Understanding What Is Diabetes Type 2

The rate of Diabetes Type 2 cases increased sharply in recent years. Commonly, it affects those who are in their middle or older age. However, these days, the cases on young people are also alarmingly increasing.

Diabetes type 2 is a serious condition that can result in more dangerous and life threatening complications.

Long term complications may include the following:

  1. Slow healing
  2. Loss of vision
  3. Hearing impairment
  4. Sleep apnea
  5. Kidney failure
  6. Heart diseases
  7. Stroke
  8. Nerve damage
  9. Limb amputations
  10. Dementia

Causes of Diabetes Type 2

Inactive lifestyle, obesity and unhealthy eating are the major causes of diabetes type 2.

Generally, the development of diabetes type 2 is a result of either lifestyle, genetics or medical condition.

Moreover, for those who are not obese but has tummy fat, a high waist-hip ratio could be the culprit.

Here are other lifestyle factors that may play a role or two in increasing the risks of diabetes type 2:

  • Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Binge eating
  • Excess consumption of sweets
  • Eating foods that are high in saturated fats and trans fatty acids
  • Eating white rice regularly
  • Excess alcohol intake

In addition, your medical or current health condition may also raise your probability of getting diabetes type 2.

Some pregnant women who got gestational diabetes are more likely to develop diabetes type 2.

Moreover, eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa may also increase your risk of becoming diabetic.

What is Diabetes Type 2?

A finger being pricked to get the blood sugar level.
Blood sugar level testing.

Diabetes type 2 is a condition wherein the blood sugar level is too high. It is a form of diabetes in which the hormone insulin secreted by your pancreas and your body cells do not function properly.

In diabetes type 2, the pancreas produces insulin but then for some reasons the body cells do not response to insulin. Thus, making glucose to stay in the blood. Then, overtime the glucose accumulates in the blood causing high blood sugar level.

The doctors call this condition insulin resistance.

Here is what happens after you take a meal:

🔸 Your digestive system breaks the food down into nutrient molecules.

📀 Then, your digestive tract absorbs it for the body.

🔸 Those foods containing carbohydrates and sugar are then turned into glucose (blood sugar).

📀 Glucose is the fuel, the chief source of energy of your body.

🔸 However, before you can use glucose as energy, it must get into your body cells first.

📀 Interestingly, the glucose cannot get into the cells by themselves. They need insulin to help them.

🔸 Your pancreas is the organ that produces insulin.

📀 Insulin is essential for the glucose to get into the cells.

🔸 The insulin sends a kind of message to the cells to gain glucose entrance.

📀 But, in diabetes type 2, these cells ignore the insulin’s message and do not let the glucose in.

🔸 Thus, the glucose stays in the blood.

📀 And this condition is called insulin resistance.

🔸 Then, when your cells become resistant to insulin you will start to feel the symptoms of diabetes type 2.

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Symptoms of Diabetes Type 2

Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly. In fact, you can be living with type 2 diabetes for years and not know it. Thus, it is better to consult your doctor as soon as you experience either one or more of the symptoms listed below.

Here is the following list of common signs and symptoms for diabetes type 2:

1. Excessive Thirst (Polydipsia).

Normally, thirst is the way our brain tells us that our body needs fluid and we need to drink. However, when our body is persistently demanding for a drink frequently. Then, there must be something wrong within our body. Excessive thirst known as polydipsia could be a sign that you have too much sugar in your blood.

2. Frequent Urination (Polyuria).

If you are experiencing polydipsia, it could be the cause for your polyuria. However, even without polydipsia, frequent urination can also be a sign of a disorder. The most common cause is uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. For the reason that, when your blood sugar is high, the glucose is discharged in the urine.

3. Increased Appetite (Polyphagia).

It is normal to feel more hungry after doing some strenuous activity. However, if you are feeling more hungry than usual, you should have a check up. Due to the fact that it could be a sign of a serious illness such as diabetes type 2.

4. Unexplained Weight Loss.

Gaining and losing weight is relatively normal for most people. However, if you significantly lose weight by doing nothing such as exercising or dieting, you should see your doctor. Although there might be a number of reasons that caused your weight loss, diabetes could be one of it.

5. Fatigue.

When you are tired, a rest or sleep is the solution. Lack of sleep is the common cause of extreme tiredness to some people. However, fatigue can be a telltale symptom of an undiagnosed medical condition. In fact, your lack of energy may also be caused by high blood sugar levels. Hence, your fatigue could be another symptom of diabetes.

6. Blurred Vision.

High blood sugar levels makes the lens inside your eyes to swell. Hence, affecting the way you see things in detail. However, a very low blood sugar level also may cause the blurring of your vision. And in both cases, it is better to have your eyes checked.

7. Slow Healing.

If you got a wound or a sore that took weeks to heal, it could be an indication of diabetes. High blood sugar levels due to diabetes affect the nerves and cause poor blood circulation. Thus, making it difficult for the body to repair and heal wounds and sores.

8. Itching.

Diabetes can cause itching in a particular area of the body. And persistent itching due to diabetes should not be ignored. Because it could be a sign of a more serious complication such as nerve damage, kidney or liver failure.

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Is Diabetes Type 2 Hereditary?

Diabetes type 2 being inherited by family members is a most common concern. According to studies, having a family member who has diabetes type 2 will likely increase your risk of being a diabetic, too. And the more family members affected, the risks of becoming one also increases. In such case, there is a great chance your children may also develop diabetes type 2.

However, although diabetes type 2 has the tendency to run in the family, genetics is not the sole factor in its development. Besides the DNA, environment, lifestyle and diet could also play roles in developing diabetes type 2.

Hence, if you have diabetes type 2, your kids may likely inherit that gene. But if they take care of their lifestyle and diet, there is a possibility that they may not develop it.

Genetics alone is not responsible for developing diabetes type 2. Though it may increase the risk if coupled with unhealthy lifestyle.

Is Diabetes Type 2 Curable?

There is no official medical claim yet as to its being curable. However, studies found that it can be controlled. Various treatments and medication are available for diabetes type 2 in order to control it. That is, to control the blood sugar levels.

In general, the treatments and medications help keep the blood sugar to normal in order to prevent complications and comorbidities. Also, managing diabetes will become more effective if coupled with healthy eating, regular exercise and weight loss.

In addition, some studies show that it is possible to reverse it. Through proper diet, exercise and weight loss some people succeeded in reversing diabetes type 2. Some even succeeded in maintaining normal blood sugar levels even without medication. 

But, this still does not mean their diabetes type 2 is cured.

Studies show that even if you are no longer taking medications and maintains normal blood sugar level, you could still be at risk. Although some were successful in managing their diabetes type 2 for years without medication. The symptoms might occur again later. 

Disclaimer: This information is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

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