Your Body Mass Index Matters
Body mass index is a number calculated from a persons weight and height. Most health professionals rely on BMI to assess whether their patients are overweight or have obesity . All adults who are overweight should talk to their doctor about getting tested for type 2 diabetes.
People of Asian heritage in the normal weight range may have too much visceral fat and be at risk of type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI. Researchers now suggest that people of Asian heritage get tested if their BMI is 23 or more.
What Medicines Do I Need To Treat My Type 2 Diabetes
Along with following your diabetes care plan, you may need diabetes medicines, which may include pills or medicines you inject under your skin, such as insulin. Over time, you may need more than one diabetes medicine to manage your blood glucose. Even if you dont take insulin, you may need it at special times, such as during pregnancy or if you are in the hospital. You also may need medicines for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other conditions.
Learn more about medicines, insulin, and other diabetes treatments.
The Role Of Insulin In The Cause Of Type 2 Diabetes
To understand why insulin is important, it helps to know more about how your body uses food for energy. Your body is made up of millions of cells. To make energy, these cells need food in a very simple form. When you eat or drink, much of the food is broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. It moves through your bloodstream to these cells, where it provides the energy your body needs for daily activities.
Insulin and other hormones control the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. Your pancreas is always releasing small amounts of insulin. When the amount of glucose in your blood rises to a certain level, the pancreas will release more insulin to push more glucose into the cells. This causes the glucose levels in the blood to drop.
To keep blood glucose levels from getting too low , your body signals you to eat and releases some glucose from the stores kept in the liver. It also tells the body to release less insulin.
People with diabetes either don’t make insulin or their body’s cells can no longer use their insulin. This leads to high blood sugars. By definition, diabetes is:
- A blood glucose level of greater than or equal to 126 milligrams per deciliter of blood after an 8-hour fast
- A non-fasting glucose level greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL, along with symptoms of diabetes
- A glucose level greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL on a 2-hour glucose tolerance test
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What Health Problems Can People With Diabetes Develop
Following a good diabetes care plan can help protect against many diabetes-related health problems. However, if not managed, diabetes can lead to problems such as
- heart disease and stroke
- gum disease and other dental problems
- sexual and bladder problems
Many people with type 2 diabetes also have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease . Losing weight if you are overweight or obese can improve NAFLD. Diabetes is also linked to other health problems such as sleep apnea, depression, some types of cancer, and dementia.
You can take steps to lower your chances of developing these diabetes-related health problems.
Type 2 Diabetes In Children And Teens
Childhood obesity rates are rising, and so are the rates of type 2 diabetes in youth. More than 75% of children with type 2 diabetes have a close relative who has it, too. But its not always because family members are related it can also be because they share certain habits that can increase their risk. Parents can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by developing a plan for the whole family:
- Drinking more water and fewer sugary drinks
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Making favorite foods healthier
- Making physical activity more fun
Healthy changes become habits more easily when everyone makes them together. Find out how to take charge family style with these healthy tips.
Keto Diet For Type 2 Diabetes: Does It Work
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What Is Considered Life
The activities required to maintain diabetes fall under life-sustaining therapy. However, to be found eligible for the DTC for diabetes, you must spend more than 14 hours a week maintaining or treating your diabetes. Some activities that fall under life-sustaining therapy are:
- Insulin therapy
- Purchasing medication
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Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes: Whats The Difference
Type 2 diabetes is not the same as Type 1 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make any insulin. In Type 2, your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, and the insulin it is making doesnt always work as it should. Both types are forms of diabetes mellitus, meaning they lead to hyperglycemia .
Type 2 diabetes usually affects older adults, though its becoming more common in children. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but people of any age can get it.
Sex Race Or Ethnic Background
Differences between the chances of developing type 2 diabetes and the age of diagnosis may also depend on sex and race or ethnic background.
The CDC note that from 1997 to 2011, doctors diagnosed American men roughly 2 years earlier than women, and African Americans and Hispanics around 6 years earlier than white people.
The ADA also note that diabetes impacts people of some races or ethnic backgrounds far more than others.
Lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity levels, may be among the reasons for higher prevalence rates, but the research is still inconclusive.
Current rates of people in the U.S. who have a diagnosis of diabetes, according to race or ethnic background, are as follows:
- 7.4 percent of non-Hispanic white people
- 8.0 percent of Asian Americans
- 12.1 percent of Hispanics
- 12.7 percent of non-Hispanic black people
- 15.1 percent of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives
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These Are Some Of The Statistics:
- 80-90% of people with Type 2 diabetes have other family members with diabetes.
- 10-15% of children of a diabetic parent will develop diabetes.
- If one identical twin has type 2 diabetes, there is up to a 75% chance that the other will also be diabetic.
- There are many genetic or molecular causes of type 2 diabetes, all of which result in a high blood sugar.
- As yet, there is no single genetic test to determine who is at risk for type 2 diabetes.
- To develop type 2 diabetes, you must be born with the genetic traits for diabetes.
- Because there is a wide range of genetic causes, there is also a wide range in how you will respond to treatment. You may be easily treated with just a change in diet or you may need multiple types of medication.
The hallmark of type 2 diabetes is resistance to the action of insulin and insufficient insulin to overcome that resistance
Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems. It’s the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people of working age.
Everyone with diabetes aged 12 or over should be invited to have their eyes screened once a year for diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetes is also responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation, other than accidents.
Read more about the complications of type 2 diabetes
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes aren’t always obvious and they can take a long time to develop. Sometimes, there are no symptoms. It’s important to remember that not everyone with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes develops these warning signs, and not everyone who has these symptoms necessarily has type 2 diabetes.
But kids or teens who develop type 2 diabetes may:
- Need to pee a lot. The kidneys respond to high levels of glucose in the blood by flushing out the extra glucose in urine . Kids with high blood sugar levels need to pee more often and make more pee.
- Drink a lot of liquids. Because they’re peeing so often and losing so much fluid, they can become very thirsty and drink a lot in an attempt to keep the levels of body water normal.
- Feel tired often. This is because the body can’t use glucose for energy properly.
Fasting Blood Sugar Test
A fasting blood sugar test provides a snapshot of your blood sugar level before you have eaten. The doctor measures the amount of sugar in your blood after youve fasted for at least eight hoursusually overnight.
A fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter indicates that you have prediabetes. A blood sugar level of 126 milligrams per deciliter or higher on two separate tests means you have diabetes.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes
Symptoms of diabetes include
- numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
- sores that do not heal
- unexplained weight loss
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowlyover the course of several yearsand can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Many people have no symptoms. Some people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes-related health problems, such as blurred vision or heart disease.
How Can I Lower My Chances Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Research such as the Diabetes Prevention Program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, has shown that you can take steps to reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes if you have risk factors for the disease. Here are some things you can do to lower your risk:
- Lose weight if you are overweight, and keep it off. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your current weight.1 For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose about 10 to 14 pounds.
- Move more. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, such as walking, at least 5 days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional about which activities are best. Start slowly and build up to your goal.
- Eat healthy foods. Eat smaller portions to reduce the amount of calories you eat each day and help you lose weight. Choosing foods with less fat is another way to reduce calories. Drink water instead of sweetened beverages.
Ask your health care team what other changes you can make to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
Most often, your best chance for preventing type 2 diabetes is to make lifestyle changes that work for you long term. Get started with Your Game Plan to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
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Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
Symptoms, treatment, and complications from type 2 diabetes may vary from person to person. The following information will help you learn more about this disease and provide you with helpful tools, assessments and resources.
If left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can lead to a variety of life-threatening complications.
Can Diabetes Be Prevented Or Avoided
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors for diabetes. Although you may not be able to change all of them, you can make changes to significantly lower your risk.
- Exercise and weight control. Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of diabetes. Any amount of activity is better than none. Try to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. Always talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Diet. A diet high in fat, calories, and cholesterol increases your risk of diabetes. A poor diet can lead to obesity and other health problems. A healthy diet is high in fiber and low in fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar. Also, remember to watch your portion size. How much you eat is just as important as what you eat.
