Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease in which the pancreas produces insufficient insulin, or the body’s ability to use it (also called insulin resistance) is low. Insulin is essential for the metabolism of sugars, fats, and proteins, promoting the entry of glucose (sugar) into cells to use as an energy source. Thus, unable to enter cells, sugar remains in the bloodstream resulting in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels).
Some people colloquially call this type of diabetes “adult diabetes” since, in contrast to type 1 diabetes, which tends to appear suddenly in children and young people, type 2 diabetes is more common in adulthood. Generally associated with a less healthy lifestyle, sedentary lifestyle, and overweight, type 2 diabetes can, however, appear in younger people, a trend that has been growing.
Prevalence Of Type 2 Diabetes
This is the most common type of diabetes, and today it is considered a public health problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is estimated to have risen to 422 million people in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980, according to the same source. It is also known that diabetes is the main cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, cerebrovascular accident (CVA), and lower limb amputation. It is also estimated that in 2019 about 1.5 million deaths were caused by diabetes, and it is known that it is, today, one of the main causes of death worldwide.
In the U.S population, diabetes affects men more than women. Furthermore, the prevalence increases with age, with around a quarter of Americans aged 60-79 living with the disease.
Risk Factors And Populations
According to Dr Ahmad, principal investigator at Chicago Clinical Research Institute Inc. (CCRII), anyone can develop type 2 diabetes. However, some known risk factors should serve as a warning and motivate prevention:
- Age over 45 years old
- Obesity and overweight
- Previous gestational diabetes
- Family history of type 2 diabetes
- High triglycerides
- High alcohol consumption.
- People with metabolic syndrome (a cluster of problems that include high blood pressure, high triglycerides and cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) and low HDL cholesterol (‘good’ cholesterol);
- Sedentary lifestyle, as well as unhealthy eating;
- Who takes some medications (such as corticosteroids).
Symptoms Of Diabetes
According to Dr Ahmad, the classic symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:
- Frequent infections. Some examples are bladder, kidney, skin, and skin infections.
- Wounds that take time to heal
- Visual alteration (blurred vision)
- Tingling in feet and boils
- Willingness to urinate several times
- frequent hunger
- Constant thirst.
Unlike type 1 diabetes symptoms, which appear suddenly, type 2 symptoms are more subtle and may even go unnoticed and, for this reason, lead to a late diagnosis of the disease. According to WHO, “the disease can go undiagnosed for many years even after complications have arisen.”
Therefore, when the disease is diagnosed late, symptoms such as:
- Decreased vision or other visual problems.
- Numb or tingling hands and feet.
What Is The Treatment Strategy?
The sooner the diagnosis is made, and treatment is started, the better the prognosis of the disease and its long-term impact. The most appropriate treatment, as well as complementary measures, are those recommended by the specialist physician. As with other types of diabetes, the main objective is to keep blood sugar levels within the recommended parameters to live with quality and avoid complications associated with diabetes (such as diabetic retinopathy, cardiovascular or kidney disease, among others. others).
Since it is a chronic disease, there is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes: treatment must be continuous throughout life. However, depending on the severity of the disease, hyperglycemia levels can be corrected using medication (pills or insulin). Normally, insulin administration ( insulin therapy ) is reserved only for more advanced cases of type 2 diabetes, which no longer respond to medication.
Also, it is essential to adopt a good lifestyle. As power plays a key role in the treatment of diabetes, helping to control glucose (sugar) levels in the blood and maintain a healthy weight. On the other hand, exercise is also recommended for all people living with type 2 diabetes. It helps reduce insulin resistance, improves circulation, and is also helpful in effectively controlling weight.
All people who have this type of diabetes must make tight control of their blood glucose levels: guided by the physician must make regular analysis to maintain self-monitoring of your blood glucose levels. After all, control and prevention are two fundamental aspects of a treatment that are linked to the quality of life.
In our next post, we’ll discuss in detail the treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Stay tuned in and follow our social media pages for instant updates.