diabetes type 2

Type 2 Diabetes – What Is It?

Do you know what type 2 diabetes is? Most people don’t, and that’s okay.

Let’s talk about what type 2 diabetes is, how it’s different from other forms of diabetes, some of the common symptoms, and possible complications.

What Is T2D?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin properly.

Insulin is a hormone that helps the body metabolize sugar. When there isn’t enough insulin, or it isn’t used properly, sugar builds up in the blood.

Over time, this can lead to serious health problems, which we will discuss in just a bit.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it usually develops in adulthood.

However, it is becoming more common in children and teens as the rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyles increase.

Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease, and researchers are still working to understand all of the interconnected factors that contribute to its development.

While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, certain lifestyle changes and treatments can help to manage the disease and improve quality of life, which we’ll talk about in part two of this article series.

Type 2 VS. Type 1 Diabetes

When it comes to diabetes, there are two main types: type 1 and type 2.

Although they share the same name, these two types of diabetes are quite different.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

As a result, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is a condition that develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin.

In some cases, people with type 2 diabetes may be able to control their blood sugar levels with diet and exercise.

However, many will also need to take medication or insulin injections.

So, essentially, type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition, that can be classified as an autoimmune disease, while type 2 is more caused by the person’s lifestyle and habits.

Symptoms

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be difficult to spot, as they often develop gradually over time.

However, there are a few key signs to look out for, such as:

  1. Increased thirst
  2. Frequent urination
  3. Fatigue
  4. Blurred vision
  5. Increased hunger
  6. Slow-healing sores

Certainly, though, none of this information is meant to identify a problem, meaning that if you are concerned that you may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it is important to speak to your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Risk Factors

While some people are born with a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can increase your risk of developing the disease.

Here are the most important ones to consider

  1. Weight

Obesity and being overweight are thought to be the main risk factor for T2D, and it has been shown times and again that losing excess weight is one of the best ways to manage the disease.

  1. Inactivity

The less active you are, the greater your risk of developing T2D, due to the fact that physical activity helps with weight control, uses up glucose (blood sugar), and also makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.

  1. Family History

If T2D “runs in the family” so to speak, you may have a greater chance of developing the disease. Nevertheless, you are not a victim of your genetics – you can still make different lifestyle choices and lower your chances despite the odds!

  1. Age

The older you get, the greater the chance of developing T2D is, especially after the age of 45.

Possible Complications

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to a number of complications. If left untreated, it can damage the heart, kidneys, and eyes.

It can also lead to nerve damage and problems with blood circulation.

In severe cases, it can even lead to chronic organ conditions that may require a transplant.

The good news is that there are treatments available that can help to control the condition and prevent these complications from occurring.

The key is to get diagnosed early and to start treatment as soon as possible.

With proper management, it is possible to live a long and healthy life despite having type 2 diabetes.

So again – if you’re experiencing any symptoms, make sure to visit your doctor!

So, there you have it – type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that results when the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use insulin properly.

When glucose builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy, it can cause a myriad of health complications over time.

But the good news is that with a few lifestyle changes, T2D can be managed!

Type 2 Diabetes – What Can You Do About It?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious health condition that can lead to some very dangerous health complications if left untreated.

But what can you do about it if you find out you have type 2 diabetes?

Recap

Earlier, we explored the basics of type 2 diabetes.

We learned that it is a chronic condition that occurs when the body becomes insulin resistant or unable to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

We also discussed some of the risk factors, such as being overweight or obese, having a family history of diabetes, and being over the age of 45.

Finally, we looked at some of the potential complications associated with type 2 diabetes, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and nerve damage.

Now, we’ll get to the more actionable information, namely explaining the things you can do to manage the condition and potentially, reverse it for the most part.

Lifestyle Changes

If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may be feeling overwhelmed and helpless.

After all, this is a serious condition that can lead to all sorts of health problems down the road.

But the good news is that unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is mainly caused by lifestyle behaviors, meaning that a change in those can, in fact, help with the condition.

So, if you’re ready to make some changes, here are a few lifestyle behaviors that you can discuss with your doctor and build up a plan to manage the condition!

Exercise

First and foremost, we have to mention the importance of exercise activities!

This is simply because exercising is one excellent way to help control your diabetes.

When you exercise, your muscles use more sugar, and on top of that, your cells become more sensitive to insulin.

As a result, regular exercise can play an important role in managing type 2 diabetes.

And, of course, it’s also good for your overall health!

If you’re looking for a way to improve your health and wellbeing, there’s no need to look any further than your local gym, as soon as you get clearance from your medical professional!  Can’t go to the gym?  Then take walks around your neighborhood or put in that exercise dvd and get to it!

Nutrition & Weight

When it comes to managing type 2 diabetes, proper nutrition is essential. By eating the right foods and maintaining a healthy weight, you can help to keep your blood sugar levels under control.

While there is no one-size-fits-all diet for people with diabetes, there are some general guidelines that can help you make healthy choices.

For example, aim to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as quality, grass-fed/grass-finished animal products.

Also, limit your intake of highly processed fats and refined carbohydrates.

Basically, focus on a variety of whole foods and ditch packaged, processed ones!

If you’re not sure where to start, talk to your doctor and a registered dietitian. They can help you create a meal plan that meets your individual needs.

Sleeping Habits

The diet and exercise routine are perhaps the two most common considerations for people with T2D.

However, sleep is also an important factor. There is in fact a specific study showing that the quantity and quality of sleep consistently predict the risk of the development of T2D.

And well, this doesn’t really come as a surprise, simply because sleep is the stepping stone to optimal health.

It’s the time when we are in our deepest state of recovery. A time when a myriad of hormones and chemical reactions come into play for the ultimate goal of our body – to thrive and survive.

This is why sleep is essential for the management of T2D!

Final Thoughts

Diabetes is a serious condition, but there are things you can do to help manage it.

If you have type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor and have them help you optimize your exercise, nutrition, and sleep!

And if you know someone who has diabetes, share this information with them!

Do you have any questions? Comment below!

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