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Type 2 Diabetes

Woman lying on her back | Healthier Me TodayType 2 diabetes is a serious health condition that occurs when the glucose or sugar in the blood rises dramatically. This is usually a result of the body’s inability to produce or use insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted in the pancreas. It helps to transport glucose from the bloodstream to the cells, where they will be utilized. When one has type 2 diabetes, the body will not produce enough insulin. Even more, blood cells will not respond to insulin the way they naturally do.

According to the CDC, over 30 million people in the US have type 2 diabetes. Another survey from the CDC shows that type-2 diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death.

While the condition can happen at any age, experts have pointed out that people above 45 years are more prone to the condition.


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Categories of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is categorized based on its severity. If patients experience mild symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue, the condition is classified as mild. The condition is classified as severe if it has deteriorated and has caused complications like gum disease, eye issues, stroke, and neuropathy.   

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes

Below are some symptoms you may experience if you have type-2 diabetes.

  • Blurry vision
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet and hands
  • Lack of energy
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Takes longer to recover from sores and infection
  • Increase thirst and hunger

As the condition progresses, these symptoms will become severe and cause any of the following complications.

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Gum disease
  • Stroke
  • Numbness
  • Nephropathy
  • Heart attack

Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes

Whether you are prediabetic or not, you should see your health care practitioner if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with diabetes. Below are a few tests your doctor may carry out to determine if you have diabetes.

Fasting plasma glucose test

This test helps to measure the amount of glucose in the plasma. Patients may have to fast for 8 hours before the test.

Hemoglobin A1C test

This test is also known as the glycosylated hemoglobin test. It measures the average blood glucose level of a patient for a couple of months (2-3 months).

Oral glucose tolerance test

This test shows how well your body responds to glucose. During the test, your blood will be collected thrice. The first is collected before you consume glucose; the second will be drawn 1 hour after. The third will be collected 2 hours later.

If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your doctor will tell you how to monitor your blood glucose level at home.

How to Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Below are some ways type-2 diabetes can be treated.

Lifestyle changes

Before recommending any medication, your doctor may advise that you make the following lifestyle changes.

Exercise. Regular exercise can help bring down your blood glucose level.

Follow a healthy diet. Eat foods rich in healthy carbs and fiber. Consuming vegetables, fruits, and whole grains may help stabilize your blood sugar.

Improve your heart health. You can manage your weight and improve your heart health by avoiding sweets, refined carbs, and animal fats.

Medications

If the condition doesn’t improve after making lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend the following medications.

Sulfonylureas. These are medications that make the body produce more insulin.

Glucagon. Help to improve blood glucose levels.

Meglitinides. These are medications that make the pancreas produce more insulin

Sodium-glucose Cotransporter 2. They make the kidney remove glucose from your body.

How to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Below are some natural remedies that may help address diabetes.

Bitter melon

A study conducted in 2020 found that bitter melon may help address type 2 diabetes. The participants of this study experienced a reduction in their blood glucose level after taking bitter melon extracts for 12 weeks.

Aloe Vera

A 2020 study found that aloe vera may help increase insulin levels and boost the health of your pancreas.

Cinnamon

A 2010 review found that cinnamon, which is loaded with antioxidants can increase insulin. Another review found evidence that cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels.


FAQs

  1. What increases the risk of type 2 diabetes? The NIDDK sheds light on some factors that can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Above 45 years
  • Not physically active 
  • Have a history of stroke
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Have acanthosis nigricans
  1. When should I consult a doctor? You should consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms.
  • Blurred vision
  • Hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • An injury doesn’t heal quickly
  • Fatigue
  • Yeast infection

Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!

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