This type of diabetes develops as we grow older, and some people have no idea that they are ill. The disease is caused by pancreatic insufficiency. Failure to produce enough insulin results in poor absorption of sugar (glucose) into cells (insulin resistance). This causes sugar to build up in the bloodstream instead of becoming part of the structure of your body and producing of energy. Diabetes leads to some dangerous and potentially life-threatening conditions.
Age is one of the most common risk factors. Type 2 diabetes often hits people over 45 years old. However, much younger people are showing an increasing diabetes occurrence too.
Excess weight is observed when the body accumulates fat, which causes resistance to insulin and impedes the absorption of sugar into cells.
Lack of physical exercise leaves a great amount of glucose unused and increases the risk of high blood sugar level.
Type 2 diabetes can be inherited: if at least one of your direct relatives (parent, grandparent, sibling, etc.) has been diagnosed with it, you’d better see your doctor and arrange for a health check.
Women, who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, run a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Symptoms may occur long after you have developed diabetes. It is high time to sound the alarm if you have:
Thirst is a common sign of diabetes. Excess sugar in your blood drains your tissues of fluid and causes cravings for water. This, in turn, causes increased urination. Also, your eyes may lose some fluid too. This often results in blurred vision.
Lack of insulin in your tissues drains them of energy and causes severe cravings for food. Even though you eat high above average, you will lose weight. It happens because there is no glucose in your muscles for the body to metabolize, and it starts to metabolize the muscles themselves.
Eventually, you end up not having energy to do simple things. Your performance levels drop dramatically, and you become depressed and irritable.
Type 2 diabetes undermines your immunity and makes you more vulnerable to infections. Wounds and sores won’t heal as quickly as they used to.
What Is It so Bad?
The glucose, which does not go into cells, will damage all systems and organs: heart, blood vessels, brain, kidneys, liver, eyes, etc. If left untreated, this damage can be fatal.
The cardiac system bears the whole brunt of it. Type 2 diabetes causes coronary disease, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, severe angina (often accompanied by fear of death), the narrowing of blood vessels in the limbs, etc. In turn, poor blood in the feet can leave nerves blood-hungry and cause numbness and tingling. Worse still, the disease affects not only the nerves in your limbs, but also those that regulate the functioning of vital systems and organs. For example, if it affects the nerves that control your respiratory system, you may have difficulty breathing, which is extremely dangerous.
Kidneys are vital organs that are responsible for freeing your body of all sorts of waste. They operate thanks to clusters of tiny blood vessels, which they are shot through with. Diabetes causes these vessels to become blocked, and this can disrupt the organ’s functioning. Without due treatment, the damage may become irreversible.
Treatment (management) lies in keeping your blood sugar level closer to the optimal level. This can include insulin therapy, healthy eating, regular physical activity, and monitoring your blood sugar levels.