According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), approximately 415 million adults between the ages of 20 to 79 years had diabetes mellitus in 2015. DM is proving to be a global public health burden as this number is expected to rise to another 200 million by 2040. (Ref)
Type 2 diabetes is the prevalent form of diabetes, affecting approximately 1 in 10 individuals in the U.S. Additionally, nearly 1 in 3 people have prediabetes, which indicates higher-than-normal blood sugar levels but not yet at the level of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes has no known cure. However, it may be possible to reverse the condition to the point that you no longer require medicine to manage. It is possible to make significant improvements through lifestyle changes and interventions. By adopting healthy habits and managing blood sugar levels effectively.
Our main energy source, blood glucose, is derived from the food we eat and enters our cells through insulin, an essential pancreatic hormone. However, in cases of Type 2 diabetes, the body's insulin production may fall short, or the cells become less responsive to it, leading to elevated glucose levels in the blood and energy deprivation in the cells. In this blog article, we unravel the complexities of Type 2 diabetes, exploring its causes, risks, and essential insights for management and prevention, aiming for a healthier future ahead.
Blood Sugar Ranges:
According to American Diabetic Association these ranges are recommended for type 2 diabetes in adults. (Ref)
Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Pre-Prandial Plasma Glucose (Fasting before eating)
Post-Prandial Plasma glucose (2 hours after a meal)
Lower than 180mg/dl
Normal HbA1C Level for People Who Do Not Have Diabetes:
A normal HbA1C level for someone who does not have diabetes is less than 5.7%. HbA1C level between 5.7% and 6.4% indicates prediabetes.
Now let’s see what is type 2 diabetes and its symptoms and causes.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes:
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are relatively low and develop gradually over time. Some individuals may not even be aware of the condition until they undergo routine medical check-ups or experience diabetes-related complications.
It is crucial to remain alert for specific symptoms, including:
- Frequent Urination: An increased need to urinate, especially during the night (nocturia).
- Excessive Thirst: Feeling extremely thirsty and needing to drink large amounts of water.
- Blurry Vision: High blood sugar levels can cause changes in the shape of the lens in the eye, resulting in blurred vision.
- Unexplained Weight Loss: Despite regular eating, some individuals may experience unexplained weight loss due to the body's inability to effectively use glucose for energy.
- Fatigue and Weakness: Feeling constantly tired and lacking energy is a common symptom of type 2 diabetes.
- Increased Hunger: The body's inability to use glucose for energy can lead to persistent feelings of hunger.
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes:
Type 2 diabetes arises from a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. Some of the key causes include:
1. Insulin Resistance:
One of the primary causes of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance. This condition occurs when the body's cells become less responsive to insulin, a hormone responsible for facilitating the entry of glucose into cells. As a result, glucose accumulates in the bloodstream, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Over time, the pancreas may struggle to produce enough insulin to meet the body's demands.
2. Obesity and Sedentary Lifestyle:
Being overweight or obese significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Excess fat, particularly around the abdomen, releases chemicals that promote insulin resistance, making it harder for the body to regulate blood sugar levels effectively. Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity further contribute to insulin resistance and the onset of diabetes.
3. Genetics and Family History:
Family history plays a pivotal role in type 2 diabetes. Having close relatives with the condition elevates an individual's risk due to shared genetic factors. While specific genes can increase the susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, lifestyle factors can also influence genetic expression, emphasizing the significance of both genetics and environment in diabetes development.
4. Age and Ethnicity:
Advancing age is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, with the likelihood of developing the condition increasing as individuals grow older. Moreover, certain ethnic backgrounds, such as African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders, have a higher predisposition to type 2 diabetes.
Complications Caused by Type 2 Diabetes:
Here are some complications caused by type 2 diabetes. Neglecting or improperly managing the condition increases the risk of serious complications like
Hyperglycemia refers to blood sugar levels rising above 180 to 200 mg/dL, which can result in various complications like heart issues, nerve damage, kidney problems, and vision impairment. If left untreated over time, hyperglycemia can lead to severe consequences, including coma and death.
2. Diabetic Ketoacidosis:
It occurs when there is insufficient insulin in the body, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. To compensate, the body starts breaking down fat for energy, resulting in the accumulation of harmful ketones, which are released into the urine. If left untreated, this condition can lead to life-threatening.
