Understanding type 2 diabetes mellitus
Hello out there, you know understanding type 2 diabetes mellitus can be difficult for some because there is a lot of information and misinformation out there. My goal is to try to give straight forward easy to understand explanations to what is happening with your body. I am are sure that just being diagnosed with this “disease” you have a lot of questions. Hopefully this helps.
What is type 2 diabetes mellitus
Type 2 diabetes mellitus develops when the body has had high amounts of insulin in the blood stream that the body can’t use for a long period of time, this is known as insulin resistance and can take as long as 10 years to develop after you have had pre-diabetes. The shocker is according to the American diabetes association In 2015, 84.1 million Americans age 18 and older had pre diabetes.
In 2010 the CDC also known as the centers for disease control and prevention estimated that almost 26 million people were affected by diabetes 19% diagnosed and 7% UN diagnosed that’s over 8% of the population at the time. In 2015 over 30 million people were diagnosed that’s almost 9.5% of the population. There are 1.5 million people diagnosed each year for diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes at 95% percent of the total diabetes cases (not including pre-diabetes).Type 2 diabetes is also more commonly found in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as people over 65.
Still, as of today diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the united states. Plus it is a host to a lot of other complications and unpleasant side effects
What makes type 2 different from type 1
Although type 1 and type 2 diabetes share the problem which is high levels of blood sugar which is the inability to control blood sugar causes the symptoms and the complications of both types of diabetes. But type 1 and type 2 are two different diseases
in many ways.
Type 1 diabetes is what is called an autoimmune disease which means the body’s own immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, these are called Beta Cells. Doctors do not know the exact cause, but they say it’s probably
a combination of the genes a person is born with and something in the environment that triggers the genes to become active. There is one other thing that can kill Beta Cells and that’s a viral infection. Some viral infections known as enteroviruses are,
- mumps virus
- congenital rubella syndrome
- Coxsackievirus B (CVB4)
The cause of type 2 diabetes can be caused by many different reasons. People can inherit genes that make them susceptible to type 2, also lifestyle factors, like being over weight and inactivity, poor diet are also important. In type 2 diabetes, in the early stages, there is enough insulin, but then something happens, the body become resistant to the insulin.
What is insulin resistance
When you eat your body basically takes all your food and coverts is to glucose. Glucose is what your body uses to fuel your cells, if you have a poor diet (one that is high in carbs) for example the pancreas has to work over time manufacturing insulin to get all that glucose into the cells. Insulin is kind off like a key to your front door you need it to get the glucose in to your cells and without it, the glucose cant enter the cell to be used as energy.
This becomes a vicious cycle as time goes on the more insulin you produce the more your cells become resistant the more resistant your cells become the more insulin your pancreas makes and so on. Insulin also signals the liver to store the excess glucose which turns into glycogen for later use. This is where medications like metformin come into play, it tells the liver to not release its supply of glycogen and increases your bodies cells sensitivity.
When your body has high amounts of glucose in its blood it is doing sever damage to your circulatory system which can cause heart failure, organs most diabetics develop kidney failure fatty liver disease, eyes possibility of blindness and nervous system Diabetic neuropathy its known as. It can also kill off parts of your body usually starting with the toes and feet or with your eyesight.
Things to consider
First off your not alone, it is easy to become overwhelmed. One day everything is good and then your doctor tells you that you have a progressive chronic disease that will be with you the rest of your life. I have found it is what you make of it. here are some good practices to follow,
- Acquire a test kit this way you can keep track of you daily numbers, you can buy test strips for reasonable off eBay.
- Get your A1c tested at least twice a year this is your average glucose level for the past four months.
- Get an eye exam once a year the eyes have some of the tiniest blood vessels so problems can show up there first.
- Keep a log of what your numbers are so that you can adjust your meals accordingly.
- Remember carbs spike your blood proteins makes it rise slower and not as high and healthy fats helps keep glucose levels more stable. Reference the chart below.
So what does this all mean
You have a lot of options at your disposal it is not all doom and gloom. There are different meal plans exercise plans life style plans you do not have to let this diagnosis determine your outcome in life. With high numbers of the population affected with this condition you most likely have relatives or friends with this. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed about this together we can all learn,
I hope that I have been able to explain this condition to your understanding without all the big medical words that can become confusing. No matter how bad of a stewart we are to our bodies if we give it a chance it will almost always redeem itself and heal.
All the best,