Imagine life before insulin injection and pills. Imagine what it would be like to have your life depend on a glimmer of hope that the sugar level in your blood would return to normal.
In this article, we'll examine what causes type 2 diabetes mellitus, how it affects your health in general and your vision in particular, how you can prevent it from developing, and lastly, what you can do if you've already been diagnosed. You can read more on the general overview of diabetes from our previous topics.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is different from type 1 diabetes and it's one of the oldest diseases known to man. It is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for nearly 90 per cent of all cases. It is a progressive disorder; this means - it does not happen suddenly. The causes are not clear, but it is thought that genetics, being overweight, obesity and lifestyle, are factors that may cause type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus symptoms may differ from the common signs of diabetes, and in some cases; diabetes may be present with no symptoms yet. However, the common signs include;
They can be different in younger people with type 2 diabetes, particularly in women. People with type 2 diabetes are also more likely to develop heart problems and eye problems.
Although type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed, no medications can cure it. Type 2 diabetes occurs as the body does not respond to insulin properly, as the disease continues there might be a reduction in insulin production. The pancreas becomes less able to make the hormone due to a problem with the β-cells in the pancreas.
A change in the way the body uses insulin can also be due to the body's failure to use insulin effectively, or Insulin resistance, also known as increased insulin resistance (IR). Many factors culminate in the progressive deterioration of pancreatic functions or decrease in the body's response to insulin.
Genetics and environmental factor play a huge factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. If you noticed you are at higher risk of having this disease, kindly talk to your health care professional for proper counselling and possible lifestyle modifications.
About 1 in 3 adults over the age of 20 in the United States has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The majority of those people were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes after the age of 60. However, up to 20% of those diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes before 40 will develop the condition.
The risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
According to a recent study conducted at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, the leading causes of Type 2 diabetes mellitus include:
Genetic predisposition (family history of diabetes):It is essential to know your family history. About 35-50% of patients with diabetes have someone in their family with diabetes in comparison to someone from a healthy family.
It has been published that the hereditary factor is more vital than the environmental factor in contributing to type 2 diabetes mellitus. Ask about your family background, as this can serve as a guide in preventing a sedentary lifestyle.
Obesity: Generally, 80% of patients with type 2 diabetes are obese. And this is the most contributory environmental factor to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Ageing: The influence of age on the development of type 2 diabetes cannot be ignored. The universal prevalence of this disease shows a progressive increment of its prevalence rates as you grow old.
The ability of the body to maintain average glucose levels decreases as we increase in age, which has been attributed to the loss of muscle mass and increase in adipose tissue, especially in sedentary individuals.
Psychological stress: according to some research findings, it has been confirmed that acute psychological stress has been linked as a factor that favours the onset of diabetes. The psychological stress increases sympathetic activation, which reduces the functionality of the pancreatic β-cell (the organ that produces insulin), resulting in a decline in insulin production.
At the same time, in the muscle, there is a decline in insulin sensitivity, glucose uptake, and glycogen deposition, all of which elevates glucose in the blood and clinically favours the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus
Race: it is known that type 2 diabetes is commoner among the blacks
Lack of exercise or physical inactivity(sedentary lifestyle): Obesity and inactivity (sedentary lifestyle) appear to be the most critical risk factors for the development of type-2 diabetes. Obesity is when the body accumulates too much fat and can't control how the fat is distributed throughout the body.
Obesity is a global pandemic. One in three adults, 9 billion people globally, are overweight, and one in ten of them are obese. A body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or more can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes by up to 75%.
The American Diabetes Association reports that patients with Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance will show symptoms that do not meet the conventional diagnostic criteria for either condition, such as experiencing generalized fatigue or elevated liver enzymes.
Definitely, a healthy lifestyle can prevent almost all cases of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a common condition in both adults and children. And the good news is that you can prevent type 2 diabetes by doing the following:
In controlling type 2 diabetes, it is vital to follow these life-saving guidelines:
Lifestyle modification, such as:
Diabetes puts you at risk of many significant health diseases. The good news is that many people with diabetes can avoid or prevent the early onset of these complications if they present themselves early, receive proper treatment and make appropriate lifestyle changes.
Some of the possible complications of type 2 diabetes include:
Whether you have diabetes or not, it is always good to be aware of your blood glucose. Checking your blood sugar assists you in knowing when your glucose level is normal or when it is abnormal. According to WHO guidelines, for most people, normal blood sugar levels are:
When fasting blood glucose is between 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) changes in lifestyle and monitoring glycemia are recommended. If fasting blood glucose is 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, diabetes is diagnosed.
An individual with low fasting blood glucose concentration (hypoglycemia) – below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) – will experience dizziness, sweating, palpitations, blurred vision and other symptoms that have to be monitored.
Increased fasting blood glucose concentration (hyperglycemia) is an indicator of a higher risk to diabetes. An individual’s fasting blood plasma glucose (FPG) may be in the normal range because the individual is not diabetic or because of effective treatment with glucose-lowering medication in diabetics.
Making the diagnosis is usually clinical. Your doctor might want to ask about excessive weight gain, excessive eating, increase water intake, and frequent urination. He will check your blood glucose either by checking your fasting glucose level or by carrying out Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). If the value obtained is above the recommended above, the diagnosis can be made and commencement of appropriate treatment.
When it comes to self-monitoring of blood glucose, there are many options that you can use to know your sugar level. One of the popular options is the use of a glucometer with a test strip and lancet. It is effortless and straightforward with no or minimal discomfort. Testing your glucose allows you to learn how to manage your blood glucose no matter the time of the day or wherever you are.
Guidelines in checking your blood sugar:
As stated earlier, type 2 diabetes mellitus can be controlled through lifestyle changes, diet, and exercise. If the levels remain high, insulin injections can be used to manage the blood sugar levels.
Before making any lifestyle changes or taking new supplements, consult with your healthcare practitioner. This is especially essential if you have trouble managing your blood sugar or are on blood glucose-lowering medication such as Metformin
While Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is an ailment that can be managed with proper diet and exercise, it is essential to understand that Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is a life-long condition. It should not be confused with the other types of diabetes.
The symptoms of diabetes are non-specific and do not correspond to a specific cause. If you have diabetes or are having trouble managing your blood sugar, you should collaborate with your healthcare practitioner to develop and implement a treatment plan as soon as feasible.