Type 2 Diabetes: Causes & Symptoms

Type 2 diabetes (T2D),is a chronic metabolic disease that indicates high levels of sugar or glucose in the bloodstream. It refers to uncontrolled blood sugar, resistance to insulin, and a lack of insulin in the body.

The foods that we eat provide us with glucose, which is the main source of energy. The pancreas produces insulin hormone that facilitates glucose to enter the cells and produce energy. In the case of diabetes, the body cells do not respond normally to insulin, it is known as insulin resistance.

The pancreas produces more insulin to make the cells respond. Finally, the pancreas stops making new insulin and, as a result, the blood sugar level rises, resulting in prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong illness that impacts the daily activities of an individual. Changes in lifestyle habits, exercise, and eating a nutritious diet, along with regular check-ups, are important to keep diabetes under control.


Type 2 diabetes Symptoms

  • Vision problems
  • Weakness
  • Frequent urination (polyuria)
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Gum disease
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Prone to infections
  • Tingling or numbness in your hands or feet
  • Unexplained weight loss
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Types of diabetes

Diabetes is divided into four types -

  • Type 1 diabetes:Type 1 diabetes also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic health condition where sugar levels are high in the blood. It occurs because the body is unable to produce a hormone called insulin. It mainly occurs during childhood and various factors, such as genetics and a few viruses, may give rise to type 1 diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes:In this type of diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly (insulin resistance) and can’t control blood sugar levels at the normal range. Type 2 diabetes affects 90-95 per cent of diabetics and is mostly diagnosed in adults. It is the most common type of diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes:Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before can develop gestational diabetes. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes can pose health problems for the baby. This type of diabetes disappears after the birth of the baby but increases the risk of type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Prediabetes:It indicates a higher blood sugar level than the normal range. But the sugar level is not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. Without lifestyle changes, prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes.

When to see a doctor?

Consult a diabetologist if you notice any diabetes symptoms.


Causes

A number of factors can lead to type 2 diabetes, they are -

  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Family history or genetics

Type 2 diabetes begins with insulin resistance. In this condition, the body's cells don't respond normally to the hormone insulin. Therefore, the pancreas generates more insulin to facilitate glucose entry into the cells and produce energy. But with time, the pancreas can't make sufficient insulin and the blood glucose levels rise.


Risk Factors of Type 2 diabetes

The risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes are -

  • Weight gain or obesity
  • Family history
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Having prediabetes
  • If you are 45 years or older
  • Having close relatives with type 2 diabetes
  • Had gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Ethnicity - People belonging to asian, african american, latino, and pacific islander.
Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors

Diagnosis

The type 2 diabetes is diagnosed after conducting a few blood tests.

  • Glycolated hemoglobin testing (A1c) :It is a blood test done to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This test helps to find out about blood sugar levels over the past 3 months.
  • Fasting plasma glucose test:It is the simplest and quickest method for determining blood glucose levels and diagnosing diabetes. An individual need to fast and avoid eating or drinking (except water) for 8 to 12 hours before the test.
  • Random plasma glucose test:In this test the blood is drawn at a laboratory at any time. The test is unaffected by whether you have fasted or eaten recently.
  • Oral glucose tolerance testing:It is also called a glucose tolerance test, and it measures how your body responds to sugar (glucose). This test is done to screen for type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

Treatment

The type 2 diabetes cure is not available. But it is possible to control diabetes by adhering to a healthy way of life and taking diabetes medications on time

Diabetes management can be done by following the below given methods -

  • A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) can help to monitor the blood glucose levels daily. Your doctor may also recommend diabetes medications, insulin therapy, or other injectable medicines to keep the disease under control.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly to keep yourself healthy. Diet for type 2 diabetes include -
    • vegetables like cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, etc.
    • Whole grains - brown rice, oats, quinoa, etc
    • Legumes - chickpeas, lentils, beans
    • Protein-rich foods - tofu, seafood, skinless poultry, eggs, etc.
    • Low fat dairy products
    • Fruits for diabetes inlcude oranges, pears, berries, melons, apples, peaches.
  • Sugar, fat, and salt should be kept to a minimum.
  • Every day, eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner - don't miss meals.
  • Keep track of the blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels regularly. Your diabetologist will tell you how often you need to check it and other lifestyle habits that are necessary to follow.

Complications

The diabetes complications are

  • Heart problems
  • Neuropathy in limbs
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver problems
  • Eye damage
  • Hearing impairment
  • Dementia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Skin problems, including fungal and bacterial infections

Do's and Don’ts

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness in which the blood sugar levels are high, leading to many health problems. The diabetes symptoms are frequent urination, vision problems, fatigue, increased hunger and thirst, slow healing of wounds, etc. Type 2 diabetes management includes diabetes medications and insulin therapy.

Do’s Don’ts
Eat meals on time Smoke or consume alcohol
Eat a healthy diet Eat more sugar and salt in diet
Take diabetes medicines properly Ignore monitoring your blood sugar levels
Get regular blood test Follow a sedentary lifestyle and gain weight
Prefer small meals than large meals Eat a high-fat diet

Follow the do’s and dont’s of type 2 diabetes to keep it under control and live a healthy life. It’s important to keep diabetes in check to prevent other health problems and their related complications.


Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of diabetes doctors working together to provide excellent healthcare services to our patients. Our team adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to treating diabetes and its related complications with the active participation of medical experts from different specialties. We provide world-class healthcare services at affordable costs in all our departments to offer our customers high-quality treatment outcomes and satisfactory experiences.

Citations

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21501-type-2-diabetes
https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/type-2
https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html
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