Type 2 diabetes mellitus is also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a never-ending disease. It results when the insulin in your body does not work efficiently. The pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, in response to enhanced levels of blood sugar (glucose) in the blood. To enable the glucose to travel from the blood to the inside of the cells it is necessary to have insulin. The body cannot use glucose for energy, unless it gets into cells. This results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose). The kidneys work overtime to get rid of the excess glucose which remains in the blood.
Type 2 diabetes is usually associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is body’s inability to act in response to insulin. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is also associated with obesity and high cholesterol levels. As a result the pancreas starts producing more insulin to counter the excess sugar in the blood stream. The cells become more resistant after sensing this flooding of insulin. This results in cycle of high glucose levels and high insulin levels.
Usually the type 2 diabetes mellitus progresses gradually. Patients are usually overweight when they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus for the first time. The disease can also strike lean people and elderly people. In type 2 diabetes mellitus genetics also plays a role and as such family history of this disease can be considered as a potential threat. The incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus gets enhanced owing to poor diet, low activity level and excess body weight (especially around the waist). The other risk factors include: high blood pressure, history of gestational diabetes, age greater than 45 years, weakened glucose tolerance, race and ethnicity. People with HDL cholesterol of less than 35 and triglyceride levels of greater than 250 are also prone to this disease.
Type 2 diabetics will initially have no symptoms at all. In case, you do have symptoms they will include: increased urination, fatigue, increased thirst, blurred vision, delayed healing of infections and erectile dysfunction in men. The long-term complications and risks can be reduced by people who have control over blood glucose and blood pressure levels. Some of the risk factors if blood glucose levels are not controlled include heart failure, stroke, and kidney disease. Your risks for complications can be decreased by 25% by the reduction of HbA1c by even one percentage point. Diabetic coma is also a possibility in severe cases. Long-term complications include diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease), diabetic retinopathy (eye disease), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and peripheral vascular disease (damage to blood vessels/circulation).
In case you are experiencing drowsiness, headache, double vision, lack of coordination, confusion, dizziness, trembling and weakness then you should immediately call your health provider or visit the hospital.
It is recommended that every one over the age of 45 years should have their blood glucose levels checked once every three years. Regular testing of random blood glucose level should begin at a much younger age. In case you are at risk due to family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus then blood glucose tests should be performed more often.
However, leading an active life and maintaining healthy body weight will keep type II diabetes away.
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