Do you know what type 2 diabetes is? Most people don't, and that's okay.
Because today, we're going to talk about what type 2 diabetes is, how it's different from other forms of diabetes, some of the common symptoms, and possible complications.
So if you're curious about learning more, read on! We'll teach you everything you need to know.
What Is T2D?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin properly.
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body metabolize sugar. When there isn’t enough insulin, or it isn’t used properly, sugar builds up in the blood.
Over time, this can lead to serious health problems, which we will discuss in just a bit.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it usually develops in adulthood.
However, it is becoming more common in children and teens as the rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyles increase.
Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease, and researchers are still working to understand all of the interconnected factors that contribute to its development.
While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, certain lifestyle changes and treatments can help to manage the disease and improve quality of life, which we'll talk about in part two of this article series.
Type 2 VS. Type 1 Diabetes
When it comes to diabetes, there are two main types: type 1 and type 2.
Although they share the same name, these two types of diabetes are quite different.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
As a result, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is a condition that develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin.
In some cases, people with type 2 diabetes may be able to control their blood sugar levels with diet and exercise.
However, many will also need to take medication or insulin injections.
So, essentially, type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition, that can be classified as an autoimmune disease, while type 2 is more caused by the person's lifestyle and habits.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be difficult to spot, as they often develop gradually over time.
However, there are a few key signs to look out for, such as:
Certainly, though, none of this information is meant to identify a problem, meaning that if you are concerned that you may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it is important to speak to your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
While some people are born with a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can increase your risk of developing the disease.
Here are the most important ones to consider
Obesity and being overweight are thought to be the main risk factor for T2D, and it has been shown time and again that losing excess weight is one of the best ways to manage the disease.
The less active you are, the greater your risk of developing T2D, due to the fact that physical activity helps with weight control, uses up glucose (blood sugar), and also makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
3. Family History
If T2D “runs in the family” so to speak, you may have a greater chance of developing the disease. Nevertheless, you are not a victim of your genetics - you can still make different lifestyle choices and lower your chances despite the odds!
The older you get, the greater the chance of developing T2D is, especially after the age of 45.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to a number of complications. If left untreated, it can damage the heart, kidneys, and eyes.
It can also lead to nerve damage and problems with blood circulation.
In severe cases, it can even lead to chronic organ conditions that may require a transplant.
The good news is that there are treatments available that can help to control the condition and prevent these complications from occurring.
The key is to get diagnosed early and to start treatment as soon as possible.
With proper management, it is possible to live a long and healthy life despite having type 2 diabetes.
So again - if you're experiencing any symptoms, make sure to visit your doctor!
So there you have it - type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that results when the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use insulin properly.
When glucose builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy, it can cause a myriad of health complications over time.
But the good news is that with a few lifestyle changes, T2D can be managed!
Follow up with us in the second part of this article series, where we're going to discuss the lifestyle changes related to improving the symptoms, and potentially reversing T2D.
See you there!