While many people have heard of diabetes, not everyone is aware of what it is, what its symptoms are, what causes diabetes or what its treatments can involve. If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, these are points you will want to consider and learn about so that you can manage your illness effectively.
What is type 2 diabetes?
When your body isn’t correctly processing insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas), complications can arise. When there is a higher than normal blood glucose (or sugar) levels, this is a condition known as hyperglycemia. (Conversely, too low glucose levels is called hypoglycemia.)
Fluctuation in the sugar level frequently occurs because of a disease called diabetes. In its most common form it is known as Type 2 Diabetes.
Essentially, type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when your pancreas is no longer able to keep up with the extra insulin it is making to counteract what is happening with your blood sugar.
Common type 2 diabetes symptoms
- Frequent urination
- Frequent and prolonged thirst
- Intense hunger (even after eating)
- Intense fatigue
- Vision blurring
- Slow healing cuts and bruises
- Unexplained weight loss (type 1)
- Hands and feet experiencing tingles
- pain, or numbness
Staying aware of the presence of these symptoms of diabetes (type 2) can lower your risk of developing both short and long term complications posed by diabetes. If you are experiencing signs of type 2 diabetes, make an appointment to see your physician as soon as possible.
What are the Type 2 Diabetes Causes
- Insulin resistance occurs when the pancreas is required to make more and more insulin – and eventually cannot keep up with the demand. Type 2 diabetes doesn’t use the insulin properly, causing your blood glucose levels to fluctuate dramatically.
- Genetics can play a big part in determining who is at a higher risk. It’s not clear what causes type 2 diabetes to be more prevalent in some than in other groups, but it is most commonly found among African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. This is true also of the elderly population.
- Sometimes, glucose can build up in your blood instead of going to the cells where it is needed. This causes two problems, including energy starvation amongst your cells and (in the long term) damage to the vision, kidneys, nerves and /or heart.
Whatever the cause, if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it’s a good idea to take it seriously and make your treatment a top priority. Creating a plan that makes your health the main focus is a positive way to change the course of the disease.
Setting up treatment for type 2 diabetes
Because of the serious nature of type 2 diabetes, you should discuss with a physician ways that you can control your blood glucose level. A typical course of action might include eating healthier foods, increasing activity level, and adding medications that regulate your blood glucose levels.
Healthier eating is one of the easiest to control aspects of your treatment. Choosing lower carbohydrate options along with leafy green vegetables, lean proteins and non-sugared foods is the best course to follow. This will give you more energy, making increased activity easier. Overall, increasing your awareness of the nutritional value of the food you are consuming can literally be the difference between stable and dramatic blood sugar levels.
Choosing not to follow the course of action prescribed by your doctor can be a dangerous decision with potentially deadly consequences. Talk to your doctor today about the type 2 diabetes treatment options available to you and be proactive in your own approach to this disease.
The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
While it may be confusing to some people, there are distinct differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The ultimate difference between these two types of diabetes is the amount of insulin in the body.
- Type 1 Diabetes: Only 5% of the people with diabetes are considered type 1. These are the people who do not produce any insulin on their own and is usually only diagnosed among children and juveniles. (In fact, type 1 diabetes was originally called juvenile diabetes’ because of its specific age bracket.) People with type 1 diabetes typically have this illness through no actions of their own, it is simply a malfunction of their pancreas.
- Type 2 Diabetes: For type 2 diabetics, the body calls upon the pancreas to produce more and more insulin to give to the cells. Ultimately, the pancreas is unable to keep up with the demand and the blood sugar levels fluctuate wildly. While genetics can play a part in determining who will have this illness, many times type 2 diabetics are experiencing this disease as a result of their own lifestyle choices. Eating foods high in complex carbohydrates while living a less than active lifestyle can both be contributing factors to the type 2 diabetes condition.
Most common type 2 diabetes medications
The method of treatment for type 2 diabetes includes lifestyle changes and often requires the use of medicine. Many type 2 diabetics must use insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels, whether by injection or through an insulin pump.
All of these medications work together with insulin to help the body regulate the overall blood sugar levels and create a health environment for the cells. Using your prescribed type 2 diabetes drugs can help ensure you live a longer, healthier life than if you attempt to manage type 2 diabetes without them.
Understand how you should take them and be consistent in taking them at the correct time, in the proper dosage. And if you have any questions or to understand the options available for your treatment, talk to your doctor today.