Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes
There is no single cause of type 2 diabetes but some factors can put you at greater risk. They include:
- being age 40 or over
- being overweight
- having a family member who has diabetes
- having had gestational diabetes
- having given birth to a baby that weighed more than 4 kg at birth
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol or other fats in the blood or
- member of a high-risk ethnic group.
Receiving A Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis
Whether or not you have prediabetes, you should see your doctor right away if you think you may be experiencing symptoms of diabetes. Your doctor can get a lot of information from blood work. Diagnostic testing may include the following:
- Hemoglobin A1C test.This test measures average blood glucose levels for the previous 2 or 3 months. You dont need to fast for this test, and your doctor can diagnose you based on the results. Its also called a glycosylated hemoglobin test.
- Fasting plasma glucose test. This test measures how much glucose is in your plasma. You may need to fast for 8 hours before taking it.
- Oral glucose tolerance test. During this test, your blood is drawn three times: before, 1 hour after, and 2 hours after you drink a dose of glucose. The test results show how well your body deals with glucose before and after the drink.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will provide you with information about how to manage the disease, including:
- how to monitor blood glucose levels on your own
- dietary recommendations
- physical activity recommendations
- information about any medications that you need
You may need to see an endocrinologist who specializes in the treatment of diabetes. Youll probably need to visit your doctor more often at first to make sure your treatment plan is working.
Prognosis Of Type 2 Diabetes
Dont lose hope, though. You dont have to be a statistic. Receiving a prompt diagnosis can help you get your health on track and reduce your risk of complications.
Indeed, if you take care to manage your blood sugar by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, taking your prescribed medication, and losing weight, you may find your quality of life to be better with diabetes than it was before your diagnosis.
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What Happens With Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops over a long period of time . During this period of time insulin resistance starts, this is where the insulin is increasingly ineffective at managing the blood glucose levels. As a result of this insulin resistance, the pancreas responds by producing greater and greater amounts of insulin, to try and achieve some degree of management of the blood glucose levels.
As insulin overproduction occurs over a very long period of time, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas wear themselves out, so that by the time someone is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they have lost 50 70% of their insulin-producing cells. This means type 2 diabetes is a combination of ineffective insulin and not enough insulin. Lifestyle changes may be able to slow this process in some people.
Initially, type 2 diabetes can often be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. Over time many people with type 2 diabetes will also need tablets and some may eventually require insulin. It is important to note that this is normal, and taking tablets or insulin as soon as they are required can result in fewer long-term complications.
Foods And Beverages To Limit
If youve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or even if youre trying to avoid diabetes and manage your weight, there are certain foods and beverages that you should limit if possible. These include:
- foods heavy in saturated or trans fats
- refined baked goods
- high-sugar, highly processed snacks
- sugary drinks
While no one food, enjoyed every so often, should knock you off your healthy path, its a good idea to talk with your doctor about dietary restrictions based on your blood sugar levels. Some people may need to monitor their glucose more carefully than others after eating these foods.
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Being Overweight Or Obese
You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight or obese with a body mass index of 30 or more.
Fat around your tummy particularly increases your risk. This is because it releases chemicals that can upset the body’s cardiovascular and metabolic systems.
Measuring your waist is a quick way of assessing your diabetes risk. This is a measure of abdominal obesity, which is a particularly high-risk form of obesity.
Women have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if their waist measures 80cm or more.
Asian men with a waist size of 89cm or more have a higher risk, as do white or black men with a waist size of 94cm or more.
Exercising regularly and reducing your body weight by about 5% could reduce your risk of getting diabetes by more than 50%.
Read about measuring your waist size
Treatment For Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be managed, and in some cases, reversed. Most treatment plans will include checking your blood glucose levels, and your doctor will tell you how often you should do it. The goal is to stay within a specific range.
Additional lifestyle changes your doctor will most likely advise to help treat your type 2 diabetes include:
- eating foods rich in fiber and healthy carbohydrates eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help keep your blood glucose levels steady
- eating at regular intervals
- learning to listen to your body and learn to stop eating when youre full
- manage your weight and keep your heart healthy, which typically means keeping refined carbohydrates, sweets, and animal fats to a minimum
- get about half an hour of physical activity daily to help keep your heart healthy exercise can help to control blood glucose, too.
