What does type 2 diabetes mean?
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition that cannot be cured. However, patients with diabetes can lead a normal life with the help of drugs and adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Type 2 diabetes is a long-term medical condition in which the body is not able to regulate blood sugar (glucose) level because of the inability of the body to properly use insulin. The lack of normal insulin activity can be due to resistance of the body toward insulin, deficiency of insulin or excessive production of hormones that oppose the action of insulin in the body.
How do you get type 2 diabetes?
An individual can get type 2 diabetes because of a number of factors that reduce insulin action or quantity in the body. The disease involves complex interactions between the environment and genes and confounded by a diabetogenic lifestyle (including excessive caloric intake, inadequate caloric expenditure, obesity). Some studies propose that pollutants in the environment may play a role in the development and progression of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Some of the main risk factors causing type 2 diabetes are:
- 45 years of age and older
- Overweight individuals
- Family history of type 2 diabetes
- Hispanic, Native American, African American, Asian American or Pacific Islander descent
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol and lipids
- Pre-diabetes: A condition in which blood sugars are higher than normal but still not high enough to be labelled diabetes
- History of developing diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes mellitus) or of delivering a baby with a birth weight of over nine pounds
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Diet rich in processed carbohydrates
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
The symptoms of diabetes can be so subtle that many patients are diagnosed by detection from routine heath evaluations rather than during visits for diabetes-related symptoms.
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Numbness or pins and needles sensation in legs and feet
- Blurred vision
- Yeast infection
- Slow wound healing
- Areas of darkening and thickening of skin especially on the back of the neck and armpits
Can type 2 diabetes be cured?
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition that cannot be cured. However, patients with diabetes can lead a normal life with the help of drugs and adopting a healthy lifestyle. The goals of diabetes management are to eliminate symptoms and prevent the development of complications. Many drugs, both oral and injectable, are available for diabetes management.
Type 2 diabetes care can be optimally provided by a team of health professionals with expertise in diabetes. They work in collaboration with the patient and their family. Management includes:
- Appropriate goal setting
- Maintaining blood glucose levels by eating a healthy diet and by optimizing body weight.
- Dietary and exercise modifications
- Appropriate self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) by the patient
- Regular monitoring for complications
- Laboratory testing
Is type 2 diabetes serious?
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that affects various organs in the body. It is a serious disease with many devastating complications that can be prevented with appropriate treatment.
Some complications of type 2 diabetes include: