Diabetes is a disorder that occurs due to malfunctioned metabolism. It is manifested by a high level of glucose in the blood.
What is Diabetes? (1)
In diabetes, blood sugar is known as “glucose” increases beyond the required level. Glucose is a chief energy source and is gained from daily meals. A higher percentage of glucose is found in food rich in carbohydrates. The actual problem occurs with the function of a hormone known as “insulin”. This hormone is released from a leaf-like organ “the pancreas”. Insulin takes up the extra sugar from the blood, stores it, and provides it when needed. Diabetes initiates in either of two scenarios. First, when the body does not respond to the insulin, and second when the pancreas fails to produce insulin. In either case, the amount of glucose elevates in the blood. Till now, no treatment is invented to eradicate diabetes. This disorder can only be controlled or managed.
Type 2 diabetes (2)
The most predominant type is“Type 2 diabetes” which is also known as Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or Adult-onset diabetes.In this type, the body does not respond the insulin the manner it should. The body develops insulin resistance. This type is most prevalent in older or middle-aged people. But it is not limited to elders, children or teens can also have that disorder due to obesity. According to research, approximately29 million people in America are suffering from type 2 diabetes, and 84 million people are at the risk of getting this type in upcoming years.
Signs and Symptoms
Type 2 diabetes does not produce very prominent signs and symptoms. Almost 8 million people are living with type 2 diabetes without even knowing it. Some common signs and symptoms are:
- Thirst at an extreme level
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Cranky nature
- Numbness or tingling in limbs
- Extreme tiredness
- The delayed healing time of wounds
- Recurrent yeast infections
- Frequent hunger feelings
- Abrupt weight loss
- The patient becomes prone to several infections
The pancreas in the body uses to make insulin. That insulin makes the cells take the sugar from a meal eaten and convert it into energy. In type 2 diabetes, body cells fail to recognize insulin. During the initial stages, the pancreas secret more insulin to build glucose in cells but ends up with accumulated glucose in the blood. Several factors are responsible for type 2 diabetes.
- Genes; in defective genes, DNA gives false information in the production of insulin
- Obesity; more weight causes insulin resistance. The chances increase when the abdominal area carries extra pounds
- Metabolic syndrome; several other metabolic syndromes are seen in people with insulin resistance such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides and cholesterol, extra fats, and high sugar level in the blood.
- Malfunctioned liver; normally liver secrets glucose in starving conditions. After taking a meal, it stops doing so and stores the glucose. In diabetes mellitus 2, the liver continues to produce glucose in the blood.
- Improper cells communication; improper communication among cells leads to an inappropriate chain reaction leading to diabetes mellitus 2.
- Damaged beta cells; beta cells are responsible to make insulin and send it to the site of action. Damaged beta cells secrete inaccurate insulin amounts at an inaccurate time causing elevated blood sugar levels.
Certain things make a person vulnerable to diabetes type 2. Following are some of those things:
Age: people age 45 or above are at higher risk
Family: an individual with a diabetic sister, brother, or parents can have it too.
Ethnicity: people of some ethnic groups are more prone to diabetes 2 such as Pacific Islander American, Latino or Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, Alaska Native, and African American.
Some other medical conditions are also considered to be risk factors of diabetes type 2. Such as:
- Heart disease
- Low HDL levels
- High triglycerides
- High weight infant in the womb
- Gestational diabetes
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Lifestyle and daily habits also have something to do with the risk of diabetes. Such as:
- Lack of exercise
- Irregular sleeping patterns
Diagnosis of diabetes type 2 is done by examining symptoms and conducting some tests. Lab tests for diagnosing diabetes type 2 are as follows:
- HbA1c: this test analyses the average blood sugar level of the past three months.
- Fasting plasma glucose: it is also called a fasting blood sugar test. In this test, blood sugar level is measured in fasting.
- Oral glucose tolerance test
In this test, the blood sugar level is measure empty stomach and then after two hours of taking any sweet liquid.
No treatment is known that completely cures diabetes mellitus type. It can only be managed by a combination of medications and lifestyle modifications.
It is possible to keep the required blood sugar level just by doing exercise or altering diet.
- Weight loss: as mention above, extra weight is one of the causes of diabetes type 2. Losing weight can help in managing the disorder. 5% weight loss is good but 7% weight loss is considered best to control the disorder. This means a person weighing 180 pounds can reach the ideal glucose level in the blood just by losing 13 pounds.
- Healthy eating: no diet specific to diabetes type 2 has been found yet. But consulting with a nutritionist can help in taking the appropriate amount of carbs. Moreover, a nutritionist makes up the best suitable meal plan for a diabetic patient. He suggests meals with low calories, more veggies, fruits, and fiber.
- Exercise: daily exercise for about 60 minutes also help to manage diabetes. One can do exercise in various forms such as jogging, swimming, or walking. He/she can also add any strength training such as yoga.
- Monitoring blood sugar levels: one needs to test or monitor his/her sugar level regularly.
Medications are used when lifestyle modifications or physical activities do not impart a great difference in blood glucose levels. These medications include:
- DPP-4 inhibitors
- GLP-1 receptor agonists
- SGLT2 inhibitors