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How do you manage Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes
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What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong health condition wherein the level of blood sugar is very high in your bloodstream.

Usually, the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin – it helps cells to absorb blood sugar (glucose), which then produces energy.

In type 2 diabetes, however, your body develops insulin resistance, and sometimes even the pancreas stops producing insulin to a sufficient level.

Type 2 diabetes commonly affects people who are in middle age and old age. That’s why it is also known as adult-onset diabetes. However, it can also affect children if they are suffering from childhood obesity.

 

What causes type 2 diabetes?

When the cells present in your muscles and liver stop absorbing the insulin and develop a resistance against insulin, this can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Also, when your pancreas stops producing enough amount of insulin which can help your cells in glucose absorption, this can act as a type 2 diabetes cause.

Besides these two causes, there are several type 2 diabetes risk factors, such as:

  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Old age
  • Family history of type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure level
  • Stress and depression
  • Diet rich in processed carbs, fats, and sugar
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Prediabetes (glucose level is high yet not enough to be classified as diabetes type 2)
  • Gestational diabetes (diabetes which happens during pregnancy)
  • Low level of good cholesterol
  • High level of triglycerides

 

Type 2 diabetes symptoms

Type 2 diabetes symptoms develop gradually and can consist of the following:

  • Excessive hunger and thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Slowed down healing of wounds
  • Numbness or tingling in feet and hands
  • Blurry vision
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Frequent infections

 

How to diagnose type 2 diabetes

To check for the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, a doctor usually conducts these tests:

Fasting Plasma Glucose Test

This test involves taking your blood sample to measure your glucose levels on an empty stomach. It generally takes place in the morning as you can’t eat anything for at least 8 hours before this test.

Random Plasma Glucose Test

Without needing to fast, this test can take place at any point of time in a day to measure your glucose levels.

Glycated Hemoglobin Test (A1C) 

This test measures your average glucose (blood sugar) levels for the past three months.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

This test first checks your glucose level. Then it measures your blood sugar level two hours after you have had a sugary drink – to check whether any changes have taken place in blood glucose levels.

 

Can type 2 diabetes be cured?

Though type 2 diabetes can’t be cured, it can still be managed. For its management, you need to include the following in your diet:

  • Plant-based proteins like nuts, beans, etc.
  • Carbohydrates that are minimally processed, like brown rice, oatmeal, etc.
  • Foods low in salt and sugar
  • Vegetables low in carbs like carrots, broccoli, etc.
  • Fruits like apples, grapes, etc.

Besides diet, to manage type 2 diabetes, you can make the following changes in your lifestyle:

  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Quit smoking
  • Do not overeat
  • Lead an active lifestyle
  • Get regular health checkups
  • Regularly check your glucose levels

 

Which is worse – type 1 or type 2 diabetes?

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are chronic health conditions. Both can cause some serious health complications.

Keeping this in mind, the only thing that makes type 2 diabetes a little bit better than type 1 is that with some changes in lifestyle and diet – it can be managed and sometimes sent into remission.

 

Type 2 diabetes treatment

It is essential to seek treatment for this type of diabetes to prevent yourself from suffering the following type 2 diabetes complications:

  • Retinopathy (impairment to blood vessels in the retina due to high glucose levels)
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Digestive tract problems
  • Nerve damage
  • Skin infections
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increased risk of miscarriages
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Sleep apnea (a sleep disorder wherein your breathing keeps stopping and starting continuously)

For the treatment of type 2 diabetes, any one of the following medications is prescribed by the doctor:

  • Metformin
  • Thiazolidinedione
  • Sulfonylureas
  • DPP-4 inhibitors
  • Meglitinides
  • GLP-1 receptor agonists
  • SGLT2 inhibitors

All these medications help to lower your blood glucose levels, increase insulin production and make the cells in your body respond better (absorb) to insulin.

When lifestyle and dietary modifications do not significantly change your blood glucose levels, insulin therapy is recommended. Insulin therapy helps in lowering and ensuring stability in blood glucose levels. It can be administered by:

  • Injecting insulin with the help of an insulin pen
  • Inhaling insulin
  • Insulin pumps (insulin is pumped continuously through a flexible tube)

Sometimes, when obesity is responsible for type 2 diabetes, weight loss surgery is the recommended form of treatment.

 

Conclusion

Type 2 diabetes is a serious lifestyle-related disease wherein your blood glucose levels are abnormally high. Over time, its symptoms develop and consist of blurry vision, increased hunger, slow healing of wounds, etc.

Type 2 diabetes, if not managed timely, can lead to health complications like CKD, nerve damage, skin infections, etc. Thus, it is crucial to seek treatment before you start suffering from these complications.

For this, you can reach out to skilled and experienced doctors at the CK Birla Hospital. The Gastroenterologists at the CK Birla Hospital perform state-of-the-art tests to screen for diabetes. They also provide a customised treatment plan for type 2 diabetes at affordable rates.

For the diagnosis and treatment of type 2 diabetes – visit a nearby branch or book an appointment with Dr. Abhay Ahluwalia

 

FAQs

1. What does being a type 2 diabetic mean?

Being a type 2 diabetic means that your body produces too much insulin and is unable to manage or absorb it. This can lead to symptoms like excessive hunger, blurry vision, fatigue, etc., and eventually serious complications- if not treated timely.

2. Is diabetes type 2 serious?

Diabetes type 2 is a serious condition that develops gradually. The high blood sugar levels – if not controlled – can cause complications like nerve damage, heart disease, retinopathy, miscarriages, etc.

3. What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes fall under auto-immune diseases, whereas, type 2 diabetes falls under lifestyle-related diseases. Here, your immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, causing insulin production to come to a stop. On the other hand, in type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin so that it can manage blood glucose levels.

4. Do type 2 diabetics need insulin?

When modifications in lifestyle and diet fail to control blood sugar levels, insulin therapy comes into play. It involves administering insulin to control and lower the raised blood glucose levels.

5. Can stress cause diabetes type 2?

Experiencing stress once in a while can not cause type 2 diabetes. However, living in a constant state of stress can cause fluctuations in your blood glucose levels – to the extent of raising them. So, a prolonged state of stress (chronic stress) can cause type 2 diabetes.

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