Type 2 diabetes is a life-long disease that affects the way your body handles the glucose in your blood. There are 27 million people in the United States who suffer from this condition and 86 million people with prediabetes.
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
There are several things that cause type 2 diabetes. Usually, it is a combination of a few of the causes.
- Genes: Recent studies have shown that different parts of you DNA can affect the way that your body makes insulin, resulting in type 2 diabetes.
- Being overweight or obese: If a person is carrying extra weight, it can cause insulin resistance, causing type 2 diabetes.
- Metabolic syndrome: People who are insulin resistant often have high blood glucose, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and extra weight around the waist.
- A liver that doesn’t function properly: If you have low blood sugar, your liver produces glucose. After you eat, your blood sugar will go up and the liver will slow down. Some people’s livers don’t function properly, so it keeps cranking out sugar even when it is not necessary.
- Poor communication between cells: If the cells in the body send the wrong signals or they don’t pick up the signals, it can affect the way that the cells make insulin or glucose, causing diabetes.
There are certain risk factors that won’t cause you to develop type 2 diabetes, but they can increase your chances of developing it.
- If you are 45 years or older
- If a parent, sister, or brother suffers from diabetes
- People of certain ethnicity are more prone, including African-American, Pacific Islander-American, Alaska Native, Native American, Hispanic, Asian-American.
- High blood pressure
- Overweight or obesity
- Having a baby over 9 pounds
- Having gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- Too much sleep
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Many of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes are so mild that they are unnoticeable. There are millions of people who have it and don’t know it. This is because many of the symptoms can be blamed on something else.
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Blurry or cloudy vision
- Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
- Extreme fatigue
- Wounds that don’t heal
- Recurring yeast infections
Long Term Effects of Type 2 Diabetes
Over time, high blood sugar can cause damage and lasting problems. These include:
- Heart and blood vessels
- Would healing
Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes
There are a variety of tests that your doctor can perform to confirm your type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
- A1C: This test determines the average of your blood glucose over the last 2 to 3 months.
- Fasting plasma glucose: This test measures your sugar when your stomach is empty. You cannot eat or drink anything but water for 8 hours before the test.
- Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): This is a test that checks your blood glucose before and two hours after you consume a sweet drink. It tests the way that your body handles sugar.
How to Manage Your Type 2 Diabetes
You can still live a healthy life as long as your take the necessary steps to manage your diabetes.
- Take your insulin faithfully
- Take your diabetes medications that are prescribed by your doctor
- Check your blood glucose often
- Eat a proper, diabetes-friendly diet
- Don’t skip meals
- See your doctor for regular checkups and make an appointment if you are not feeling well
Type 2 diabetes can be a very serious condition if it is not diagnosed and treated properly. When managed properly, you can live a full and healthy life with this disease.
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