Type 2 diabetes, is a condition of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is made up of glands that secrete hormones that travels through circulatory system (blood) and regulates metabolism, growth, sexual development and reproduction.
Diabetes mellitus, type 2 diabetes consists of group of metabolic diseases characterized by chronic high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both.
The pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes involves impaired insulin synthesis and peripheral insulin resistance.
Symptoms of high blood glucose levels:
- Polyuria- frequent urge to urinate
- Polydipsia- excessive thirst
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurring of vision
- Chronic fatigue
- Poor wound healing
What is happening to your body in diabetes?
After you eat, digestion breaks down the consumed food in to glucose. Glucose enters the bloodstream and travels to the cells to be utilized as energy.
Glucose circulating in the blood requires the hormone insulin to enter cells to be converted in to energy. Insulin is made in the pancreas. It is released in to the bloodstream in response to the presence of glucose in the blood. Think of insulin as a key. When insulin reaches a cell, it attaches to the cell wall. This signals the cell to create an opening that allows glucose to enter the cell.
If an individual has type 2 diabetes, the cells do not respond to insulin hormone as expected. As a result, there is reduction in amount of glucose that moves inside the cells and an increase outside the cells. This is what endocrinologists refer to as hyperglycemia or high blood glucose levels.
In type 2 diabetes, the cells are starved for energy and this makes the individual tired and fatigue all the time.
Type 2 diabetes requires controlling of the blood glucose; otherwise the blood vessels may become damaged. Prolonged high blood glucose affects organs and nerves which damage the heart, kidney, eyes and limbs.
Type 2 diabetes is complicated. It is accompanied by other conditions including hypertension, high serum low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations and low serum high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
Early Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes Is Possible, if you understand each perspective and work towards it accordingly.
Understand the factors responsible for diabetes.
Environment is closely associated with diabetes. the urbanization of Indian lifestyle is the leading cause of diabetes due to increasing obesity, insulin resistance and associated metabolic causes.
Heredity is also one of the primary concerns of diabetes. is a parent has type 2 diabetes, the child has 15% chances of developing same.
- What are the diagnostic criteria for diabetes?
- HbA1C: The HbA1C above 6.5% indicates diabetes. The test is performed in the laboratory using a method that is NGSP certified and standardized to the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT).
- Fasting Plasma Glucose: Fasting is when no calories are consumed for at least 8 hours. Fasting Plasma Glucose levels should be greater than 126 mg/dl to indicate diabetes.
- OGTT: Oral Glucose Tolerance Test above 200 mg/dl. The test is done using oral glucose load of 75grams dissolved in water.
Diabetes can be treated and managed. It can be prevented if one is aware of the causative factors like diet, stress and genetics. Moreover, preventive health check can help diagnose early symptoms and pre-diabetes. This can help get you in track soon.
- Screening is must for diabetes, especially:
- Age is above 30 years
- BMI is above 23
- Waist to Hip Ratio is above 90 cm in men & 85 cm in women
- Family history of diabetes
- Lifestyle is sedentary
Women with a history of gestational diabetes should have lifelong screening for the development of diabetes at least every 3 years.
What you eat is what you sow! A diet rich in carbohydrates and fat is not suggested for adults with sedentary lifestyle. It is best that after the age of 25 years, one is conscious of their meals.
A fiber rich, low salt and reduced fat is best to keep diabetes at bay. Natural and wholesome meals are the nutritionist bet to maintaining good metabolism. It is wise to consult nutritionists and dietitians to plan your diet. Low carbohydrate, low glycemic index, antioxidant rich meals need expert counseling and meeting an expert is sensible rather than doing it yourself.
There are so many food items that work in permutations and combinations with your meals and help keep insulin spikes within control.
Physical activity is essential to keep metabolism up, insulin resistance lowered. A good workout plan obviously helps burn calories. Extra build up of fat is prevented. A good muscle tone along allows good metabolism. Moreover, exercises helps activate insulin receptors in cells that allow steady flow of glucose inside the cells with insulin. Keep exercising and stay fit is the endocrinologist’s advice to prevent diabetes.
45 minutes of cardio activity which can be brisk walking, jogging, cycling or swimming are recommended workouts. Recreational sports like playing tennis or cricket are some of the fun activities to do and engaging in exercise.
Stress is an inward response to an unpleasant situation. It can cause you alcohol and drug addiction. Your mind responds to an awkward event with thoughts that release stress hormones. This can help you stay calm but chronic stress is unhealthy for the body. Constant and frequent hormone fluctuations will actually lead to diabetes. It is important to do activities that curb stress. Yoga and meditation are holistic ways of calming the body and mind, here is the list of rehab center also. The focused breathing improves metabolism and help keep various conditions at bay. Alternative healing modalities like tai chi, reiki, Tibetan chanting, theta healing, music therapy and more can be explored to focus the mind positively and be in sync with natural state of body.
Sum Up: although we explored that diabetes is predisposed due to hidden environmental and genetic factors, lifestyle changes are required to delay diabetes onset. Simple measures like regular screening, healthy diet, and exercise and stress management are preliminary prevention techniques to preventing type 2 diabetes.