What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a disorder that hinders the way your body uses sugar. The cells in your body need sugar to work normally. Sugar gets into the cells with the help of a hormone called insulin. If there is not enough insulin, or if the body stops responding to insulin, sugar builds up in the blood. That is what happens to people with diabetes.
The different types of Diabetes?
There are 2 different types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2.
In type 1 diabetes, the problem is that the body makes little or no insulin.
In type 2 diabetes, the problem is that:
- The body's cells do not respond to insulin
- The body does not make enough insulin
- Or both
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes usually causes no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they include:
- Frequent Urination (including waking up at night multiple times to urinate)
- Increased Thirst
- Blurry vision
- Increased Hunger
Why should I worry about the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes can cause serious problems over time, if it is not treated. The disorder can lead to:
- Heart attacks
- Kidney Failure
- Vision problems (or even blindness)
- Pain or loss of feeling in the hands and feet
- The need to have fingers, toes, or other body parts removed (amputated)
How do I tell if I have type 2 diabetes?
To find out if you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor or nurse can do a blood test to measure the amount of sugar in your blood-a random or fasting sugar.
How is type 2 diabetes treated?
It can either be treated with pills or insulin shots. Some people need to take pills that help the body make more insulin or that help insulin do its job. Others need insulin shots. The treatment varies from individual to individual. Depending on what medicines you take, you might need to check your blood sugar regularly at home. But not everyone with type 2 diabetes needs to do this. Your doctor or nurse will tell you if you should be checking your blood sugar, and when and how to do this.
Sometimes, people with type 2 diabetes also need medicines to reduce the problems caused by the disease. For instance, medicines used to lower blood pressure can reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke.
Lifestyle changes to help manage diabetes include:
- Being active
- Losing weight
- Eating right
- Quit smoking
- Annual flu vaccine
Can type 2 diabetes be prevented?
Yes, it can. To reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes, the most important thing you can do is control your weight. If you already have the disorder, losing weight can improve your health and blood sugar control. Also, the right diet can help prevent diabetes along with being active.