Type 2 diabetes, sometimes called adult-onset diabetes, is a very common form of diabetes affecting millions of people worldwide. While in more cases it affects mature adults, in modern times more and more teenagers and children are being diagnosed with this particular form of diabetes. The risk factors for this condition are well known. Diabetes can be sometimes be prevented, delayed, and managed, but there is currently no cure. Once you have it, you have it for life.
With diabetes, the body is incapable of producing the necessary insulin or stops responding properly to insulin. "Insulin resistance" is the term used when your body become resistant to the effects of insulin and requires more and more insulin in order to get a "normal" response.
Insulin is responsible for taking the sugar from the blood to the body cells. When there is insufficient insulin or the cells are unable to make use of insulin properly, then the glucose builds up in the blood. This causes the cells to be starved for energy and with time, high sugar levels may have damaging effects on your nerves, heart, kidneys, and eyes.
The common symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urinating, constant tiredness, mood swings, and more. Type 2 diabetes is also associated with other conditions including hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), plus a host of other complications.
Type 2 diabetes is often described by many as a "lifestyle disease" because it is more common among people who are not physically active and/or who are overweight. A balanced, nutritious diet, along with a healthy weight and regular exercise routine are extremely important in managing diabetes (and it's good for overall health anyways!). Obesity is a big factor and even losing 10 or 15 pounds can help.
If you haven't yet been diagnosed as diabetic, then prevention may be possible! Talk to your doctor about any symptoms you may have experienced and about your risk factors for developing the disease.
Diabetes increases the risk for many complications. Type 2 diabetes increases the chance of heart disease; it may also lead to kidney damage, vision problems, foot and skin complications, and more. Immediate treatment of diabetes provides a better chance of avoiding additional complications.
There are various medicines like Glucophage (Metformin) as well that can help keep blood glucose level in check. Different medications suit different needs, and some people may need a combination of drugs or insulin to help control their glucose levels.
Regular check-ups with your doctor can help you successfully manage diabetes. A dietitian or nutritionist can help you develop a long-term, sustainable eating and meal plan, with both foods that you enjoy and those that contain appropriate amounts and types of carbohydrates. Lifestyle changes can go a long ways in making a people with type 2 diabetes feel their best.