Your doctor will explain how to recognize the early symptoms of blood sugar thats too high or too low and what to do in each situation.
Additionally, working with a dietician can help you learn which foods can help you manage your blood sugar and which ones might cause it to become unbalanced.
Not everyone with type 2 diabetes needs to use insulin. If you do, its because your pancreas isnt making enough insulin on its own, and its crucial that you take insulin as directed. There are other prescription medications that may help as well.
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Development Of Type 2 Diabetes
The development of type 2 diabetes is thought to be a progression from normal blood sugars to pre-diabetes to a diagnosis of overt diabetes. These stages are defined by blood sugar levels.
The timeline to developing an elevated blood sugar depends on many environmental factors and also on how strong the gene traits are for diabetes. Ultimately, pre-diabetes and diabetes occur when the pancreas cannot make enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance. Historically pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed when individuals are older however, because of a wide-spread epidemic of obesity which causes insulin resistance, the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is occurring more frequently at younger and younger ages.
People born with the genetic traits for diabetes are considered to be pre-disposed. Genetically predisposed people may have normal blood sugar levels, but many will have other markers of insulin resistance such, as elevated triglycerides and hypertension. When environmental factors are introduced, such as weight gain, lack of physical activity, or pregnancy, they are likely to develop diabetes.
Some individuals with other types of diabetes may be misdiagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. Up to 10% of individuals who are initially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may actually have an adult onset of type 1 diabetes also known as LADA or Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults.
Managing Blood Glucose Levels
Maintain blood glucose levels within the recommended range. You can help keep your blood glucose levels as near as possible to normal by:
- eating healthily
- losing weight if you are overweight and trying to maintain weight loss
- doing regular physical activity, including sitting less. If you are not sure what type of exercise is suitable for you, check with your doctor.
Glucose-lowering medications, and insulin, may also be needed to manage blood glucose levels.
Blood glucose targets are individualised. However, if you are taking either diabetes tablets that can cause hypos or insulin, the blood glucose levels generally recommended are:
- 6 to 8 mmol/L before meals
- 6 to 10mmol/L 2 hours after meals.
Check with your doctor or diabetes educator about the targets recommended for you.
Keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range can help prevent long-term problems that can affect your heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.
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Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Managing type 2 diabetes requires teamwork. Youll need to work closely with your doctor, but a lot of the results depend on your choices.
Your doctor may want to perform periodic blood tests to determine your blood glucose levels. This will help determine how well youre managing the condition. If you take medication, these tests will help gauge how well its working.
Your doctor may also recommend a home monitoring system to test your own blood glucose levels between visits. Theyll explain to you how often you should use it and what your target range should be.
Because diabetes can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, your doctor may want to monitor your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. If you have symptoms of heart disease, you may need additional tests. These tests may include an electrocardiogram or a cardiac stress test.
It may also be helpful to bring your family into the loop. Educating them about the warning signs of blood glucose levels that are too high or too low will allow them to help in an emergency.
What Is The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, people produce little or no insulin, as the insulin-producing cells have been destroyed by the bodys immune system. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease.
In type 2 diabetes, the body may make enough insulin early in the disease, but doesnt respond to it effectively. As type 2 diabetes progresses, the pancreas gradually loses the ability to produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is associated with inherited factors and lifestyle risk factors such as being overweight or obese, poor diet, and insufficient physical activity.
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What Are The Treatments For Type 2 Diabetes
Treatment for type 2 diabetes involves managing your blood sugar levels. Many people are able to do this by living a healthy lifestyle. Some people may also need to take medicine.:
- A healthy lifestyle includes following a healthy eating plan and getting regular physical activity. You need to learn how to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity and diabetes medicine, if you take any.
- Medicines for diabetes include oral medicines, insulin, and other injectable medicines. Over time, some people will need to take more than one type of medicine to control their diabetes.
- You will need to check your blood sugar regularly. Your health care provider will tell you how often you need to do it.
- It’s also important to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels close to the targets your provider sets for you. Make sure to get your screening tests regularly.
Which Diets Are Recommended For Diabetes
Nutritional management and managing your blood sugar are key to living with diabetes.
If you have type 1 diabetes, work with your doctor to identify how much insulin you may need to inject after eating certain types of food.
