What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes is a condition characterized by high glucose levels in the bloodstream (6.5% or greater). This condition occurs primarily because the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, the hormone responsible for blood sugar regulation, or because the cells have difficulty converting blood sugar into energy.
The condition also used to be called “adult-onset diabetes,” as Type 2 Diabetes was more prevalent among adults over 40. However, because of the increase in obese children and teens, more and more adolescents and children have been diagnosed with the condition.
Type 2 versus Type 1 Diabetes
There is also Type 1 diabetes, which differs from Type 2 Diabetes because Type 1 Diabetes is genetic and often diagnosed in children and teens. In addition, an autoimmune response restricts the pancreas from producing insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes, however, is caused by multiple factors aside from genetics and is more prevalent among adults and overweight or obese people.
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes often manifest gradually. Some of these symptoms may not be directly linked to Diabetes, causing many instances of unnoticed Diabetes or Prediabetes.
Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than average but not high enough to be diagnosed as Diabetes.
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing wounds and recurring infections
Causes and Risk Factors
Type 2 Diabetes is either caused by problems with the pancreas (an insulin-producing organ) or how the sugar gets converted into energy in the bloodstream (insulin resistance). A single factor or a combination of the following risk factors can cause Type 2 diabetes:
- Insulin Resistance: Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance. When cells become insulin-resistant, glucose cannot enter them for energy. Blood sugar rises.
- Genetics: Diabetes can be hereditary.
- Obesity: obesity can cause insulin resistance.
- Unbalanced Diet: Frequent intake of fatty foods, carbs, and processed foods may cause obesity.
- Physical inactivity: a lack of physical fitness and exercise may result in being overweight.
- PCOS: Even though PCOS and Diabetes are not linked, one symptom of PCOS is excessive weight gain, which can cause insulin resistance.
- Age: Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults, especially those over the age of 45. However, due to rising rates of obesity in young people, it can also affect adolescents and young adults.
- Race and Ethnicity: Certain racial and ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Several blood tests can tell if someone has type 2 diabetes, such as:
1. Fasting Blood Sugar Test: This test measures how much sugar is in your blood after you haven’t eaten anything for 12 hours.
2. The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) measures how much sugar is in your blood before and after you drink a sugary solution.
Hemoglobin A1c Test (HbA1c): This test measures how much sugar has been in your blood on average over the past two to three months.
Since there is no cure for Type 2 Diabetes, there are multiple ways to maintain it to avoid further complications.
- Having a diabetic-friendly diet—eating the right kinds of food—can control and maintain blood sugar levels. Some foods, such as carbohydrates and sweets, cause drastic spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and avoid being overweight.
- Insulin medication: For unprecedented spikes in blood sugar or even difficulty controlling a healthy amount of blood sugar, insulin medications can be administered through shots or pens, depending on the type and amount prescribed by your doctor.
- Regular checkups are vital when it comes to Type 2 Diabetes. It’s essential to take charge of yourself and your health. Regular checkups can be inconvenient, but they will help you improve your health and decrease your chance of getting unhealthy. The frequency of regular checkups depends on your age, risk factors, and current health status. Generally, an annual checkup is recommended for people over 50 years of age. Thus, having regular checkups with your doctor is essential to ensuring that no symptoms get out of hand and that you get treated for any complications as soon as possible.
- Diabetes Education: Learning about diabetes, its management, and lifestyle modifications can empower individuals to take control of their condition effectively.
- Blood Sugar Monitoring: For Diabetes or other ongoing health issues, you should see your healthcare provider more often, no matter how old you are.
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with the right medical care, changes in living, and a proactive attitude toward health. To live a good life with type 2 diabetes, it is important to find it early, learn about it, and follow the treatment plan. If you are worried about diabetes or have any signs, you should see a doctor or nurse to be checked out and given advice.
Here is a quick links on accessing all the categories of medicines (Type 2 Diabetes) available with Northern Insulin – Hypoglycemic, DPP-4, Meglitinides, Sulfonylureas, Thiazolidinediones(TZD) and SGLT2.