Type 2 Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Type 2 Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Reading Time: 5 minutes

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition that prevents the body from using insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the body bring sugar or glucose from your blood into the cells to be used for energy. People with type 2 diabetes develop insulin resistance where cells don’t respond properly to insulin, resulting in the rise in the level of sugar or glucose in the blood.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes which is mostly diagnosed in people who are middle-aged or older. Therefore, it is also known as adult-onset diabetes. But children, teens, and young adults can also develop type 2 diabetes, often linked with childhood obesity or being overweight.

High blood sugar or glucose levels is detrimental to the body’s overall health and can put you at a higher risk of developing severe health conditions related to heart, vision, and nerves.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Insulin is a hormone that your pancreas produces when you eat. Glucose or sugar is the main source of energy for the cells that form the body’s muscles and tissues. Insulin enables the glucose or sugar to transfer from the bloodstream to the body’s cells which is used for energy.

In type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin where it is unable to use the insulin properly or respond normally to insulin. In order to overcome the resistance, the pancreas keeps excreting more insulin or hormone. Ultimately the cells in the pancreas become damaged and are no longer able to make insulin to manage blood sugar levels.

Factors such as genetic predisposition and obesity are often linked with a higher risk of insulin resistance and developing type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can develop gradually. At the initial stage, the symptoms can be mild and can go unnoticed. However, the symptoms can become more severe as the condition progresses over time.

Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include:

  • Constantly feeling hungry or increased hunger
  • Increased or excessive thirst
  • Need to pee frequently
  • Unexplained or unintended weight loss
  • Feeling fatigued or tired
  • Blurry vision
  • Sores or wounds that do not heal or slow in healing
  • Frequent infections
  • Acanthosis nigricans or dark rashes in the armpits and neck areas
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a doctor for early intervention and to avoid exacerbating the condition.

What are the risk factors of type 2 diabetes?

Various factors can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes including:

  • Obesity or overweight

Being overweight or obese is the main risk of developing type 2 diabetes condition.

  • Sedentary lifestyle

Remaining a physically inactive or sedentary lifestyle puts you at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Family history

Having a parent or family member with type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Race and ethnicity

Black, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islanders and Asian people are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than white people.

  • Age

If you are aged 45 or older, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as the risk increases with age.

  • Prediabetes

If you have prediabetes where your blood sugar level is higher than normal, it can progress to type 2 diabetes when left untreated.

  • Gestational diabetes

Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is greater if you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant.

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Women having polycystic ovary syndrome are more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Since the symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop gradually and are not that obvious, it’s critical to know the risk factors and consult a doctor if you are exposed to any risks.

What are the preventions of type 2 diabetes?

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help prevent type 2 diabetes. It is effective for people with family history of diabetes as well as can help slow the progression from prediabetes to diabetes.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle requires:

  • Eating right

One should avoid or limit the consumption of refined carbohydrates, sugary drinks, and saturated fats to control blood sugar levels. Instead, one should start including foods lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in the diet. One should also be careful about how much you eat and when you eat.

  • Getting active

Physical inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle is closely linked with type 2 diabetes. Engage in activities such as running, swimming, and cycling to maintain your overall health.

  • Maintain a healthy weight

Overweight or excess weight puts you more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent progression from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes. Consult your doctor to lose weight safely.

Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent type 2 diabetes and help keep your blood glucose levels within the ideal range.

How is type 2 diabetes diagnosed?

A blood test can indicate if you have diabetes or not. Testing for type 2 diabetes may include:

  • Hemoglobin A1C test

It is also known as a glycosylated hemoglobin test. It measures average blood glucose levels for the part two or three months which do not require fasting.

  • Fasting plasma glucose test

This test measures how much glucose is in your plasma which requires fasting prior to the test.

  • Oral glucose tolerance test

This test requires drawing of blood is drawn thrice to determine how the body deals with glucose; before, an hour after, and two hours after drinking glucose.

These test results will help the doctor determine whether you have diabetes or not. If you have diabetes, the doctor will guide you on how to manage the condition by demonstrating how to monitor blood glucose levels on your own, what needs to be eaten and what to avoid, what physical activities to engage in, and prescribe medications if needed.

In case you have gotten your blood sugar tested at a pharmacy, it is important to consult a doctor to make sure the results are accurate. For any queries, you can consult the best medical experts at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre.

Meet the specialists at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad

Dr. Jalaj Dixit is a dedicated and compassionate internal medicine specialist, trained at the best hospitals and institutions of India. He has more than 10 years of experience in internal medicine at reputed hospitals of Delhi NCR such as Dr. RML Hospital, North DMC Medical College, and Hindu Rao Hospital, New Delhi.

Dr. Saurabh Gupta is a highly experienced and dedicated doctor in the field of medicine with more than 16 years of experience in internal medicine. Dr. Gupta is a proficient, skilled, and awarded doctor in his field of specialization. His expertise lies in diabetes, chest & allergy, immune system disorders, and tropical disease.

Dr. Atul Raturi is the Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre. He has more than 15 years of experience in Internal Medicine. Dr. Raturi specialises in treating patients in both the I.C.U. and critical wards.

Dr. Amit Rai is a highly experienced doctor in the field of Internal Medicine. He has over 30 years of impressive experience. Dr. Rai is serving as a Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Yashoda Hospital. His expertise lies in Diabetes, Medicine, and cardiology.

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Yashoda Hospital

Yashoda Hospital

Yashoda Hospital is one of the best super specialty hospitals in Ghaziabad, Noida & Delhi NCR. Yashoda Hospital aims at providing the best healthcare services across the country and not just in Delhi NCR, Ghaziabad & Noida. Being a super speciality hospital, Yashoda Hospital has a number of dedicated specialities under one roof- gastroenterology, general surgery, obstetrics & gynaecology, cardiology, pulmonology & internal medicine, orthopedics, urology and many more.

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