When cells in the body become resistant to the insulin produced by the pancreas, they do not utilize the glucose present in the blood. This causes the blood sugar levels to rise, and the condition is identified as diabetes.
Insulin abnormalities and increased levels of glucose in the body lead to type 2 diabetes. The primary causes of this disease are:
- Excess body fat- 4 out of 5 diabetics are obese. Excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, causes insulin resistance leading to diabetes.
- Sedentary lifestyle- A sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical exercise are major factors that lead to type 2 diabetes.
- Poor eating habits- Eating diet rich in calories and fats and very low nutritional values can be a major cause of diabetes.
- Irregular sleep patterns and stress- Sleep is the basic requirement of a human body. Irregular sleep patterns and stress together can lead to diabetes.
- Genetics- People with a family history of this disease are at a higher risk.
Women who develop this ailment during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) are also at a greater risk of developing it later in their life.
Type 2 diabetes, if not detected in the initial stages, can cause serious complications. Hence it is very important to identify the symptoms and start treatment. Unfortunately, in many of the cases, this disease goes unnoticed for years and symptoms may develop only when it reaches an advanced stage.
The common symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained changes in weight
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing wounds
- Numbness or tingling sensation in hands and feet
- Frequent bladder and vaginal infections
Taking up a healthy and active lifestyle is the best way to keep away from this ailment. If you have a family history of the disease it is most advisable to take the following preventive measures early on:
- Do regular exercise
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain an ideal body weight
- Stop smoking
- Quit alcohol or at least do it in moderation
Once a person turns 40, it is advisable to get your blood glucose levels checked, especially if you are overweight. Monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly and altering your lifestyle accordingly is very important. The diagnosis for this disease includes urine tests and blood tests.
A random plasma glucose test is carried out irrespective of when the person has eaten. This test is used to determine diabetes but is ineffective for pre-diabetes check-up. The test is considered as positive if the level of glucose is higher than 200mg/dL. A fasting plasma glucose test is carried out when the person undergoing the test has not eaten anything for at least 8 hours before the test. The test is considered as positive if the level of glucose is higher than 126mg/dL
An oral glucose tolerance tests can also be done to test diabetes. The person taking this test fasts for 8 hours after which he is given a glucose drink. 2 hours after the glucose intake, the blood samples are taken and tested for sugar levels. Positive if higher than 200 mg/dL.
The treatment is targeted at controlling the blood glucose levels. It includes:
Changes in lifestyle:
A balanced diet and physical exercise are recommended. These play a major role in managing the aliment and also prevent it from becoming severe.
People suffering from type 2 diabetes are prescribed drugs such as metformin that lowers the glucose production in liver.
When normal digestion interferes with insulin taken through medicines and drugs, patient may require regular insulin injections to combat the disease.