Type 2 diabetes is a serious health problem that can be controlled, but often isn’t even discovered until it gets to the serious point. Many of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes aren’t particularly severe, so the entire disease can go undiagnosed. Early type 2 diabetes treatment can help to avoid many of the more sinister complications from happening at all, but you have to recognize the symptoms and take action. In some cases, type 2 diabetes weight loss may be all that you need to stop the condition and get back to a normal life.
If serious weight issues have contributed to the diabetes, you may require a bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass or gastric band surgery to lose weight quickly and get the type 2 diabetes under control. However, before any of that is possible you have to figure out if you have type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes Basics
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that causes an excess level of sugar (glucose) to accumulate in the bloodstream. This problem occurs due to the amount of insulin manufactured by the body, or the manner in which the body responds to insulin in the blood. The condition cannot be cured. However, left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening complications.
Below, we’ll provide an overview of the disease, beginning with an explanation of how it develops. You’ll learn how to identify signs of diabetes as well as some of the long-term problems it can cause. We’ll also describe the treatment options that are available to help manage the condition.
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Glucose is required by the body for energy. It is manufactured by the liver, and is made available through the foods we consume. As foods pass through the gastrointestinal tract, glucose is transferred to the bloodstream.
Insulin is a hormone that helps to regulate the level of glucose in the blood. It is manufactured by the pancreas, and is a key factor in the body’s metabolism. Insulin causes the cells of the organs and tissues to “open up” and receive glucose, which is then stored for later use.
With type 2 diabetes, the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas is insufficient for regulating the absorption of glucose, or the body becomes resistant to the hormone. As a result, too much sugar is allowed to remain in the bloodstream, and too little is absorbed by the cells of the organs and tissues. This causes a marked loss of energy as well as numerous other symptoms.
Common Symptoms And Complications Of Diabetes
When glucose accumulates in the bloodstream, the patient often experiences severe hunger. The muscles and organs essentially become starved of energy, prompting a strong urge for food. Persistent thirst and a frequent need to urinate are also common. As the patient’s blood sugar level increases, he or she becomes more thirsty.
Many people with type 2 diabetes experience noticeable weight loss, even though they consume more food to sate their hunger. This happens because the body is forced to use other sources of energy in the absence of sugar in the cells. These sources include muscle and fat, the loss of which causes the patient to lose weight.
Fatigue and general weakness are also common symptoms. The body begins to feel run down without a continuous supply of energy.
Even when these symptoms present, diabetes is often ignored. The patient may attribute increased hunger and thirst, more frequent urination, and overall lack of energy to other causes. With time and lack of treatment, however, a number of serious problems may surface.
Many patients experience a tingling feeling in their legs. This is caused by nerve damage (i.e. neuropathy). The excess sugar in the bloodstream damages the blood vessels that supply the nerves with nourishment. In some cases, this can lead to a permanent loss of feeling.
There is also an increased risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Other complications can include damage to the kidneys, eyes, and feet, as well as a gradual loss of bone density (i.e. osteoporosis).
Treatment And Home Care For Diabetes
Treating type 2 diabetes involves lifelong management rather than a curative approach (as noted earlier, there is no known cure for the condition). Patients are strongly encouraged to monitor their blood sugar level on a daily basis, and to maintain a strict, healthy diet. They should familiarize themselves with the way certain foods, beverages, drugs, and other stimuli affect the level of glucose in their blood.
Regular exercise is also important since it makes the muscles and tissues more sensitive to insulin. As a result, exercise lowers the patient’s blood sugar level. The level should be checked prior to working out to ensure it remains in a safe range.
On occasion, medications or insulin treatments are necessary to help control the disease. The physician may use one or the other, or combine both approaches to adjust the level of glucose in the patient’s blood.
Learn to identify the early signs of type 2 diabetes. The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to manage through exercise and a healthy diet.
A type 2 diabetes treatment program may be necessary if you begin to notice symptoms such as increased thirst and urination, increased hunger, blurred vision or fatigue. As type 2 diabetes takes effect, sugar will accumulate in your bloodstream as fluid is pulled out of your body tissues. As the fluid is taken from your tissues, your thirst may increase, which could cause you to drink and urinate more often. Fluid may also be pulled away from the lens of your eyes, causing blurry vision.
Hunger may increase because there isn’t enough insulin present to move sugar into the cells of your body and your muscles will become depleted of energy. Fatigue is a common side effect of blood sugar issues, as your levels are never balanced and where you want them to be. Cuts and sores may heal more slowly if you have type 2 diabetes and you may notice areas of dark and velvety skin in your armpits or other body creases.
Type 2 diabetes weight loss is required if being overweight has caused the problem, but not everyone who gets type 2 diabetes is overweight. For some people, the inability to metabolize glucose properly can result in the body using muscle or fat for fuel, which could cause weight loss.
Of course, simply having a few symptoms of type 2 diabetes doesn’t mean you have the disease. Visiting your doctor for a blood test will tell you what’s happening for sure. Different tests such as the glycated hemoglobin or A1C test, random blood sugar test, fasting blood sugar test or oral glucose tolerance test can all give a stronger indication if type 2 diabetes is present.
If you have symptoms and one of the tests indicates you may have type 2 diabetes, you may have to do one of the other tests to be sure. After a positive diagnosis is made, a type 2 diabetes treatment plan can be put into effect. You’ll be given instructions for type 2 diabetes weight loss and shown how to modify your diet to manage insulin levels. If you’re morbidly obese, gastric band surgery, gastric bypass or another weight loss surgery may be discussed.