Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects more than 34 million people in America. Out of those 34 million, approximately 90-95% have type 2 diabetes. So, what exactly is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which levels of sugar build up in your bloodstream. It results from the body’s incorrect use of insulin. With type 2 diabetes, your body’s cells are not responding to insulin as well as they should. The pancreas tries to produce more insulin to get the cells to respond, but eventually your pancreas can’t keep up and your blood sugar levels rise. This sets the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. 

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can develop slowly, and often over several years. In some cases, type 2 diabetes can go unnoticed for a long period of time. Because your body is not able to effectively use insulin to bring glucose to your cells, your body then relies on alternative energy sources in your muscles and organs. Because of this, symptoms of type 2 diabetes may vary. 

Some of the early symptoms may include:

  • A constant hunger
  • Lack of energy 
  • Excessive thirst
  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue 

Overtime, symptoms can become more severe and if untreated, it can lead to serious complications. These complications can include:

  • Eye trouble 
  • Heart attack or stroke 
  • Gum disease
  • Kidney disease

Who is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes?

Some risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as age and heritage, may be out of your control. However, there are some lifestyle choices that may put you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

You may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Have prediabetes
  • Are overweight
  • Do not exercise weekly
  • Eat a lot of highly processed foods

How can you prevent type 2 diabetes?

You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with some simple lifestyle changes. Those lifestyle changes include losing weight, eating healthier, and getting regular physical activity. 

The best kind of diet to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes is a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, healthy fats, and healthy carbs. Avoiding refined sugar is important for type 2 diabetes prevention.

According to the CDC, exercising less than 3 times per week may put you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If you are at risk, try to exercise around 150 minutes per week and avoid long periods of inactivity. 

Avoiding tobacco is also important in diabetes prevention. People who smoke are 30-40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who do not smoke. 

Diagnosis and treatment 

Type 2 diabetes can be managed, and in some cases, reversed. 

Early diagnoses can be done through blood sugar testing. Blood sugar testing can be done through any routine blood test. Post-diagnosis, type 2 diabetes can be treated with oral medication to control blood glucose levels. In some cases, people with type 2 diabetes may also require insulin. 

The main medication for type 2 diabetes is metformin. Metformin can lower your blood-glucose levels and improve how your body responds to insulin. If your body requires insulin, your doctor may prescribe sulfonylureas, which are oral medications that help your body make more insulin.

Along with preventing type 2 diabetes, eating the right diet is also part of the general treatment. For some people, working with a dietician can help you learn the foods that may manage your blood sugar levels.

Where can I book a blood test?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic medical condition that is caused by a buildup of glucose levels in your bloodstream. If you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it’s important to get tested as soon as possible. 

The standard test to diagnose type 2 diabetes is the Hemoglobin A1C test. This test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. 

If you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, you can Contact Us to book your blood test.  With a fast turnaround time and online results, Your Health Lab makes blood tests convenient and easy.

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