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Overweight Obesity And Physical Inactivity
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index charts.
What Should A Type 2 Diabetes Meal Plan Include
Ask your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to recommend a meal plan thats right for you. In general, a Type 2 diabetes meal plans should include:
- Lean proteins: Proteins low in saturated fats include chicken, eggs and seafood. Plant-based proteins include tofu, nuts and beans.
- Minimally processed carbohydrates: Refined carbs like white bread, pasta and potatoes can cause your blood sugar to increase quickly. Choose carbs that cause a more gradual blood sugar increase such as whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain pasta.
- No added salt: Too much sodium, or salt, can increase your blood pressure. Lower your sodium by avoiding processed foods like those that come in cans or packages. Choose salt-free spices and use healthy oils instead of salad dressing.
- No added sugars: Avoid sugary foods and drinks, such as pies, cakes and soda. Choose water or unsweetened tea to drink.
- Non-starchy vegetables: These vegetables are lower in carbohydrates, so they dont cause blood sugar spikes. Examples include broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.
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What Causes Type 2 Diabetes
You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with proven, achievable lifestyle changessuch as losing a small amount of weight and being more physically activeeven if youre at high risk.
Theres more to why people get type 2 diabetes than you may know. Although lifestyle is a big part, so are family history, age, and race. Learn about what causes type 2 diabetes and how you can help lower your risk.
Youve probably heard the expression, you cant judge a book by its cover. In the same way we cant tell whats inside a book without reading it, we cant look at a person and know if theyre at risk of type 2 diabetes.
Its true that being overweight is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, but your family history, age, and race are risk factors too.
Learn about what causes type 2 diabetes, and how you can help lower your risk.
What Uncontrolled Blood Glucose Levels Can Do To Your Health
Uncontrolled blood glucose levels can lead to:
- heart disease and higher risk of stroke
- kidney disease that may lead to dialysis
- eye disease
- nerve damage and risk of amputation
- problems with erection
Being active lowers blood glucose levels, and may help you to:
- reduce the amount of diabetes medication you need
- improve your heart and lung function
- reduce your risk of serious complications
- control your weight
- relieve tension or stress.
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The Insulin Resistance Syndrome
Individuals with type 2 diabetes are more likely to be diagnosed with other medical problems such as atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, hypertension, obesity and dyslipidemia. Insulin resistance is thought to worsen and possibly directly cause these problems. The optimal medical care of type 2 diabetes includes not only controlling the blood glucose but also treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, reducing excess weight and staying physically fit.
Itching And Yeast Infections
Excess sugar in the blood and urine provides food for yeast, which can lead to infection. Yeast infections tend to occur on warm, moist areas of the skin, such as the mouth, genital areas, and armpits.
The affected areas are usually itchy, but a person may also experience burning, redness, and soreness.
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Who Is At Risk For Type 2 Diabetes
You are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you
- Are over age 45. Children, teenagers, and younger adults can get type 2 diabetes, but it is more common in middle-aged and older people.
- Have prediabetes, which means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes
- Had diabetes in pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Are overweight or have obesity
- Are Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
- Are not physically active
- Have low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides
- Have acanthosis nigricans – dark, thick, and velvety skin around your neck or armpits
Prevalence In Children And Young Adults
Type 2 diabetes used to be prevalent only in adults and was once called adult-onset diabetes. Now that its becoming more common in children, its simply called type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is more common in children and young adults, and its believed to be caused by an autoimmune reaction. However, type 2 diabetes is rising in incidence, attributed in part to poor lifestyle habits.
According to the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study, 5,300 people from ages 10 to 19 were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between 2011 and 2012.
A 2012 study published in the ADA Journal Diabetes Care considered the potential future number of diabetes cases in people under the age of 20. The study found that, at current rates, the number of people under the age of 20 with type 2 diabetes could increase by up to 49 percent by 2050. If the rates of incidence increase, the number of type 2 cases in youth could quadruple.
Type 2 diabetes may result from a culmination of health issues and an unhealthy lifestyle. Specific factors can increase your personal risk, but an unhealthy lifestyle is the broader issue in many cases.
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