Type 2 Diabetes: What Are The Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis And Treatments?

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Do you think you drink too much water and pee frequently? When you realize that your body might need more time to pass the water from your body.

Or do you feel hungry even after eating at a buffet? You might want to check it for Type 2 diabetes. Since these are the early signs of type 2 diabetes, there is a risk of developing hyperglycemia. 

In this blog, we are going to take a closer look at type 2 diabetes, its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and much more.

So, if you believe you have early signs of diabetes, or know someone who is then this blog is for you.

Type 2 Diabetes And What Makes It Different From Type 1 Diabetes?

Diabetes in general means your body is having difficulty in maintaining the blood sugar levels and the insulin is not produced sufficiently. When this situation arises, the blood cells in our body are devoid of glucose and there is a lack of oxygen levels in the blood.

It is a common condition and treatment options usually involve medications and injecting insulin at regular intervals.

Now, type 2 diabetes means that your pancreas is capable of producing insulin, but over time, there might be a recession in the production process.

Whereas, Type 1 Diabetes means that your body can no longer produce insulin on its own and requires external sources to ferry glucose to the cells. Neglecting the treatment of diabetes can cause severe complications to your health and daily productivity.

Difference Between Type 2 And Type 1 Diabetes

Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can go unnoticed for a long time, hence it is important to look out for the smallest details.

  • The urge to pee more than usual
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Cannot satisfy the hunger for food
  • Feeling tired after a mundane task
  • Healing small cuts or bruises takes more time than usual
  • Tingling sensations of hands and feet
  • Dry skin even after a skincare routine
  • Dark patches on your skin
  • Blurred vision
  • Losing weight without proper reason

Causes Of Type 2 Diabetes

Many lifestyle choices make way towards type 2 diabetes, but there are underlying health conditions that suggest one can develop it.

  • There is a genetic history of type 2 diabetes running in the family history
  • Excess body fat around your belly
  • Sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity
  • Consuming junk food and sweet dishes frequently
  • Use of corticosteroids for longer periods
  • Lack of quality sleep
  • Excessive chronic stress
  • Suffering from Cushing Syndrome or Hypothyroidism
  • High blood pressure or cholesterol
  • Gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Already suffering from diabetes

Diagnosis Of Type 2 Diabetes

Detecting diabetes after experiencing the symptoms is not enough. Your doctor will recommend the following tests to confirm Type 2 diabetes.

Glycated Hemoglobin Test

Commonly known as the A1C test, this test requires you to measure your average blood sugar levels for 2-3 months. The average reading should not exceed 6.5% or higher.

If the reading is below 6.5% then your blood sugar levels are normal and you do not have a diabetic condition.

Fasting Glucose Test

As the name suggests, this test requires you to fast for 8 hours and then measure your blood sugar level. If the result lies below 100 mg/dl then you do not have a diabetic condition.

But if it lies between 100-125 mg/dl then you are on the verge of being diabetic. And, if the reading exceeds 126 mg/dl then you have diabetes.

Random Plasma Glucose Test

This test does not require any fasting time to measure your blood sugar levels. If the reading exceeds 200 mg/dl then it is very likely that you have diabetes.

Treatment Of Type 2 Diabetes

Since there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, you will have to manage the symptoms for the rest of your life. This involves taking insulin and medications that can maintain the insulin levels in your body.

There are chances that you can reverse the symptoms of diabetes with constant monitoring of blood sugar levels, eating a healthy diet, and exercising.

Medication

Oral medications like metformin, Sulfonylureas, glucagon-like peptides, meglitinides, and thiazolidinediones are prescribed for type 2 diabetes. Some are focused on increasing the levels, while some reduce the levels. 

Injecting Insulin

This is a common and effective way to manage the blood sugar levels of a diabetic person. Since the insulin produced is insufficient, your body will require it at regular intervals to keep up the energy levels.

The recommended dosage and time intervals should be maintained as a slight alteration can have severe repercussions. 

Living With Type 2 Diabetes

When you have diabetes, you need to watch your sugar intake and follow a set of instructions to manage it.

  • Eating natural sources of sweets, that is fruits
  • Food rich in fiber is your go-to item for hunger
  • Have frequent meals but watch the portion
  • Manage your body weight with regular exercise
  • Snack on almonds, walnuts, pecans, or any nuts that you like
  • Keep animal fat, junk food, and refined carbohydrates at bay
  • Watch your intake of baked goods
  • Switch to olive oil instead of regular cooking oil
  • Complete your sleep schedule with 8 hours of quality sleep
  • Eat whole grains like oats or quinoa
  • Avoid stress at all times to regulate hormones

Conclusion

Diabetes is a serious condition and has several risks. Neglecting the diabetes treatment can worsen your health and may even result in heart disease or nerve damage.

Women especially are at risk of heart attack with an association of diabetes, even at younger age. Men with diabetes develop erectile dysfunction, which can affect their health and relationships.

Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is a given when you want to reverse or reduce the symptoms of diabetes. Try to stick to the diet plan recommended by your doctor and exercise daily for better results. Sweeten your life with love and care and not with sugar!

References:

  • ElSayed NA, Aleppo G, Aroda VR, et al. 2. Classification and diagnosis of diabetes: standards of care in diabetes-2023. Diabetes Care. 2023;46(Suppl 1):S19-S40. PMID: 36507649 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36507649/.

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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