3. Cardiovascular Disease:
Individuals with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. Elevated blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, promoting the development of atherosclerosis and increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
4. Neuropathy (Nerve Damage):
Prolonged high blood sugar levels can damage the nerves, leading to symptoms such as tingling, numbness, or pain, typically experienced in the hands and feet. Neuropathy can impair sensation and coordination, increasing the risk of injuries and foot complications.
5. Kidney Disease (Nephropathy):
Diabetes can damage the kidneys' filtering system, leading to diabetic nephropathy. Over time, this condition can progress to kidney failure if not appropriately managed, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.
6. Eye Complications (Retinopathy):
Elevated blood sugar levels can harm the blood vessels in the retina, potentially causing diabetic retinopathy. This condition can lead to vision problems and even blindness if left untreated.
7. Diabetic Foot:
Nerve damage and poor blood circulation can lead to foot ulcers and infections, which may be difficult to heal in individuals with diabetes. In severe cases, foot complications may require amputation to prevent further health risks.
How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?
To prevent diabetes, it's important to lead a healthy lifestyle and take proactive measures to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Here are some effective strategies for diabetes prevention:
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight:
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial in diabetes prevention. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Aim to achieve and maintain a body weight within a healthy range by combining a balanced diet with regular physical activity.
2. Balanced Diet:
It's essential to maintain a well-balanced diet that consists of a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Focus on limiting your intake of processed and sugary foods while prioritizing whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid consuming too many sugary beverages and opt for water or unsweetened drinks instead. Select foods with a low glycemic index to help manage your blood sugar levels.
3. Stay Physically Active:
Regular physical activity is crucial in diabetes prevention. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, spread across several days. Additionally, incorporate strength training exercises twice a week to improve muscle strength and overall fitness.
4. Limit Sedentary Lifestyle:
To reduce the risk of diabetes and improve insulin sensitivity, it is important to avoid sitting or being inactive for prolonged periods. Taking frequent breaks to stand, stretch, or walk throughout the day can be helpful. Even short bursts of physical activity can make a difference.
5. Quit Smoking:
Smoking increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other severe health conditions. If you are a smoker, it is advisable to seek support and resources to help you quit.
6. Moderate Alcohol Consumption:
It's recommended to limit your alcohol intake to avoid weight gain and reduce the risk of diabetes. For women, moderation means having no more than one drink per day, while men can have up to two drinks per day.
7. Manage Stress:
To maintain healthy lifestyle habits and blood sugar levels, it's important to manage chronic stress. You can practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or engaging in hobbies to promote emotional well-being. Know more about how stress impacts blood sugar levels in Diabetics.
8. Monitor Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels:
High blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels are risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Regularly monitor these levels and work with your healthcare provider to keep them within a healthy range.
9. Get Regular Checkups:
It is important to regularly visit your healthcare provider for check-ups to evaluate your overall health and identify any potential risk factors for diabetes. Early detection and intervention can greatly decrease your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
10. Best Supplement:
Now you can Indulge in a guilt-free carb meal intake with Moderate - an innovative, all-natural, and patented plant extract that reduces carb, sugar, and calorie absorption by up to 40%. For maximum benefit, take Moderate 10 minutes before a meal. This product helps to control hunger pangs, stabilise blood sugar and insulin spikes post-carb meal intake. Experience sustained blood glucose levels with Moderate, a smart way to manage healthy blood sugar levels without experiencing sugar rush or crash.
Top 5 Advantages of Moderate:
- A steady rise in blood glucose levels post-carb meal intake
- Up to 40% reduction in glycemic impact of carbs and sugars*
- Avoid sugar rush and crash
- Aids weight loss when used regularly.
- Supports healthy gut microbiome
* based on the clinical studies published on Morus alba L extracts, and its impact on blood glucose levels. (Ref)
Type 2 diabetes is a prevalent condition that can have severe consequences if left unmanaged. Understanding its symptoms, causes, and prevention strategies is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For additional support in managing diabetes, consider incorporating Moderate, By taking Moderate 10 minutes before a meal, you can moderate blood sugar levels up to 40% and aids to weight loss when you used consistently.