tingling sensation.
If diabetes type 2 is left untreated or unmanaged, you risk other severe issues or complications. You might then end up dealing with more than one acute health condition, which can compromise your body's immune system.
Type 2 Diabetes Complications
Complications that can be caused by severe diabetes type 2 include:
Neuropathy or nerve damage. High sugar in the blood can interfere with your limbs' sense of feeling because of nerve damage. As we had mentioned earlier, constant high blood sugar can damage your nerves.
You may experience a burning sensation, numbness, constant pain, and tingling sensation. Men also are prone to erectile dysfunction from the effect of the nerve.
Cardiovascular or Heart Disease. One of the risks of heart disease is diabetes. Diabetes type 2 can cause high blood pressure, stroke, and atherosclerosis (narrowing of blood vessels).
Foot Sores Complications. Reduced blood flow, nerve damage, and slow-healing sores may cause serious infections. The wounds can progress dangerously to cause gangrene, leading to toe, foot, or even the entire leg being amputated.
Nephropathy or Kidney Damage. One common diabetes complication is kidney failure. High sugar levels in the blood damage the kidneys' urine filtration unit, eventually leading to kidney failure. In worse cases, it can cause end-stage kidney disease, which is irreversible and might require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Retinopathy or Eye Damage. Retinopathy is prevalent in diabetes type 2. Many diabetic patients have eye damage at the time of diagnosing the disease for the first time. Others can develop retinopathy after diagnosis.
Cataracts and glaucoma are some of the eye diseases that affect you when you have diabetes type 2. The eye disease can severely damage the retina's blood vessels, which may lead to blindness.
Alzheimer's Disease (Type 3 Diabetes?). Diabetes type 2 is known to link with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Various studies have concluded that both conditions link to insulin resistance. Uncontrolled insulin resistance can lead to Alzheimer's disease.
Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State (HHS). The hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state is severe hyperglycemia (high glucose in the blood) associated with metabolic complications in diabetes type 2. HHS can develop after the signs of hyperglycemia appear.
Osmotic diuresis (increased urine by the presence of glucose in the kidneys tubules), which is induced by high blood glucose, can cause dehydration. Signs of HHS are intense dehydration, hyperglycemic, and altered consciousness. Extreme cases of HHS can lead to shock, seizures, coma, or even death.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Diabetes can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening disorder. Lack of enough glucose in the body cells can lead to an urgent demand for fuel. Your body can, therefore, source fuel from fat to make up for glucose deficiency. Your liver fulfills the requirement by breaking down fat faster to provide fuel known as ketones.
Too much and too soon of fats breakdown can buildup ketones in the blood and urine, causing toxicity and acidic blood, a condition called ketoacidosis.
Hearing Impairment. Hearing impairment is common with diabetic patients. Nerve damage (neuropathy) as a complication of diabetes type 2 plays a significant role in the hearing disorder. It can affect hearing to the extent of having a hearing loss. It can happen due to the damage of your auditory nerves.
Skin Conditions. Fungal and bacterial infections are some of the complications in diabetes type 2, which can leave you with skin problems.
Depression. Diabetes can leave you depressed. One study reveals that high glucose levels in a diabetic patient's blood can affect brain neurotransmitters that control emotions to cause depression.
Type 2 Diabetes Causes
Various factors can cause type 2 diabetes, but the three main ones are:
Insulin Resistance. As mentioned earlier, diabetes can be caused by insulin resistance.
Obesity or Overweight. Obesity or overweight is a factor that causes diabetes type 2. Being sediment or inactive can create insulin resistance and hence diabetes type 2. Ask your doctor for BMI measurement to determine whether you are at a risk of diabetes type 2. The earlier you know about it, the better for effective measures on prevention.
Family History and Genes. Some genes in the family may cause diabetes. If one parent has diabetes type 2, it is likely one child in the family may have the diabetes-causing gene, which later can manifest to diabetes type 2.
It is essential to know the risk factors of diabetes type two to play safe if, unfortunately, you fall under one of the categories.
We do DNA health testing, which could help detect this potential and many others. If you are concerned that you might have the possibility, then give us a call, and we can set up a DNA health assessment test. Several Genes help promote a healthy blood sugar balance, but these two specific Genes are essential in promoting healthy blood sugar levels. The most important is the Gene FTO, and the IL6 Gene are critical factors in blood sugar balance.
Key Genes: FTO (Healthy Weight Management FTO rs9939609 / rs1121980)
What is the purpose of the FTO Gene? Many studies show that those with an SNP in the FTO Gene have a raised BMI, increasing the risk of obesity. It plays a significant role in overall Metabolism, Energy balance, and dispersal of fat. A SNiP in the FTO Gene is also connected with type II diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.
Key Genes: IL6 (Interleukin 6 or IL6 rs1800795)
What is the purpose of the IL6 Gene? Interleukin 6 is connected with Autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Degenerative Diseases like Diabetes, Atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer's.Increased levels of IL-6 can lead to Autoimmune conditions.It is a prominent pro-inflammatory Enzyme.
Risk Factors for Diabetes Type 2
You are at a risk of diabetes type 2 if you have the following risk factors. You are at more high risk if you combine more than two of the risk factors. Even though you cannot change some risk factors that affect you, you can change your lifestyle to live a quality life.
Diabetes type 2 risk factors include:
- Obesity or overweight
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes in the family history
- Age above 45 years
- Gestational diabetes history
- Sedentary or inactivity
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder in women
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Diabetes Type 2 Be Cured? There is no cure yet for diabetes type 2, but you can go on remission for a duration of time without using medication and with your blood sugar levels stable. You can also take years of medicine-free life even though not cured. Do not forget that diabetes type 2 is a lifelong disease with a possibility of symptoms recurrence even if you feel healthy enough.
What is the Life Expectancy in Type 2 Diabetes? Diabetes type 2 complications can compromise your life expectancy to a short life. Conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, eye diseases, kidney problems, and gangrene due to infected limbs can shorten life expectancy.
Nevertheless, you can lead a long healthy life if you observe, to the letter, your diabetes type 2 management rules as directed by your physician.
If you have diabetes type 2, you must focus more closely on a healthy diabetes type 2 diet. Losing weight is part of most doctors' initial treatment. Remember, fasting is an unhealthy way of losing weight. Ask your nutritionist or doctor for a weight management meal plan to begin your treatment.
Your doctor may also recommend taking vigorous activities such as running, depending on your physical health.
"What is good for your heart is good for your brain." Do not neglect your brain since low glucose in the cells caused by insulin resistance can affect your mental health as well. Work on your overall health, including your cardiovascular and brain health.
You can also prevent diabetes type 2. It does not matter whether the disease runs in your family. What matters is how you live and what you eat. Control your weight by eating a healthy diet, observing a healthy lifestyle, being active, and regularly exercising.
We know that managing diabetes is both overwhelming and stressful. We want to assure you of our support whenever you need it. You can call us on our telephone at 250.468.7685 or visit us at our Island Health Works Natural Clinic.
You can also discuss your health with us. Visit us for your comprehensive examination. Come Try out our total body bio-systems analysis, which is the signature of our health assessment.
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This article is intended for educational purposes and the information contained within is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem. Please seek appropriate medical attention for any health complaints. We cannot take responsibility for your health care decisions. Our intent is only to offer health information to help you with your search for better health.