A complete introduction to Type ll Diabetes. Symptoms | Causes | Complications | Prevention
Type ll diabetes is a chronic condition which affects the way the human body metabolizes sugar (glucose) an important source of fuel for the human body.
With type ll diabetes, your body either resists all effects of insulin. A hormone which regulates the movement of sugar into your cells or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain the normal glucose levels.
Type ll diabetes mostly used to be known as the adult-onset but nowadays mostly children are being diagnosed with the disorder, probably due to the rise in their childhood obesity. There is no cure for type ll diabetes, but eating well, losing weight, & exercising can help manage the disease. If exercise & diet are not enough to manage your blood sugar well, you may also need insulin therapy or medications.
Symptoms & Signs of type ll diabetes often develop slowly. In fact, you can have type ll diabetes for years & not know it. Look for:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Unintended weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores
- Frequent infections
- Areas of darkened skin, usually in the neck & armpits.
Type ll diabetes develops when your body becomes resistant to the insulin or when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin.
How insulin works?
Insulin is a hormone which comes from the gland situated below & behind the stomach (pancreas).
- The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream.
- The insulin enabling circulates sugar to enter your cells.
- Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream.
- When your blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas.
Type ll diabetes can be easy to ignore, especially in the early stages when you are feeling better. But it affects many major organs of your body, including your blood vessels, heart, nerves, eyes & kidneys. Controlling sugar levels of your blood, which can help prevent these complications of diabetes.
Although its long-term complications develop gradually, they may eventually be disabling or even the life-threatening. Some of the potential complications of these are included of:
- Heart & blood vessel disease. Type Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, narrowing of blood vessels (atherosclerosis) & high blood pressure.
- Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess of sugar can cause numbness, tingling, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the fingers or toes & gradually spreads upward. Damage to the nerves which control digestion that can cause problems with vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, or constipation. For all men, erectile dysfunction may be an issue.
- Kidney damage.Type Diabetes can mostly lead to irreversible end-stage or kidney failure of kidney disease, which may require the dialysis or a kidney transplant.
- Eye damage. It increases a lot of the risk of serious eye diseases, such as glaucoma, & may damage the blood vessels cataracts & of the retina, potentially leading to blindness.
- Slow healing. Left untreated, blisters & cuts can become serious infections, which may heal poorly. Severe damage might require foot toe or leg amputation.
- Hearing impairment. Hearing problems are most common in people with type diabetes.
- Skin conditions. It may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including fungal & bacterial infections.
- Sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is most common in people with type ll diabetes. Obesity may be common and a main contributing factor to both conditions. Treating sleep apnea may lower your blood pressure & make you feel more rested, but it’s not clear whether it helps improve blood sugar control.
Type Diabetes Preventions
Healthy lifestyle choices can help to prevent type ll diabetes, & that’s true even if you have type diabetes in your family. If you have already received a diagnosis of diabetes, you can use healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent complications. If you’ve prediabetes, lifestyle changes can slow or stop the progression to type diabetes.
A healthy lifestyle includes:
- Eating healthy foods. Choose foods lower in fat & calories & higher in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables & whole grains.
- Getting active. Aim for a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity or 15 to 30 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity on most days. Take a brisk daily walk. Ride a bike. Swim laps. If you can’t fit in a long workout, spread your activity throughout the day.
- Losing weight. If you are overweight, losing 5 to 10 % of your body weight can reduce the risk of diabetes. To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating & exercise habits. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy & improved self-esteem.
- Avoiding being sedentary for long periods. Sitting still for long periods can increase your risk of type ll diabetes. Try to get up every 30 minutes & move around for at least a few minutes.
Sometimes medication is an option as well. Metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others), an oral type of diabetes medication, may reduce the risk of type ll diabetes. But even if you take medication for healthy lifestyle choices remain essential for preventing or managing it.