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What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a prevalent and manageable chronic condition. In this article, we provide an informative overview of what type 2 diabetes is, its causes, symptoms, and how it can be effectively managed.

  • 03 Nov 2023
  • 3 min read
  • 34 views

Type 2 diabetes, also known as type 2 diabetes mellitus, is a prevalent medical condition that is generally associated with high blood sugar levels. The pancreas either release less insulin making the body resistant to insulin, or it makes enough but the body is unable to utilise it properly. People that need to fight it are often not sure where to start. So let us learn more about what type 2 diabetes is.

 

Type 2 diabetes explained

Insulin is a peptide hormone released in the pancreas that is responsible for glycogenesis, i.e., the conversion of glucose to glycogen, which is your body’s energy reserve. All the cells in our body need sugar to work normally. This sugar then enters into the cells with the help of a hormone called insulin (released by β-cells of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans) that controls the amount of glucose in the blood. In type 2 diabetes, our body's cells can't properly utilise the sugar (blood glucose) from the foods we eat and the body’s glucose content remains unused. This increases blood sugar levels, which is known as hyperglycaemia.

 

The chances of hyperglycaemia in type 2 diabetes increase if:

  • The person belongs to Black, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian American backgrounds
  • The person is older than 45
  • The person is overweight/obese
  • The woman has gestational diabetes while pregnant
  • There’s any family history of diabetes
  • The person has pre-diabetes

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In advanced stages, when sugar cannot enter the cells, an elevated level of sugar builds up in the bloodstream and the body is unable to utilise the glucose for energy. If this condition of hyperglycaemia is left untreated, these symptoms can get worse and result in severe complications like heart disease, kidney disease and strokes. The doctor may ask a person to do a fasting blood sugar test if a they have experienced symptoms like:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive and unexplained weight loss
  • Uncontrolled hunger
  • Numbness in hands
  • Slow healing of wounds

 

Conclusion

We hope this blog has given you a better understanding about what is type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, consuming foods rich in fibre and protein, and exercising regularly are all key factors in managing type 2 diabetes. A person should monitor their blood sugar levels at home regularly and stay in close communication with their healthcare provider for any assistance.

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