Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM), obesity related diabetes, or adult-onset diabetes) is a metabolic disorder that is primarily characterized by insulin resistance, relative insulin deficiency, and hyperglycemia.
Type 2 diabetes is often managed by engaging in exercise and following a diabetic diet. Oral medications may also be used, and in more advanced or severe cases, insulin therapy may be prescribed. The condition is rapidly increasing in the developed world, and there is some evidence that this pattern will be followed in much of the rest of the world in coming years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has characterized the increase as an epidemic.
Unlike Type 1 diabetes, there is little tendency toward ketoacidosis in Type 2 diabetics, though it is not unknown. The two have quite different origins and treatments, despite the similarity in complications.
Signs & symptoms[edit | edit source]
Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes may continue for a long time, sometime for years, without perceptible effect on day-to-day activity. This makes its detection, delaying it, and its prevention difficult. However, certain signs and symptoms may give a clue to its existence. Some of the major signs of type 2 diabetes include:
- Increased frequency of thirst
- Increased hunger
- Increased frequency of urination
- Sudden weight loss
- Feeling fatigued
- Vision problems (ex. blurry vision)
- Frequent infections
- Slow healing of even small sores and bruises
- Very dry skin
- Feel tingling or numbness in hands or feet
- Erectile dysfunction
Prevention[edit | edit source]
The best preventive step to delay or avoid type 2 diabetes is to make some lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes are helpful even if the diabetes runs in the family and even if a person has already been diagnosed with diabetes. Lifestyle changes involve three major aspects: eating nutritionally balanced foods, participating in regular exercise like walking or jogging, and managing and/or reducing weight.
Some of the preventive measures include:
- Healthy food habits: Taking a nutritionally balanced approach to healthy foods helps in delaying and/ or preventing the type 2 diabetes. If one has already been diagnosed with diabetes, healthy food habits become even more essential for better management of diabetes. It is important to eat a variety of foods (including frutis and vegetables), limit salt intake, read food labels, avoid saturated fats, eat a lot of fiber, eat meals and snacks at regular times and try to eat smaller portions of food. One serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards, one serving of bread is one slice, one serving of pasta is about the size of a baseball. Consult a dietitian for a meal plan that fits your likes and dislikes.
- Physical activities: Physical activities help in a number of ways for smooth functioning of the body. Simple exercises like walking briskly may delay and prevent the onset of diabetes. Physical activities are also required for better management of diabetes if a person already has diabetes. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. Start slowly then work up to your goal. Stay motivated by working out with a friend. Keep an exercise log so you can see your progress.
- Weight management: Weight management, keeping a a normal weight, is necessary for a healthy life. Apart from several benefits, it delays and prevents onset of diabetes. If you weigh 20% or more than your ideal weight, you are at higher risk for prediabetes and diabetes.
Healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent type 2 diabetes. Even if diabetes runs in your family, diet and exercise can help you prevent the disease. And if you've already been diagnosed with diabetes, the same healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent potentially serious complications.
In some cases, medication like oral diabetes drugs [for example, metformin (Glucophage) and rosiglitazone (Avandia)] help control your blood sugar which may reduce your risk of complications from diabetes later. However, healthy lifestyle choices are always important when managing or preventing type 1 diabetes.