Know your health- Diabetes (episode 2)

How well do you know your health?


Last week on Know Your Health, we talked about diabetes and we made mention of the types of diabetes. This week, we will be explaining futher on the second type of diabetes;

Type 2 Diabetes, what Is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that keeps your body from using insulin the way it should. People with type 2 diabetes are said to have insulin resistance. People who are middle-aged or older are most likely to get this kind of diabetes, so it used to be called adult-onset diabetes. However, type 2 diabetes also affects kids and teens, mainly because of childhood obesity.

About 8 million people who have it don't know it. Symptoms include;
Being very thirsty

Peeing a lot

Blurry vision

Being cranky

Tingling or numbness in your hands or feet

Fatigue or feeling worn out

Wounds that don't heal on time

Yeast infections that keep coming back


Weight loss without trying

Getting more infections

Dark rashes around your neck or armpits (called acanthosis nigricans) that are often a sign of insulin resistance


Causes of Type 2 Diabetes;

Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. It helps your cells turn glucose, a type of sugar, from the food you eat into energy. People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their cells don't use it as well as they should. At first, your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get glucose into your cells. But eventually it can't keep up and the glucose builds up in your blood instead.


Usually, a combination of things causes type 2 diabetes. They might include;

Genes- Scientists have found different bits of DNA that affect how your body makes insulin.

Extra weight- Being overweight or obese can cause insulin resistance, especially if you carry your extra pounds around your middle.

Metabolic syndrome- People with insulin resistance often have a group of conditions including high blood sugar, extra fat around the waist, high blood pressure and high cholesterol and triglycerides.

Too much glucose from your liver- When your blood sugar is low, your liver makes and sends out glucose. After you eat, your blood sugar goes up then your liver will usually slow down and store its glucose for later. But some people's livers don't. They keep cranking out sugar.

Bad communication between cells- Sometimes cells send the wrong signals or don't pick up messages correctly. When these problems affect how your cells make and use insulin or glucose, a chain reaction can lead to diabetes.

Broken beta cells- If the cells that make insulin send out the wrong amount of insulin at the wrong time, your blood sugar gets thrown off. High blood sugar can damage these cells as well.


The risk factors of Diabetes type 2:

Certain things make it more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The more of these that apply to you, the higher your chances of getting it are. However, some things are also related to who you are:

Age- 45 or older

Family- A parent, sister, or brother with diabetes

Ethnicity- African American, Alaska Native, Native American, Asian American, Hispanic or Latino, or Pacific Islander American


Although there is no known cure for which ever type of diabetes, however, it is said that watching what you eat, exercising regularly, reducing your sugar intake would help you live longer and healthier with type 2 of Diabetes Melitus.


Type 2 Diabetes Complications

Over time, high blood sugar can damage and cause problems with the following;

Heart and blood vessels- You’re up to five times more likely to get heart disease or have a stroke. You’re also at high risk of blocked blood vessels (atherosclerosis) and chest pain (angina).

Kidneys- If your kidneys are damaged or you have kidney failure, you could need dialysis or a kidney replacement. 

Eyes- High blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels in the backs of your eyes (retinopathy). If this isn’t treated, it can cause blindness.

Nerves- This can lead to trouble with digestion, the feeling in your feet, and your sexual response.

Skin- Your blood doesn’t circulate as well, so wounds heal slower and can become infected.

Pregnancy- Women with diabetes are more likely to have a miscarriage, a stillbirth or a baby with a birth defect.

Sleep- You might develop sleep apnea, a condition in which your breathing stops and starts while you sleep.

Hearing- You’re more likely to have hearing problems, but it’s not clear as to how or why?

Brain- High blood sugar can damage your brain and might put you at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The best way to avoid these complications is to manage your type 2 diabetes well. Take your diabetes medications or insulin on time, check your blood sugar, eat right and don't skip meals, see your doctor regularly to check for early signs of trouble.



Stay safe and always remember "the future is assessable"

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