CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) reports say that 1 in every 10 Americans suffers from type 2 diabetes and this number comes up to about 37 million. It is the most common form of diabetes.
If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with Diabetes, here’s help! Doral Health & Wellness has all the answers you are looking for.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic hormonal disease where your body becomes resistant to insulin leading to defects in the way sugar is metabolized. This leads to elevated sugar levels which can cause severe damage to your organs.
Type 2 diabetes was also called adult-onset diabetes.
- Middle-aged or older adults are most likely to get Type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, childhood obesity has led to an increase in Type 2 diabetes in kids and teens.
Causes & Risk factors
Type 2 diabetes is caused due to insulin resistance, which is the inability of cells to respond to the effect of insulin (a hormone that helps your body use sugar (glucose) for energy). Insulin causes blood sugar levels to rise after eating and then fall back down again.
People with type 2 diabetes have cells that don’t use insulin properly (insulin resistance) and/or the body doesn’t make enough insulin.
- Family history of diabetes (especially if a parent or sibling has it).
- Older age (over 45 years).
- Being overweight or obese (Carrying extra weight – especially around your waist).
- Having prediabetes.
- Gestational diabetes (If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, or if you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds, you’re also at risk of type 2 diabetes).
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (Women with PCOS often have insulin resistance, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes).
- Metabolic syndrome (It is a group of symptoms including high blood pressure, extra fat around the waist, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol and triglycerides).
- Ethnicity (mostly African American, Native American, Asian American, and Hispanic).
- Getting little or no exercise
- Sleeping too little or too much
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be so vague that you don’t notice them. These include:
- Extreme thirst
- Increased hunger (especially after eating)
- Frequent trips to the restroom
- Unexplained weight loss
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Upset stomach and vomiting
- Delayed wound healing
- Mood issues
Your body may show signs of insulin resistance. You might get dark rashes around your neck or armpits called acanthosis nigricans.
You need to see a doctor if you are having any of these symptoms.
Over time, insulin resistance and high blood sugar can cause problems with your:
- Heart and blood vessels (You’re up to five times more likely to get heart disease or have a stroke).
- Skin (wounds heal slower and can become infected).
- Pregnancy (you are more likely to have a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or a baby with a birth defect).
- Sleep (Obstructive sleep apnea).
- Brain (High blood sugar can put you at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease).
The best way to avoid these complications is to manage your type 2 diabetes well.
Care & Management
Here’s how you can begin:
Diet: Make sure you eat protein-rich foods and avoid processed sugars.
- Consult your doctor to determine the appropriate level of physical activity for you.
- Set fitness goals—having specific objectives can help you stay motivated.
- Include a variety of activities in your daily routine.
- Begin slowly and allow time for recovery.
- Keep track of your actions and stay focused on your objectives.
- Pay attention to your body.
Your life doesn’t end with a diagnosis. Diabetes is manageable. To learn more about Diabetes and its management visit our Endocrinology page.