Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong metabolic disorder characterized by high levels of glucose or sugar in the blood. Type 1 diabetes is when the body does not generate sufficient insulin while Type 2 diabetes is when the cells do not respond to insulin. This article focuses on the causes, symptoms and treatment of diabetes type 2.
About Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes type 2 is the most common type of diabetes and affects 90-95% of diabetics. It is characterized by insulin resistance or a defective response by the cells to insulin. In some cases, production of insulin by the pancreas may be reduced.
Glucose or blood sugar provides fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin is responsible for transporting glucose from the bloodstream into the cells.
When insulin cannot move the glucose into the cells, glucose accumulates in the blood and can cause diabetes complications such as damage to the nerves, kidneys, cardiovascular system and vision.
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is primarily caused by lifestyle factors and genetics. A sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and a diet high in carbohydrates and sweets are the most common causes of diabetes 2.
Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
The usual symptoms of diabetes are increased frequency of urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. People who have diabetes may also lose for no apparent reason.
When left untreated, diabetes can result in vision damage. Prolonged high levels of glucose in the blood can cause glucose absorption in the lens of the eye, resulting in changes in its shape leading to blurred vision.
Other symptom of diabetes are skin rashes and wounds that heal very slowly.
Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease with no known cure. As such, “treatment” may be a misnomer. A better term might be “management” of the disease. Management focuses on keeping blood glucose levels as close as possible to normal.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes type 2, your doctor may prescribe some form of medication. Diet and exercise are also important in controlling type 2 diabetes.
Recent studies show that type 2 diabetes can be successfully managed without the need for medications. A healthy diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, protein, wholegrain cereals, dairy products, fruits and vegetables can keep blood sugar at normal or near-normal levels.
The right diet and exercise help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels and prevent or reduce complications of diabetes such as blindness, kidney damage, nerve damage, and heart disease.