What is Diabetes Type 2?
Diabetes mellitus type 2 or diabetes type 2 is also known as non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and adult-onset diabetes. This type of diabetes is prevalent among the adults than the children and hence the last name. However, the cases of children getting affected by this type of diabetes are increasing with increasing obesity among children.
Diabetes type 2 results mainly due to insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. That ultimately means that the disease results due to inefficiency of the body cells to act naturally when insulin is adequately present. Unlike type 1, this type of diabetes doesn’t occur due to insufficient production of insulin but due to the failure of body cells to use the produced insulin.
Normally, the cells readily take up the glucose from the blood to produce energy. However, due to the disease, the cells become unable to take up the blood glucose. The glucose doesn’t enter the cells and remain in the blood, increasing the level of glucose more than the natural limits.
Whatever the cause may be, diabetes type 2 also leads to abnormally high levels of blood glucose. Hence, the symptoms are also quite similar to those of other types of diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetes Type 2
The major symptoms of diabetes type 2 are similar to other types of diabetes. Increased levels of blood glucose lead to loss of glucose to urine and the urine contains abnormally high levels of glucose. Due to high glucose levels of urine, it is also called sweet urine. The output of urine also gets increased and sometimes this may also lead to dehydration.
The protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism of the body also gets affected due to improper insulin functions. Insulin deficiency also leads to sudden weight loss despite an increase in appetite.
If diabetes is not treated early, some patients may also suffer from fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Infections of bladder, skin and vaginal areas are also common with the diabetes patients.
Some other common symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, fatigue and blurred vision.
Diagnosis of Diabetes Type 2
The most used way to diagnose and test diabetes is to do a Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test. The test is based on the fact that prolonged fasting leads to the production of a hormone called glucagon by the pancreas. This leads to a release of glucose to the bloodstream. If a person doesn’t have diabetes then the body produces insulin which limits the levels of glucose in the blood. But if the person has diabetes then insulin won’t be produced or the action of insulin would be missed and the blood glucose levels would remain high.
In the test, a glucose level of 70 to 99 mg/dL (milligram per deciliter) is considered to be normal. A range between 100 -126 mg/dL is considered to be pre diabetes, which is prone to develop the disease within a short period of time if it is not treated immediately. A result of 126 mg/dL or more signifies diabetes.
Apart from this, the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) tests the blood glucose levels after 8 hours of fasting and 2 hours after eating something. The test results are similar to those of the FPG test.
The random plasma glucose test is performed without considering the time of eating. A reading of 200 mg/dL or more in this test signifies diabetes.
Causes of Diabetes Type 2
Although the main causes of diabetes type 2 are still unknown, it is believed that diabetes occurs due to a combination of more than one factor. There are various theories on how diabetes occurs but most of these require further research and detailed examination to provide exact results.
It is believed that diabetes type 2 may run in families but no single genetic factor has yet been found. Moreover, the process of inheritance of the disease is still unknown.
Another reason doubted for the occurrence of diabetes type 2 is improper or unbalanced diet. High intake of refined products is considered to be a major reason for diabetes.
Another predominant reason believed to be behind diabetes is sedentary lifestyle. People who exercise are found to be less prone to be a diabetic in future than people who don’t.
Higher levels of triglycerides and cholesterol are also believed to play a major role for the onset of diabetes.
Some drugs may also trigger diabetes. Some of these drugs include quetiapine (Seroquel) olanzapine (Zyprexa) and risperidone (Risperdal).
Types of Diabetes Type 2
Currently no variants of diabetes type 2 are found. There is no such proof of the fact that diabetes type 2 may have further classification, too.
Treatment of Diabetes Type 2
Treatment of type 2 diabetes is a long time affair as the patient needs to cope up with the changed pattern of life for the whole life. Usually, the treatment requires simultaneous action of exercises, healthy eating habits, medications and monitoring of the blood glucose levels.
Many oral and injected medications are used to treat diabetes. Some of these medications are used to increase the release of more insulin by the pancreas. Others try to inhibit the production of glucose by the liver. Some of the medications are used to block the actions of enzymes secreted by the stomach.
Many of the diabetes type 2 patients are administered insulin therapy. This therapy includes injecting insulin into the bloodstream with the help of syringes and insulin pen injectors. The various types of insulin that are used include the ones which act rapidly, the ones that act for longer duration and the intermediates. The common examples of insulin are lispro insulin such as Humalog, aspart insulin such as Novolog and glargine insulin such as Lantus. The doctors may prescribe a combination of various insulin types, depending upon the requirements of patients.
The important fact to notice about the treatment of diabetes is that the requirements and administration of insulin depends upon the health factors and presence of other diseases. As diabetic patients are prone to develop various other ailments, the treatment is offered by calculating many aspects such as need of inclusion of other diseases’ treatments, the use of drugs prescribed for an associated disease etc.
Living with Diabetes Type 2
Staying healthy with diabetes type 2 requires a lifelong commitment. The patients have to go through a strict schedule to keep the disease under control. The factors which affect the condition of the patient mostly include regular exercise, food habits, monitoring of the symptoms and blood glucose level and use of medications.
Administering the required doses of oral or inject-able medicine is a must for the diabetics. Moreover, they need to obey a strict schedule that includes regular exercise. It is found that exercise helps in staying fitter than usual and it also keeps the general health of the patient (apart from diabetes) intact.
A balanced diet and intake of nutritious items is also required to keep the disease in normal limits.
Prevention of Diabetes Type 2
Prevention of diabetes type 2 requires looking into three basic factors, which are eating healthy foods, increasing the physical activities and losing excess weight. Eating healthy is necessary for keeping the immune system of the body intact and steer away other diseases which follow diabetes. Physical activities and workouts also help staying fit and keeps the blood sugar levels normal. It also helps to maintain the functions of organs such as liver and pancreas normal. This helps a great deal in subsidizing the onset of diabetes. Losing weight is perhaps one of the most important measures for preventing diabetes. It is found that overweight individuals are more prone to diabetes type 2 than people with normal weights. Dietary measures and regular exercise can help a lot in getting the extra pounds vanished. This will not only help minimize the chances of diabetes but will also help staying fit in overall terms.