Type 2 diabetes develops if the body could not properly utilize insulin or if the pancreas could not produce enough. Insulin is a hormone that helps the cells of the body utilize sugar for energy. In addition, it also helps the body store surplus sugar in fat, muscle and liver cells. If there is inadequate insulin, the sugar could not be used by the cells and remains in the blood. As an outcome, the blood sugar level rises.
The elevated blood sugar level can impair various parts of the body such as the nerves, eyes, blood vessels, heart and the kidneys. It also increases the risk for developing heart issues.
Possible causes of type 2 diabetes
An individual can develop the condition if:
- The body does not respond normally to insulin which makes it difficult for the cells to obtain sugar from the blood for energy.
- The pancreas could not produce enough insulin.
If overweight, does not exercise or have a family history of the condition, one is more likely to have issues with the way insulin works in the body. Remember that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or deferred with a healthy lifestyle including keeping a healthy weight, choosing the right foods and exercising frequently.
What are the indications?
Some individuals do not have any symptoms particularly if the condition was diagnosed early. The reason for this is that the blood sugar level might rise slowly that the individual might not know that there is something wrong.
The usual symptoms of having high blood sugar include:
- Feeling excessively thirsty
- Feeling hungry
- Urinating more than normal
- Blurry vision
An elevated blood sugar level can occur for various reasons including not taking medications, eating more than usual, not exercising or being sick or stressed out.
The objective in managing type 2 diabetes is to control the blood sugar levels within the target range.
- Choose healthy food options and manage the amount of carbohydrates consumed by distributing it throughout the day
- Cut down weight if overweight
- Regular exercise
- Use medications as instructed if needed
Other important aspects of treatment include the following:
- The individual must see a doctor regularly for overall health monitoring.
- Testing of the blood sugar levels to keep it under the target range
- Maintain high blood pressure and high cholesterol under control to reduce the risk for heart and large blood vessel disease.
- Cessation of smoking to reduce the risk for stroke and heart disease