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Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is among the most common diseases worldwide. A study says India has the second-highest population in the world in diabetics, around 1.3 billion people, in which type 2 diabetes is the most common that affects 2.4% population in rural areas and 11.6% population in urban areas. So, what is type 2 diabetes and why is it so common among adults? Type 2 diabetes is a blood sugar imbalance in the body leading to an uncontrolled rise in sugar levels in the bloodstream, which is called hyperglycemia. In this disease, the body cells become unable to utilise the insulin produced by the body. Middle and old aged adults are more vulnerable to type 2 diabetes. The condition is also called the onset of diabetes, and teens may also have this disease due to early childhood obesity. 

What is type 2 diabetes?What is Type 2 Diabetes?

The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which helps in moving glucose from the blood to other body cells and generates energy for various vital functions. But, in type 2 diabetes the body cells are unable to use the insulin, though the body is producing it. In chronic type 2 diabetes, the body may also stop producing enough insulin. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes might lead to severe complications if not managed in the early stages. People with type 2 diabetes have to rely on anti-diabetic medications and insulin to maintain optimal blood glucose levels. 

Thus, awareness and early detection of the disease and its complications may save a wide population from developing it. Especially, obese people should stay careful with the symptoms of diabetes.

The initial symptoms of type 2 diabetes are mild and hard to detect early. A wide range of people doesn’t even know they have an underlying disease.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes

Symptoms-of-type-2-diabetes

There are some common symptoms: 

  • Urge to drink water frequently 
  • Feeling hungry often
  • Peeing more than usual
  • Blurred vision 
  • Fatigue 
  • Tingling or numbness in the limbs 
  • Unhealed wounds 
  • Frequent infections such as yeast infection 
  • Unexplained weight loss

Also, if someone observes dark rashes around the neck and armpits they should immediately seek medical help. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans and shows that your body is getting resistant to insulin.

Causes of type 2 diabetes

Causes-of-type-2-diabetes

Pancreas is the organ beneath the stomach which releases a hormone called insulin, which helps in turning blood glucose into energy by moving it to the other body cells. But, in type 2 diabetes, the person’s body is unable to use the produced insulin. Due to this, the pancreas tries to make more insulin leading to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels). 

There can be many causes for type 2 diabetes: 

Genes: studies suggest that the genes affect the DNA, that is how the body makes insulin. Thus, genetics plays a major role in the development of disease. 

Obesity: Extra weight can be very dangerous, especially the middle fat. Sometimes, due to obesity teens may also develop the disease. 

Comorbidities: people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and extra weight around the waist are highly susceptible to type 2 diabetes. 

Uncontrolled cranking of sugar from the liver: when blood sugar is low, the liver sends glucose. Usually, the liver slows down when the person has eaten something and stops sending glucose. But in some cases, it doesn’t stop and continues sending glucose causing elevated levels of blood sugar. 

Incoordination between cells: sometimes body cells don’t coordinate well with each other. They either send wrong signals or don’t pick up the messages correctly. This bad communication among cells affects how the cells make insulin and utilise glucose. 

Damaged beta cells: beta cells are responsible for producing insulin. If these cells send inappropriate amounts of insulin, it might lead to flooding of blood sugar and can damage beta cells too. 

Diagnosis 

Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes includes blood testing. The doctor tests blood sugar to detect the presence of diabetes. If someone has high blood sugar levels, only a blood test can detect its presence. 

There are 3 tests to detect blood glucose levels: 

A1c: it’s the average reading of blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. 

Fasting plasma glucose: this test is done on an empty stomach and the person is not allowed to eat or drink anything at least 8 hours before the test except water. This test is also called a fasting blood sugar test. 

Oral glucose tolerance test: this test measures blood sugar levels before and after 2 hours of drinking glucose to detect how the body is handling the sugar. 

Treatment

Treatment for type 2 diabetes

A healthy weight loss: losing extra weight, at least 5% of the bodyweight is good and if somebody can lose more than that, it will contribute good results. Rather than a forceful weight loss, eating a good portion of food and improving diet schedule is a better option. With the correct amount of nutrients and exercise, people can shed off some pounds eventually. 

There are some tips to improve diet: 

  • Cut on high-calorie food 
  • Don’t consume refined carbs like sweets 
  • Add fruits and vegetables to your diet 
  • Consume more fibre

Improving diet: there is no specific diet to treat type 2 diabetes. However, an improvement in the diet may be fruitful. 

Physical activeness: a physical workout of 30-60 minutes is necessary every day for a diabetic. People can do swimming, biking, walking whatever suits them. Also, yoga and weightlifting are good for improving heart rate. If someone is on medications that lower their blood sugar levels, they should eat snacks before a workout. 

Monitor BG levels: if the person is on insulin, he should check his BG levels often to manage them appropriately. 

Anti-diabetic medications: many anti-diabetic medications help in lowering elevated blood sugar levels. For instance metformin, sulfonylureas, insulin, SGLT2 inhibitors, etc.

Complications

Complications

Type 2 diabetes in later stages might cause these complications: 

  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Atherosclerosis (narrowing of blood vessels) 
  • Kidney failure 
  • Birth defects in neonates 
  • Sleep apnea 
  • Hearing loss
  • Alzheimer’s day 
  • Depression

Prevention

Prevention for type 2 diabetes

Prevention might save people from developing the disease in their lives or might minimise the possibility of severe complications. 

There are a few prevention tips every person should know: 

  • Adopt a good and active lifestyle
  • Be aware of the consequences of the disease 
  • Monitor BG levels 
  • Improve diet 
  • Take a routine health check-up
  • Avoid junk food 
  • Manage stress
  • Keep weight managed