Diagnosis of diabetes mellitus or Type 2 Diabetes can come as a shock, but proper nutrition advice on glucose intake and regular exercise can be a game-changer.
Like with heart disease, adults who have a lifestyle of freedom and choice may be thrown off by a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis (and for a good reason). When a person receives a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes, it is safe to bet that their life will change drastically.
Known by many as adult-onset diabetes, Type 2 is the non-insulin-dependent form of diabetes that affects a person’s ability to naturally control the amount of glucose (sugar) found in the blood.
When a person’s body cannot naturally control the transfer of glucose into energy via the pancreas, the blood becomes highly saturated with glucose. This can cause severe health issues such as nerve damage, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, blurred vision, and other complications of long-term health because the body cannot do its job of getting the insulin it needs for the proper transfer of glucose to energy.
When this occurs, a person with Type 2 Diabetes will find it difficult (if not impossible) to keep their glucose levels under the recommended level of less than 100 mg/dL. Many adults can manage their blood sugar by getting in regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. However, others cannot. When a person’s blood sugar cannot be maintained on its own, other treatment options should be explored.
You may be wondering how to know if you have Type 2 Diabetes and whether a health professional should check you. One interesting fact about Type 2 Diabetes is that a person may have it but not know it for years!
Here are some signs and symptoms that can alert you to a problem:
Unexplained Weight Loss
This is often the first sign for many inflicted with Type 2 Diabetes that alert them to a problem. Even though you may be eating your regular diet and working less than you’d like, you may still experience weight loss. This is due to the fact that your body cannot metabolize glucose which is used as fuel for your body.
If you have sores that are slow to heal or infections that occur on a regular basis, they may be signs of Type 2 Diabetes. Your body’s ability to heal and resist infections is compromised with Type 2 Diabetes.
When your body is constantly producing an excess amount of sugar, fluid is pulled from your tissues to give you the proper amount of hydration. This can leave your body feeling thirstier than normal. And, as a result of increased thirst, you will experience an increase in urination.
Fatigue and Irritability
The body needs specific nutrients in order to work properly. Type 2 Diabetes depletes your body of the necessary sugar, which can leave you feeling extra tired and more irritable more than normal.
Your vision may have never been an issue before, but with Type 2 Diabetes, blurred/impaired vision may become the norm. When your blood sugar is too high, fluid is pulled from anywhere the body can find it. This means that your eye lenses are susceptible to loss of fluid. When your eyes are not given what they need to function properly, your vision can become blurred.
Increased Hunger for Glucose Products
As your body loses much-needed sugar that is converted to energy, your organs and muscles lose much-needed nutrients. When this occurs, your body will be triggered to require more fuel (food), which can make you feel hungrier than usual. The patient showing signs of diabetes would have cravings for glucose-rich nutrients such as sweets.
Who’s at Risk from Type 2 Diabetes?
Now that you are aware of the symptoms to look for with Type 2 Diabetes, it is important to understand who is most at risk for developing the insulin-resistant disease.
Weight – If you are overweight, you are at a heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. With more fatty tissue, your cells are more likely to resist insulin. The catch here is that you don’t have to be overweight to develop Type 2 Diabetes.
More Fat in Your Abdomen – Where your fat is distributed on your body can play a major role in the increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Those who have their fat mostly in their abdomen area are more likely to develop this type of diabetes.
Matured Age – Adults 45 and older are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes than any other age range of adults. This is most likely due to the lifestyle of an older adult (less exercise, less muscle, etc.).
Genetics – It is not clear that if an immediate family member has Type 2 Diabetes that younger generations will develop it as adults. However, the chances do increase if a parent or sibling has Type 2 Diabetes. This means that early prevention is key to keeping you from developing insulin-resistant diabetes yourself.
Less-than Active Lifestyle – It’s no wonder doctors harp on the fact that being active is hugely important to our well-being. Type 2 Diabetes increases in people who live less-than active lifestyles due to the lack of weight control and lack of movement. When you move your body, your glucose is used as energy, which makes your cells more receptive to insulin rather than resistant.
There is no specified diet for those who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes. However, certain foods should be incorporated into your diet and other foods that should be avoided.
Foods to incorporate more into your diet:
- Whole grains
Foods to avoid in your diet:
- Foods with high sugar
- Fewer animal products
- Refined carbohydrates
Physical activity has been proven to lower a person’s blood sugar levels, which is exactly what people who live with Type 2 Diabetes aim to do on a daily basis. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise daily to keep your blood sugar levels lower. Be aware that blood sugar medications can cause your glucose levels to drop too low if you add in exercise. Eat a small snack before exercising to ensure that your glucose levels don’t fall too low.
Medications like Janumet, Metformin, and Glimperide
Of course, there are other ways to lower your blood sugar levels if healthy eating and regular exercise aren’t doing the trick on their own. Some common medications include Metformin and Glimepiride. Janumet is used as a combination medication with other medicines like Metformin to help ramp up the reduction of glucose in the bloodstream. People with Type 2 Diabetes use medications such as Janumet when living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t quite do the job that is needed.
Type 2 Diabetes cannot be reversed completely. Those who have Type 2 Diabetes can lessen their symptoms but not completely rid their body of an insulin deficiency. To keep your symptoms at bay, monitor your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor, and follow a healthy lifestyle regularly.