What to Know About Type-2 Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Diabetes is a group of disorders that leads to irregular fluctuations in blood glucose levels, specifically causing hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels that is the hallmark of diabetes.
Diabetes can occur as a result of either insulin resistance where in your body is not able to use the insulin produced by your pancreas, or because your pancreas become incapable of producing enough insulin.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is for most parts a genetic disease, type 2 diabetes is largely a lifestyle disorder.
Which is why it is important people maintain a healthy eating pattern and lifestyle else severe diabetes can cause weight loss, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
Causes of Type-2 Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that causes sugar to accumulate in the blood in the form of glucose rather than being used as a fuel by the cells of the body.
The food we consume is broken down into nutrient molecules. When we consume food rich in carbohydrates or sugar they are broken down into glucose. After a meal, pancreas produces a hormone called insulin which is responsible for absorption of glucose into the cells.
In type- 2 diabetes, blood becomes resistant to insulin and ignores its message of absorption into the cells from the blood. Additionally, type-2 diabetes reduces the ability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin due to loss of beta cells.
Type-2 Diabetes: Symptoms
Common symptoms of type-2 diabetes include
Feeling tired all the time
These symptoms occur because all or some of the glucose stays in the blood instead of being used as fuel for energy.
Loss of weight is a common symptom. Since the body is unable to utilise the energy by glucose, it uses the fat stores of the body.
Injuries or wounds may also take longer to heal because high blood sugar levels may limit the body's ability to use the oxygen and nutrients required for the healing of the wounds.
Eyesight may become blurry as the high blood sugar levels makes it hard to see. It is due to the diabetic retinopathy which damages the retina but takes years to affect the eyes.
These symptoms are more obvious in the type-1 diabetes. People with type-2 diabetes may take months or years to present these symptoms.
Diagnosis of Type-2 Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is diagnosed through laboratory blood tests. There are various types of blood tests like
Fasting Blood Glucose test (FBG)- Also known Fasting plasma glucose test measures the glucose levels in blood of a person who has not eaten for at least 8 hours. Diabetes is diagnosed when the fasting blood glucose is equal to 126mg per decalitres or higher on two separate laboratory tests.
Hemoglobin A1c test: Also known as glycohemoglobin test or HbA1c test measures hemoglobin A1c which is an estimate of average blood glucose levels over the last three months. Diabetes is diagnosed when the levels of A1c is equal to 6.5% or higher on two separate laboratory tests.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT): This test measures your blood glucose levels after two hours of drinking a glass of glucose liquid. Diabetes is diagnosed when the OGTT levels are equal to 200 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
Treatment and Management
It is advisable to frequently check the blood sugar levels to ensure that you are within a specific healthy range.
Include whole grains, healthy fruits and vegetable which are rich in fibers and healthy carbohydrates. They help to stabilise the blood sugar levels.
Avoid sweets, refined carbs and animal fats in their diet in order to keep the heart diseases and high blood sugar levels at bay.
It is important to discuss about your diet with a doctor to maintain a healthy range, the blood sugar levels must not fall to low or rise too high.
Type-2 diabetes patients typically need to take insulin injections to manage their blood sugar. Particularly when the pancreas is unable to make enough insulin on its own.
In most cases, the healthy diet and lifestyle changes are enough to manage the type-2 diabetes but in need of medications doctors might prescribe oral medications for the pancreas to secrete more insulin and milder medications to lower the blood sugar levels, slow down the process of digestion and prevent the reabsorption of sugar into the blood.
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