Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way that your body metabolizes sugar in order for it to use it as an energy source. It can either compromise insulin production and lead to not enough insulin to get produced, or it can also cause insulin resistance to occur. This is the most common type of diabetes. Over 29 million American adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. It has been estimated that more than 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes, a condition that in 15-30% of the cases develops into diabetes type 2 within the time period of five years. Worldwide, diabetes affects around 9% of the general population, of which 90% are estimated to be struggling with Type 2 Diabetes. Today there are more and more cases of childhood diabetes type 2, a disease that was originally thought to be an adult-onset disease.
The symptoms develop slowly. One of the earliest signs is darkening of the skin, especially on the knees, neck, elbows, and knuckles. Most common symptoms include:
- Frequent urination;
- Increased thirst;
- Unexplained weight loss;
- Blurred vision;
- Increased hunger;
- Frequent infections take longer to recover, etc.
Genetics and environmental factors are thought to have a certain impact on the development of diabetes type 2. Being overweight and physically inactive seem to be the greatest risk factors.
Treatment consists of keeping the blood sugar levels as stable as possible, including prevention of the possible complications. Following a healthy diet, losing the excess body weight, being physically active, quitting smoking and excessive drinking, and getting enough sleep, seem to be some of the best lifestyle changes that can be recommended to a diabetic patient.
Common complications of an untreated cases include heart disease, kidney damage, eye damage, nerve damage, sleep apnea, and Alzheimer’s disease, among many other potential health risks.