Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by several factors including obesity, ethnic background, a family history of type 2 diabetes and other environmental factors.

You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese.

Type 2 diabetes is the result of not enough insulin being made in the pancreas, and insulin resistance when the body isn’t able to use the insulin it makes. When this happens, glucose (sugar) in your blood is not able to enter the cells where it should get used for energy.

Diabetes is a disease in which your body either can’t produce insulin or  can’t properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas.

Insulin’s role is to regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar must be carefully regulated to ensure that the body functions properly. Too much blood sugar can cause damage to organs, blood vessels, and nerves. Your body also needs insulin in order to use sugar for energy. As a result, glucose (sugar) builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy. If left unmanaged, the excess sugar in your blood can eventually cause problems and lead to serious health complications.

Having high blood sugar can cause diabetes-related complications, like kidney disease, foot and leg problems, eye disease (retinopathy) that can lead to blindness, heart attack & stroke, anxiety, nerve damage, amputation and erectile dysfunction.

Diabetes-related complications can be very serious and even life-threatening. Properly managing blood sugar levels reduces the risk of developing these complications.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by several different risk factors. Some of these factors can be controlled or managed (like high blood pressure or smoking) while other factors (like having a higher-risk ethnic background) can’t be controlled.

A lot of people don’t present any symptoms,  which means some people can live with type 2 diabetes for many years without knowing it.

You can manage type 2 diabetes by:

  • eating healthy meals and snacks
  • enjoying regular physical activity
  • monitoring your blood sugar with a home blood glucose meter
  • aiming for a healthy body weight
  • taking diabetes medications including insulin, if prescribed by your doctor
  • managing stress effectively

Recognize the signs

The most common signs and symptoms of diabetes can include the following:

  • unusual thirst
  • frequent urination
  • weight change (gain or loss)
  • extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • blurred vision
  • frequent or recurring infections
  • cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • trouble getting or maintaining an erection

Food is the key to managing diabetes and reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other problems. There are many things you can do to change or improve your diet, but it’s important to avoid trying to change too many things at once.

Reduce your risk

Decreasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes involves making lifestyles changes. Eating healthy, moving more, and losing weight if you are overweight are the most effective things you can do to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Even if you’ve already been told that you have prediabetes or that you have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, you still have the chance to make changes that can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.

Eat healthy

Start by looking at your food choices. Diet is the most important part of lifestyle change. Small changes can make a big difference and help you take those first few steps to reduce your risk.

A good first step is to cut out highly processed foods, refined grains such as white bread, sugary food and sugary drinks. Plan your meals around vegetables, more plant-based proteins, whole grains, dairy, lean meats, oily fish, nuts and healthy oils such as olive oil.

Following the DASH diet or Mediterranean diet can help you plan healthy meals and snacks to reduce your risk. A low-carbohydrate version of the Mediterranean diet may have additional cardiovascular benefits for people who are overweight and have type 2 diabetes.

Move more

Moving more will help you prevent diabetes. Just a little extra activity each day can go a long way.

Start with limiting the amount of time spent sitting. Interrupt your sitting time by standing up and moving around briefly every 20 to 30 minutes.

Another goal should be to get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week (like walking, bicycling or jogging). Smaller amounts of activity can still have some health benefits.

Lose weight

If you have pre-diabetes, an eating and exercise plan that helps you lose just 5% of your initial body weight can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes from developing. Make an action plan and stick with it. Try not to get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results.

It can be hard to stay motivated, but reducing your risk of developing diabetes will help you live a longer, healthier life.

How Do I Feel About My Diagnosis

Well now, I have to say it doesn’t surprise me and for once I wish I had been wrong. Now I have to step up and do something about my weight and health. With both high blood pressure and diabetes I am screwed if I don’t do something. I know myself well enough to know that this is going to freak me out for a bit but I’ll hide it. I will research it to death for sure and I am guaranteed I will freak myself some more but you never know. I will definitely have to make some changes in my life and eating/exercise are the top of the list. I wonder if there is a way to lose weight while reading.