For example, certain carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to quickly increase in people with type 1 diabetes. Youll need to counteract this by taking insulin, but youll need to know how much insulin to take. Learn more about type 1 diabetes and diet.
People with type 2 diabetes need to focus on healthy eating.
Weight loss of type 2 diabetes treatment plans. A doctor or nutritionist may recommend a low-calorie meal plan. This could mean reducing your consumption of animal fats and junk food.
Typically, people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes are recommended to reduce their consumption of processed foods, trans fat, sugary drinks, and alcohol.
People with diabetes may need to try different diets and nutritional plans to find a plan that works for their health, lifestyle, and budget.
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Complementary And Integrative Health Approaches
Apart from these conventional medication treatment options, effective diabetes management means taking a well-rounded approach: Youll need to eat well, exercise, manage stress, and sleep enough, because all these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.
Certain complementary approaches may help support your conventional diabetes care, including certain botanical therapies, supplements, traditional Chinese medicine, mind-body therapies, and special diets like keto, research shows.
Accuracy Of Diabetes Test Results
Depending on the test used, the level of blood glucose can be affected by things such as:
- not fasting for the correct amount of time at least 8 hours to 16 hours before the fasting test
- being unwell before the test
- needing to take certain medications, for example cortisone
- having anaemia can affect the HbA1c result.
If you think your test result may not be accurate, discuss this further with your doctor.
If you don’t have diabetes, but your glucose levels are higher than normal, this is called pre-diabetes and it includes one or both of:
- impaired fasting glucose IFG
- impaired glucose tolerance IGT .
Diabetes can be delayed or prevented in some people with pre-diabetes by:
- increasing physical activity
- following a healthy eating plan developed by a dietitian
- losing 5 to 10% of their body weight, if they are overweight.
Talk to your doctor about how you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
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Prognosis In Intensive Therapy
In the UKPDS, more than 5000 patients with type 2 diabetes were followed up for up to 15 years. Those in the intensely treated group had a significantly lower rate of progression of microvascular complications than did patients receiving standard care. Rates of macrovascular disease were not altered except in the metformin-monotherapy arm in obese individuals, in which the risk of myocardial infarction was significantly decreased.
In the 10-year follow-up to the UKPDS, patients in the previously intensively treated group demonstrated a continued reduction in microvascular and all-cause mortality, as well as in cardiovascular events, despite early loss of differences in glycated hemoglobin levels between the intensive-therapy and conventional-therapy groups. The total follow-up was 20 years, half while in the study and half after the study ended.
Other, shorter studies, such as Action in Diabetes and Vascular Disease: Preterax and Diamicron Modified Release Controlled Evaluation and the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial , showed no improvement in cardiovascular disease and death with tight control .
A British study indicated that the HbA1c level achieved 3 months after the initial diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus predicts subsequent mortality. In other words, according to the report, aggressive lowering of glucose after diagnosis bodes well for long-term survival.
Newly Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes
Knowing where to get started following a type 2 diagnosis can be a challenge. You may feel overwhelmed, but its important to know there isnt a one-size fits all approach to managing the condition.
As well as using the information on this page to understand your condition, you can meet other people with type 2 diabetes in our Learning Zone. Youll hear advice from others in your position, and get practical tools to help you feel more confident managing your condition.
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Diabetes And Numbness In Hands And Feet
People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes may experience numbness and tingling in their hands or feet. Good glucose management significantly reduces the risk of developing numbness and tingling in someone with type 1 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association .
Although many of the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar, they present in very different ways.
Some people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms at all and dont discover they have the condition until complications arise.
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes develop quickly, typically over the course of several weeks.
Once known as juvenile diabetes, this type usually develops in childhood or adolescence. But its possible to develop type 1 diabetes later in life.
must be regularly taken , and blood sugar levels must be regularly checked.
Some people take injections into soft tissue, such as the stomach, arm, or buttocks, several times a day. Other people use insulin pumps. Insulin pumps supply a steady amount of insulin into the body through a small tube.
Blood sugar testing is an essential part of managing type 1 diabetes because blood sugar levels can go up and down quickly.
Monitoring your blood sugar is an essential part of type 2 diabetes management, too. Its the only way to know whether youre meeting your target levels.