Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is different from type 1 diabetes in many ways. As its alternate name of adult-onset diabetes implies, it is usually only found in adults. However, the rate of children acquiring the disease is going up.
Type 2 diabetes is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes due to the fact that, unlike type 1, insulin injections are not always required for treatment.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas either doesn't produce any insulin, or the insulin that is produced is not properly utilized. This is due to a condition known as insulin resistance, which prevents key parts of the body (such as muscle, fat and the liver) from responding to insulin as they should.
Insulin resistance means that sugar never makes it into the cells where it can be used for the body's energy needs. Instead, massive levels of it build within the bloodstream.
Type 2 diabetes has a gradual onset
Type 2 diabetes also differs from its younger counterpart in that onset can be very slow, lasting for years. The gradual progression is typically not noticed by the individual until the condition becomes full-blown. Being overweight helps the disease to develop faster.
Genetics can also play a part in the likelihood of diagnosis. If a parent is diabetic, the chances of a child also becoming diabetic increases as much as threefold. People who smoke and drink large amounts of alcohol are also putting themselves at increased risk.
If the disease is not managed correctly it can lead to a wide variety of other medical conditions. Diseases of the eyes, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke are all possible when management of the disease is ignored.
Type 2 diabetes symptoms
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include frequent thirst, excessive urination and blurred vision. Individuals will also notice that bruises and cuts are slow to heal. People with type 2 dibaetes are very susceptible to infections if they do not take notice of the condition of their skin, especially the feet and legs.
Type 2 diabetes maintenance and treatment
Since glucose levels can easily become too high, exercise is a great form of treatment. Not only does it burn off excess sugar, it also builds muscle which utilizes sugar more efficiently than fat. Additionally, exercise improves circulation throughout the body.
The best course of action is to monitor blood glucose levels. Catching them before they get too high, or drop too low, is the main key to controlling the effects of the disease. The longer that levels are left to remain out of balance, the more damage that is being inflicted onto the body.
The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be managed quite well with proper diet and exercise. It is often necessary for the individual to be placed on medication, at least in the beginning immediately following diagnosis. Over time, many of these diabetics who lose excess weight, get their eating under control and adopt a regular exercise regimen, are able to see their symptoms virtually disappear.