Diabetes (type 2)
Diabetes is the disease affecting the metabolism of glucose. Glucose is required by the body’s cells for energy production and normal functioning. This glucose comes in the blood from the food we eat and is carried to the cellular level by an important hormone known as insulin. Once the meal is consumed by the body, it breaks down into glucose and other nutrients which are then absorbed in the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract. This glucose is then transferred from the blood stream to the cells. Diabetes develops when the body either can’t prepare insulin or can’t respond to the insulin. Diabetes is differentiated into two categories such as Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 2 diabetes, formerly called non-insulin dependent diabetes, occurs as a result of the body’s inability to utilize insulin. It’s the most common form of diabetes accounting for more than 90 percent of diabetes cases.
How Prevalent is Type 2 Diabetes?
In 2013, estimated deaths due to diabetes were approximately 2 million. Epidemiology surveys have concluded that more than 80 percent of the deaths are from low and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization has projected that diabetes could be the seventh leading cause of death by the end of 2020.
Factors Responsible for Type 2 Diabetes
Researchers have not been able to fully understand the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes. However, some factors commonly responsible for the condition:
Weight – Being overweight is the primary risk factor for diabetes. The more fat you have in your body, the more resistance develops for the use of insulin.
Fat Distribution – If the fat is being stored in the belly region of the body, the risk of developing diabetes is higher than storage of fat in other parts.
Inactivity – Low levels of physical activity.
Family History –There is a strong genetic link associated with the disease.
Apart from these, other factors responsible for a higher incidence of diabetes are:
Symptoms Associated with Diabetes Type 2
The signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can develop slowly. It can go unnoticed for years. Some of the common symptoms taken as warning signals are:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Weight loss
- Irritability and mood swings
- Blurred vision
- Vaginal yeast infection in females
- Darkened areas of the skin
Prognosis associated with Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes can be diagnosed with blood tests that examine blood sugar levels at fasting and after meals. Apart from that, other exams can help diagnose the problem at the early stage such as:
- Skin and bones of the feet and legs are brittle or get numb.
- Illness such as pneumonia
- Nausea or vomiting
- Mouth odor
What Goes Wrong in Type 2 Diabetes?
Unlike type 1 diabetes, patients with type 2 diabetes can produce insulin. However, the insulin can’t be used by the body for the metabolism of glucose. This may be because the insulin is not sufficient or the body is unable to recognize insulin for its function. Thus, due to the body’s inability to transfer glucose to different cells, its accumulation in the blood stream increases. This causes the condition known as hyperglycemia. Also, since cells are not able to use glucose for energy generation, their function is severely halted.