Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Basics

type 2 diabetes mellitus, American diabetes association, type 2 diabetes symptoms

Type 2 Diabetes mellitus, aka Type 2 Diabetes, is a chronic disease characterized by high blood sugar levels, a condition known as hyperglycemia. According to the American Diabetes Association, bodies of people with the condition do not react to insulin properly. Furthermore, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the total number of diabetes cases stands at 30 million Americans, accounting for 9.3% of the population.

It is also worrying that children and teens are increasingly becoming diabetic. However, obese people are at a higher risk of diabetes than other people, their ages notwithstanding. Common Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms include excessive thirst, excessive hunger, fatigue, blurry vision, sores or cuts that take long to heal, and frequent urination.

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10. How Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Affects the Body

During digestion, carbohydrates are normally broken down into glucose, a simple sugar and an essential source of energy. Insulin in the blood serves to signal the cells to take up the glucose, which is also in the blood stream. The pancreas produces the hormone, the amount of which depends on the amount of sugar in the blood.

When there is a higher amount, after a meal, for instance, then the pancreas produces more insulin. However, the body cells may fail to react to insulin (insulin resistance). As a result, there is a low intake of glucose, whose levels then build up in the blood, developing diabetes. At first, the pancreas tries to produce more insulin to stimulate the insulin-resistant cells to take up glucose. However, the cells become more unresponsive with time until the pancreas cannot produce sufficient insulin to overcome the resistance.

9. Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

  • High risk of fungal and yeast infection.
  • Urinating excessively.
  • Abnormal hunger and thirst.
  • Weight loss.
  • Hyperosmolar syndrome in cases of extremely high blood sugar levels. The patient experiences confusion, weakness, nausea, and may go into a coma.

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8. Hypoglycemia

A condition that may result from the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. When your medication is supposed to normalize your blood sugar levels but causes it to drop to abnormally low levels instead. As a result, the following symptoms are observed:

  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Trembling
  • Hunger
  • Confusion
  • Seizures and unconsciousness in extreme cases

7. Complications that May Result from Type 2 Diabetes

  • Atherosclerosis: Fat buildup in the artery walls which can impair blood flow to organs, including the brain, heart, and even legs.
  • Retinopathy: Damage to the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eyes as a result of high blood sugar. In its early stages, using laser therapy and managing blood sugar proper can control retinopathy. Otherwise, it can lead to blindness.
  • Neuropathy: Refers to nerve damage. Usually, the nerves to the legs are the first ones that get damaged, causing pain and numbness. Nerve damage can spread to the hands, digestive system, and reproductive system.
  • Foot problems: Sores and blisters may occur on the legs as a result peripheral neuropathy, which can cause numbness that prevents the victim from feeling irritation in their feet. As a result, their skin may break down, forming ulcers. Such ulcers heal slowly, especially when blood circulation is poor.
  • Nephropathy: This is kidney damage that results from untreated high blood pressure.

6. Diagnosis

Diagnosis is done by testing blood sugar levels, usually in the morning after fasting. The American Diabetes Association points out that normal blood sugar levels are between 70 and 100 mg/dL. If after fasting, your blood sugar level exceeds 125mg/dL, then you have diabetes. Doctors look for signs of diabetes complications which include obesity, high blood pressure, deposits of blood in the retina, and decreased sensation and weak pulses in the feet. Additionally, laboratory tests may also come in handy, such as tests focusing on fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1C, lipid profile, blood creatinine, and urine microalbumin.

5. Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

  • Maintaining an ideal body weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Healthy and clean eating
  • Medication for pre-diabetes

4. Treatment Tips

  • Proper diet and exercise – for example, consuming whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables while avoiding cholesterol. Daily multivitamins can be very beneficial.
  • Medication – includes both pills and injections that increase the amount of insulin in your body while simultaneously decreasing insulin resistance.
  • Insulin – involves the injection of insulin into the body.

3. Side Effects of Diabetes Treatment

Of course, there are some side effects that come with a number of Type 2 Diabetes treatments. Some of which include hypoglycemia, nausea, weight gain, diarrhea, swollen legs, liver inflammation, heart failure, and buildup of lactic acid in the blood.

2. When You Should Call a Physician

  • When you experience consistent vomiting, diarrhea, and are unable to take in enough fluids.
  • When your blood sugar exceeds recommended levels. 
  • Overall, if you are a diabetic, check in with your doctor regularly.

1. Prognosis

First of all, in people with type 2 diabetes, the prognosis varies depending on how one modifies their risk of complications. However, Type 2 Diabetes may lead to heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke, resulting in premature death. Lastly, Diabetes may also lead to amputation, blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and nerve damage.

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