Diabetes is a chronic condition which causes elevated levels of sugar in the bloodstream. This is due to the body's failure to produce enough insulin. In Type 2 Diabetes (non-insulin dependent), the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin. At one time, it was though that Type 2 Diabetes was strictly “adult-onset,” however, it is also known to be linked to obesity and poor dietary habits.
Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes (Diabetic Ketoacidosis)
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes vary based on the onset of the condition. Unlike hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, high blood sugar and ketoacidosis occurs slowly.
Odor of fatty acids in breath. During ketoacidosis, the body burns fat instead of sugar for fuel because the glucose cannot be metabolized without insulin. Sometimes the smell can be very strong or even mistaken for alcohol.
Hunger and fatigue. The brain needs glucose in order to function properly. Without it, your brain will begin to tell you that it is hungry. If you are hungry all the time, you may be eating too many simple sugars. These foods only make you feel full for a short time, and the body processes the sugar so fast that your level crashes and you feel hungry again. This is also the reason you feel fatigued with no energy.
Infections that take a long time to heal. The excess sugar in a diabetic's blood interferes with essential cells that help kill bacteria in the body. Because the bacteria keep multiplying unchecked, I is very difficult for a wound to heal.
Increased thirst and frequent urination. These two symptoms occur because the body has too much sugar in the bloodstream. To get rid of it, the diabetic will have the urge to urinate which then leads to dehydration.
No symptoms. Type 2 diabetes can take a long time to form, so even though the person may have diabetes, there may be no symptoms.
Treatment and Precautions to Reduce Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
There is no cure for diabetes. Therefore, once you are diagnosed as a diabetic, you will have it for the rest of your life. There are certain actions you can take to reduce the disease's effect on your life, however. These are also actions that non-diabetics can take to reduce the risk of becoming a diabetic. Most of these can be regarded as “precautions” rather than treatments:
Exercise. This is important because exercise uses glucose, and makes it less likely that the blood sugar will spike. It also increases your cells' abilities to process insulin.
Diet. Eat a wholesome, sensible diet. Avoid high carbohydrate meals, and try to stick to complex carbohydrates (whole grains, etc.). Stay away from sugary beverages like soda pop and foods that increase risk for obesity. This is important because the higher your fat percentage is, the more resistant your cells are to insulin, which causes sugar to increase.
Regular glucose checks. After age 45, a person's risk of becoming a diabetic increases dramatically.
Recognize the warning signs and symptoms, then take action. If you begin to exhibit the signs and symptoms above, see your doctor immediately. You may need to take insulin to help process the glucose in your bloodstream. Change your bad diet and exercise habits now!
Sometimes diabetes is inevitable. However, if you can determine if you are at high risk for getting it, you can take steps now to reduce the risk and stave it off for many years. Eating a sensible diet and increasing exercise are two highly effective ways to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, if you get diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, you must monitor your blood sugar regularly. There are still medications and hormones like insulin can help control your sugar and keep you leading a normal life.