How Is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed
Your health care provider will use blood tests to diagnose type 2 diabetes. The blood tests include:
- A1C test, which measures your average blood sugar level over the past 3 months
- Fasting plasma glucose test, which measures your current blood sugar level. You need to fast for at least 8 hours before the test.
- Random plasma glucose test, which measures your current blood sugar level. This test is used when you have diabetes symptoms and the provider does not want to wait for you to fast before having the test.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Is A Very Serious Condition
People with diabetes who have ongoing high blood glucose levels, are at an increased risk of having poor health outcomes compared to people who do not have diabetes. Some statistics that relate to people with diabetes include:
- People with diabetes are up to four time more likely to suffer heart attacks or strokes
- Diabetes is the leading cause of vision-loss globally and is the fifth most common cause of preventable blindness and fifth more common cause of moderate to severe visual impairment
- Kidney failure is three times more common in people with diabetes
- Amputations are 15 times more common in people with diabetes
- More than 30 percent of people with diabetes experience depression, anxiety, and distress
- Early diagnosis, optimal treatment, and effective ongoing support and management reduce risk of diabetes-related complications dramatically.
Will I Need Medication Or Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes
Some people take medication to manage diabetes, along with diet and exercise. Your healthcare provider may recommend oral diabetes medications. These are pills or liquids that you take by mouth. For example, a medicine called metformin helps control the amount of glucose your liver produces.
You can also take insulin to help your body use sugar more efficiently. Insulin comes in the following forms:
- Injectable insulin is a shot you give yourself. Most people inject insulin into a fleshy part of their body such as their belly. Injectable insulin is available in a vial or an insulin pen.
- Inhaled insulin is inhaled through your mouth. It is only available in a rapid-acting form.
- Insulin pumps deliver insulin continuously, similar to how a healthy pancreas would. Pumps release insulin into your body through a tiny cannula . Pumps connect to a computerized device that lets you control the dose and frequency of insulin.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes
Some risk factors you may have some control over. It looks like type 2 diabetes is exploding worldwide, but the genetics haven’t changed, Olansky says. What’s changed is the way people are eating and living.
There are some risk factors you have less control over, such as:
Martin adds that there are socioeconomic factors that come into play as well. You can’t control the socioeconomic stressors you have in your life that might limit your ability to buy healthy foods and buy them cheaply, he says. There are not always resources to overcome those socioeconomic health barriers.
More on Diabetes and Your Genes
How Can I Lower My Chances Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Research such as the Diabetes Prevention Program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, has shown that you can take steps to reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes if you have risk factors for the disease. Here are some things you can do to lower your risk:
- Lose weight if you are overweight, and keep it off. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your current weight.1 For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose about 10 to 14 pounds.
- Move more. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, such as walking, at least 5 days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional about which activities are best. Start slowly and build up to your goal.
- Eat healthy foods. Eat smaller portions to reduce the amount of calories you eat each day and help you lose weight. Choosing foods with less fat is another way to reduce calories. Drink water instead of sweetened beverages.
Ask your health care team what other changes you can make to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
Most often, your best chance for preventing type 2 diabetes is to make lifestyle changes that work for you long term. Get started with Your Game Plan to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
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What Medicines Do I Need To Treat My Type 2 Diabetes
Along with following your diabetes care plan, you may need diabetes medicines, which may include pills or medicines you inject under your skin, such as insulin. Over time, you may need more than one diabetes medicine to manage your blood glucose. Even if you dont take insulin, you may need it at special times, such as during pregnancy or if you are in the hospital. You also may need medicines for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other conditions.
Learn more about medicines, insulin, and other diabetes treatments.
Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes: Whats The Difference
Type 2 diabetes is not the same as Type 1 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make any insulin. In Type 2, your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, and the insulin it is making doesnt always work as it should. Both types are forms of diabetes mellitus, meaning they lead to hyperglycemia .
Type 2 diabetes usually affects older adults, though its becoming more common in children. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but people of any age can get it.
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Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Prevented
You can take steps to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing weight if you are overweight, eating fewer calories, and being more physically active. If you have a condition which raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, managing that condition may lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Excess Fat Around Your Belly
One thing that makes us unique is that we all have different body compositions. We all have body fat , but having a larger amount of fat between your muscles and organs can lead to health issues like diabetes. This is also called transabdominal fat because it shows up around your stomach.
According to a 2016 study, men are more likely to carry more fat around their bellies, which also makes them twice as likely to develop diabetes as compared to women.
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Can I Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
You may have just found out that you are at risk of developing diabetes. This may be more difficult than you anticipated. However, if you dont have diabetes yet, this is actually really good news. It means that you can make changes now to prevent or delay developing type 2 diabetes. Making some simple changes now, can have a huge impact on your health for the years ahead.
So, yes! You can prevent type 2 diabetes. Phew!
Modifiable Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes
You can and should do something about your modifiable risk factors. You can reduce your risk for diabetes or delay its development by making healthy changes:
- Weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes. Losing 5% to 10% of your body weightin addition to getting regular physical activitycan significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Your risk decreases even more as you lose more weight. For most people, a body mass index calculator will provide a good target weight for your height. Learn how to manage your weight.
- Physical activity: Physical inactivity is a key modifiable risk factor for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Regular physical activity helps lower insulin resistance. This means your body can use its own insulin more effectively. Even a brisk 30-minute walk at least five days a week has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. For your overall cardiovascular health, aim for:
- At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity
- Or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
- And muscle-strengthening at least two days per week.
Find more tools and resources for managing diabetes and reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease at KnowDiabetesbyHeart.org.
