Diabetes mellitus (DM) type 2 is one of the types of DM, which is characterized by high blood sugar levels. This disorder is manageable through medications, diet, and exercise.
What is DM type 2? (1)
Glucose is the fuel of the body. This fuel is taken from the meal we eat. Mainly it is present in carbohydrates. After the metabolism of food the hormone, known as “insulin” takes up the glucose from the blood and gives it to body cells. In the case of diabetes, an inappropriate amount of insulin is produced or the body does not respond to insulin at all. Ultimately, glucose builds up in the blood. With time, increased blood glucose levels can cause health problems. This condition can not be cured completely. Management of DM is done by various exercises, diet plans, and medications.
DM type 2:
- Is diagnosed when insulin resistance develops or insufficient insulin produces
- Accounts for 85% to 90% of all DM cases
- Is more likely in individuals of specific ethnic background and those having a family history.
Causes of DM type 2
Several factors are responsible for DM type 2 including obesity, physical inactivity, family history, and genetics. A patient with DM type 2 shows insulin resistance. His body does not adequately respond to insulin. This leads to more production of insulin. But with time, the body does not secrete enough insulin due to which blood glucose level rises.
Risks of DM type 2
A person is more prone to develop DM type 2 if he:
- Is 45 plus. Adults and children can also develop this condition but people of middle age are at more risk.
- Is prediabetic. A prediabetic is a person who usually has a blood sugar level higher than normal but still not touches the values of a diabetic patient.
- Has developed diabetes during pregnancy. A woman who gives birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds is also at great risk.
- Has a family history of DM
- Is obese
- Is African American or black, Latino/Hispanic, Pacific Islander, or Asian American
- Is physically inactive
- Has other medical conditions such as Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), stroke, depression, heart disease, or high blood pressure
- Has high triglycerides and low HDL (High-density cholesterol)
- Has acanthosis nigricans- velvety, thick, and dark skin around armpits and neck
Symptoms of DM type 2 (2)
Many type 2 diabetic patients do not exhibit symptoms in the early stages. By the time such patients show the following signs and symptoms.
- Excessive thirst
- Increased urination
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Frequent hunger feelings
- Delayed wound healing
- Skin infections and itching
- Mood swings
- Blurred vision
- Gradual weight gain
- Leg cramps
Complications related to DM type 2
Many people can manage DM type 2 properly. But those who fail to do so suffer from various complications in different organs of the body. Such as:
- Various bacterial and fungal skin infections
- Neuropathy or nerve damage, which causes numbness or loss of sensation and tingling in peripheral parts
- Digestive problems including diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation
- Poor blood circulation towards lower limbs particularly feet. This does not let the wound heal completely and leads to gangrene and leg or foot loss.
- Hearing impairment
- Retinopathy or retinal damage, and eye damage. This causes vision deterioration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
- Cardiovascular diseases such as angina, stroke, heart attack, narrowing of veins and arteries, and high blood pressure
This condition occurs when the blood sugar level falls greatly. A person with this condition shows various signs and symptoms including difficult speech, dizziness, and shakiness. This condition can be managed by a “quick-fix” meal or beverage including a soft drink and a fruit juice.
This condition is characterized by a high blood sugar level. A person with this condition faces excessive thirst and frequent urination. This condition can be managed by exercising.
Complications in pregnancy
A woman who has developed DM type 2 during pregnancy is needed to be monitored carefully. Poorly controlled diabetes can cause
- complications during pregnancy, labor, and delivery
- Harm to the developing organs of the fetus
- Baby to put on excessive weight
This condition also makes the child vulnerable to DM type 2 for a lifetime.
The Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) states the following DM statistics in the United States:
- Approximately 30 million people are suffering from DM. This accounts for 10 percent of the population.
- One out of four patients are unaware of their diabetes
- Prediabetes entails84.1 million adults, out of which 90% are unaware.
- Hispanic, American adults and non-Hispanic blacks are more prone to DM type 2 than non-Hispanic white individuals.
- A1C test measures the average blood sugar levelof the last 3 months.
- A fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test is performed to check the current sugar level in the blood. This test is performed in a fasting state.
- Random plasma glucose (RPG) test is performed to check the blood sugar level in a non-fasting state.
- Metformin lowers the sugar level in the blood and improves the body’s response to insulin.
- Sulfonylureas is an oral medication that helps the pancreas in making more insulin
- Meglitinides aid the pancreas in releasing more insulin
- Thiazolidinediones enhance the body’s sensitivity to insulin
- Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitor reduces the sugar level in the blood
- Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists slow down the digestion process and improve blood sugar level
- Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 inhibitors inhibit the absorption of glucose from kidneys and pass it out in the urine
Proper diet is another way to manage DM type 2. A person needs to
- take a meal at the appropriate time
- Select food with low calories and high nutrients
- Eat appropriate amount
- Review food labels thoroughly
Things not to take
A diabetic patient should stop taking the following items:
- Food rich in trans and saturated fats
- Organ meats like liver
- Processed meats
- Baked items like bread
- Processed snacks
- Beverages containing sugar such as fruit juice
- Dairy products rich in fats
- White rice or pasta