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Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

This is a condition in which the body cells cannot efficiently use the glucose for energy. This can occur as a result of the blood cells being insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone that allows blood sugar to be utilized by the cells. As cells become more and more resistant to insulin, more of it is required and since the pancreas cannot satisfy the demand for insulin, it begins to fail. In this article, you will get an insight of what is type 2 diabetes.

Causes

It is not easy to conclude and identify exactly the causes of long-term conditions such as type two diabetes but there are some factors which may accelerate the occurrence of diabetes. These factors include;

  • Genetics-this condition is highly genetic and may be inherited from a parent to a child.
  • Insulin deficiency-this occurs if the demand for insulin by the body is lower than what the pancreas is producing. It is important to note that as we advance in age, the insulin production drops.
  • Stress– stress leads to the production of hormones such as cortisol which increase blood sugar, blood pressure as well as insulin resistance putting people under the threat of diabetes.
  • Lack of sleep-studies show that lack of sleep increases insulin resistance

Risk factors

  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having a family member who is close such as your mum with diabetes type 2
  • Previously having a case of gestational diabetes
  • High intake of alcohol
  • Being overweight or obese. This is the primary risk factor.
  • Advancement in age. This is mainly because older people tend to exercise less.
  • Being physically inactive. The less active you are the higher the risk of getting the condition.
  • Eating unhealthy diet
  • Ethnicity or place of origin. South Asians and people of African Caribbean descent are mostly affected.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome. This occurs in women and is characterized by being obese and having irregular menstrual periods.

Symptoms

One can have diabetes type 2 for years and not know since the symptoms take time to manifest and develop slowly. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Fatigue-this is due to the fact that the cells are deprived off sugar hence you become tired easily.
  • Frequent urination and increased thirst-these are caused by the increase in blood sugar concentration causing tissue fluid to be pulled, leaving you very thirsty.
  • Frequent infections-type 2 diabetes affects the body’s immune system and its ability to resist infections.
  • Dark skin under armpits or chin-type 2 diabetes causes the development of dark patches on the skin, a condition called acanthosis nigricans.
  • Loss of weight- since the body is not able to metabolize glucose, it uses up fuels stored in body fat and muscles leading to sudden loss of body mass.
  • Intense hunger– since the body doesn’t have enough insulin to allow cells to utilize glucose, the cells get their energy from muscles and other organs depleting them of energy leading to an increase in hunger.
  • Blurry vision-high blood sugar causes fluids to be pulled from your eye lenses affecting one’s ability to focus.
  • Diabetic coma
  • Leg cramps
  • Dizziness

What is type 2 diabetes you may ask? There is your answer.

Take home points

  • Type two diabetes is a progressive condition.
  • The main method of type two diabetes treatment is maintaining a high level of physical activity.