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Diabetes type 2: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Team AckoSept 23, 2022

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or the cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. The condition can cause several complications, such as stroke and even death, if not managed properly. However, the good news is that simple lifestyle changes can help manage it well, and the patient can live a long healthy life. This blog features everything you need to know about type 2 diabetes, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment. Keep reading ahead to learn more!

Type 2 Diabetes

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes type 2 is a chronic disease that causes your body to produce little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use glucose (sugar) from food as energy. Without enough insulin, your cells don't get the glucose they need for energy, and you'll start to use up your body's stored glucose (glycogen) reserves. When this happens, blood sugar levels will increase, putting you at risk for many long-term health problems, including heart disease and stroke.

Type 2 diabetes is one of three major forms of diabetes. However, it accounts for 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases. It is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM), which means that the person does not need insulin for survival but for normal body functioning.

What Are the Causes of Type 2 Diabetes?

Several different factors can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, including:

  • Obesity: Carrying excess weight, particularly around the waist, can lead to insulin resistance.

  • Age: Type 2 diabetes is more common in people over 40.

  • Family history: If you have a parent or grandparent with type 2 diabetes, you're more likely to develop the condition yourself.

  • Sedentary lifestyle: Not getting enough physical activity can lead to insulin resistance.

If you have any of these risk factors, it's important to take steps to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise can all help to reduce your risk.

What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

There are a number of type 2 diabetes symptoms that you must know about to get treatment as soon as possible. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Increased thirst

  • Frequent urination

  • Extreme hunger

  • Fatigue

  • Blurred vision

  • Slow healing sores

  • Tingling sensation in feet

  • Dry Mouth

  • Headaches

If you are experiencing any of these type 2 diabetes symptoms, it is important to see your doctor so that they can test for diabetes. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health complications, so it is important to get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

How is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed?

There are a few different ways that type 2 diabetes can be diagnosed. A doctor may start by doing a physical exam and checking your weight. They may also order a blood test to check your sugar levels. If your sugar levels are high, you may be diagnosed with diabetes.

1. Fasting Blood Sugar Test

A fasting blood sugar test is the most common way to diagnose type 2 diabetes. This test is usually done in the morning, before breakfast. A fasting blood sugar level of 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher indicates diabetes.

2. A1C Test

Your doctor may also order an A1C test. This test measures your average blood sugar levels over the past few months. If your A1C test is high, it means you have had high blood sugar levels for a long time.

3. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

If you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, your doctor may also recommend that you take a glucose tolerance test. This test measures how well your body can process sugar. If your results are high, it means you have diabetes.

If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan. This plan may include lifestyle changes, like eating healthy and exercising. You may also need to take medication to control your blood sugar levels.

What Are the Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes?

Many risk factors are associated with type 2 diabetes, some of which may surprise you. Here are a few of the most common risk factors:

  • Being overweight or obese is the most well-known risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Excess weight, especially around the waist, can cause your body to become resistant to insulin.

  • Having prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If you have prediabetes, you're at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  • High blood pressure is another condition that can make your body resistant to insulin.

  • Having high cholesterol can lead to hardening of the arteries, which can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

  • Being physically inactive can lead to weight gain, which, as we mentioned, is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

  • Sleep disorders like sleep apnea can also lead to weight gain and make your body resistant to insulin.

You must talk to your doctor immediately if you have any of these risk factors.

Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes?

There are many different treatment options available for type 2 diabetes. But which one is right for you? The most important thing to remember is that diabetes is a chronic condition that needs to be managed for life. There is no "cure" for diabetes, but it can be controlled.

1. Lifestyle Changes

The first step in treatment is usually to make lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise and eating a healthier diet. If these changes don't help, then medication may be needed.

2. Oral Diabetes Drugs

These are drugs that help to control blood sugar levels. They can be taken alone or in combination with other medications, such as insulin. Commonly used drugs include metformin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, and meglitinides.

3. GLP-1 Receptor Agonists

These are FDA-approved drugs that help to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of insulin released from the pancreas.

4. SGLT2 Inhibitors

These drugs help to lower blood sugar levels by helping the body get rid of glucose through the urine.

The best treatment option for you will depend on several factors, such as your blood sugar levels, overall health, and preferences. Work with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for you.

Wrapping Up

Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to a number of health complications. If you have diabetes, your risk of developing certain other conditions increases. These include heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. If you have any of these risk factors related to type 2 diabetes, you must speak to your doctor. They can advise you on reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes. With regular testing and certain lifestyle changes, diabetes type 2 can be easily managed.

FAQs

What are the warning signs of type 2 diabetes?

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The first warning signs of diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, and increased hunger.

Can Diabetes type 2 be cured?

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There is no cure for diabetes however, it can be managed well by making certain lifestyle changes and most importantly losing weight.

Is Diabetes type 2 a serious condition?

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Yes, type 2 diabetes is an extremely serious condition that if not managed well can lead to stroke and even death in many cases.

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