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How Can I Manage My Type 2 Diabetes
Managing your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and quitting smoking if you smoke, are important ways to manage your type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes that include planning healthy meals, limiting calories if you are overweight, and being physically active are also part of managing your diabetes. So is taking any prescribed medicines. Work with your health care team to create a diabetes care plan that works for you.
Check Blood Sugar Before Exercising
A person should check their blood sugar before exercising, particularly if they take insulin. If their blood sugar is below 100 milligrams/deciliter , eating a small snack that contains 1530 grams of carbohydrates may be necessary. This will help prevent blood sugar from getting too low during exercise.
Examples of such snacks include half a cup of fruit juice or 2 tablespoons of raisins. After exercising, a person should check their blood glucose again.
Conversely, if blood sugar is above 240 mg/dl, it may not be safe to exercise. An individual should test the urine for ketones, which the body makes when it breaks down fat.
Elevated ketone levels indicate that someone does not have enough insulin to get glucose out of the blood and into the cells. When cells do not have enough glucose, they break down fat for energy. If people with high ketones exercise, they have a risk of ketoacidosis, a serious diabetes complication that requires immediate treatment.
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Lack Of Exercise And Sedentary Way Of Life
Living a sedentary lifestyle without sufficient exercise is seriously damaging to health.
Being inactive often leads to being overweight, which can lead to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Staying active decreases insulin resistance and helps bodily insulin to be more effective.
- Read more on diabetes and obesity
What Is Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose is your main source of energy. It comes from the foods you eat. A hormone called insulin helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. If you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. The glucose then stays in your blood and not enough goes into your cells.
Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems. But you can take steps to manage your diabetes and try to prevent these health problems.
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Lack Of Physical Activity
According to the American Diabetes Association, exercise allows your muscles to better use insulin and take in glucose regardless of how much insulin is available.
A quick walk with your pup, a bike ride, or any other kind of movement can help lower your blood sugar within 24 hours. Studies suggest that moving your body could reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes by 30 to 50 percent.
Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes
Your chances of developing type 2 diabetes depend on a combination of risk factors such as your genes and lifestyle. Although you cant change risk factors such as family history, age, or ethnicity, you can change lifestyle risk factors around eating, physical activity, and weight. These lifestyle changes can affect your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Read about risk factors for type 2 diabetes below and see which ones apply to you. Taking action on the factors you can change can help you delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you
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Getting An Nhs Health Check
If you’re aged between 40 and 74 and living in England, you may be able to get a free NHS Health Check.
An NHS Health Check can tell you if you’re at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as other health problems. It can also spot early signs of these conditions. You’ll be given advice about how to lower your risk.
This service isn’t available in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Ask your GP for more information on this and what your results mean.
What Should A Type 2 Diabetes Meal Plan Include
Ask your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to recommend a meal plan thats right for you. In general, a Type 2 diabetes meal plans should include:
- Lean proteins: Proteins low in saturated fats include chicken, eggs and seafood. Plant-based proteins include tofu, nuts and beans.
- Minimally processed carbohydrates: Refined carbs like white bread, pasta and potatoes can cause your blood sugar to increase quickly. Choose carbs that cause a more gradual blood sugar increase such as whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain pasta.
- No added salt: Too much sodium, or salt, can increase your blood pressure. Lower your sodium by avoiding processed foods like those that come in cans or packages. Choose salt-free spices and use healthy oils instead of salad dressing.
- No added sugars: Avoid sugary foods and drinks, such as pies, cakes and soda. Choose water or unsweetened tea to drink.
- Non-starchy vegetables: These vegetables are lower in carbohydrates, so they dont cause blood sugar spikes. Examples include broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.
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Type 2 Diabetes In Children And Teens
Childhood obesity rates are rising, and so are the rates of type 2 diabetes in youth. More than 75% of children with type 2 diabetes have a close relative who has it, too. But its not always because family members are related it can also be because they share certain habits that can increase their risk. Parents can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by developing a plan for the whole family:
- Drinking more water and fewer sugary drinks
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Making favorite foods healthier
- Making physical activity more fun
Healthy changes become habits more easily when everyone makes them together. Find out how to take charge family style with these healthy tips.
Who Is At Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Risk factors can be divided into non-modifiable risk factors and modifiable risk factors. Non-modifiable risk factors are those that cant be changed by you, for example your genetics. Modifiable risk factors can be changed, for example making changes to the amount you exercise.
You are more likely to get type 2 diabetes if you are carrying weight around your belly. It is much more common in people from certain ethnic backgrounds like Indian, Middle Eastern, south-east Asian and indigenous populations. In these groups rates of diabetes can approach 30% of the adult population. In Caucasian populations, the rates are more typically 10% of the adult population.
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Tell Me First What Is Type 2 Diabetes
There are three kinds of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 2 accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all people diagnosed with diabetes and affects about 34 million Americans. Like the other types of diabetes, type 2 causes your blood glucose to be too high.
Type 2 diabetes prevents your body from being able to properly use the hormone insulin, which your pancreas produces. Over time, this can cause your pancreas to stop making enough insulin.
Insulin helps glucose in your blood enter your cells for fuel. Without the right amount of insulin, sugar builds up in your blood, leading to high blood sugar and potentially a bunch of other health probs.
Type 2 diabetes doesnt happen overnight it takes years to develop, and symptoms may show up slowly or be barely noticeable.
Are You Eligible For An Nhs Health Check
Whether you have any other risk factors or not, if youre over 40 your risk of type 2 diabetes and other conditions is higher. If you’re aged 40 to 74 and living in England you may be eligible for a free NHS Health Check.
It’s a great way to check your health and get personalised advice on keeping yourself healthy and active.
Find out more about the health check on the NHS website, or talk to your GP for more information.
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