Diabetes is often called the “silent killer” because most people don’t even know that they have this disease until it has progressed significantly. Type-2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, and it affects millions of people. Knowing the signs and symptoms of this condition enables people to take charge of their health and live healthier, fulfilling lives.
As with many diseases, early detection is very important. Such is the case with Type-2 diabetes. One of the major issues with this disease is that the early symptoms are often ignored or trivialized. Although these symptoms may seem minor, they are actually the early warning signs that the body is not converting carbohydrates into energy properly. Thus, there is more sugar in the blood.
Some of the early signs of Type-2 diabetes include:
- Excessive Thirst
- Dry Mouth
- Excessive Urination (as often as every hour)
- Unexplained weight loss/gain
- Increase in appetite
Because early treatment is the best way to handle any disease, addressing these symptoms with a doctor as soon as possible is highly encouraged to effectively treat Type-2 diabetes.
Oftentimes, most people that are diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes ignore the initial symptoms until they begin to feel bad. As the levels of sugar in the blood continue to rise, new symptoms surface that are hard to ignore. They include:
- Blurred Vision
It is at this time that some people will seek medical attention because nothing they seem to do will make them less tired. No amount of pain killers will get rid of the headaches. Even corrective eyewear doesn’t stop blurred vision.
Even still, the majority of people diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes still do not seek medical attention until their condition is quite serious. Some of the symptoms that finally prompt most people to seek medical attention include:
- Cuts and wounds that are very slow to heal
- Itchy skin
- Frequent urinary tract and/or yeast infections
There are some factors that make some people more prone to developing Type-2 diabetes. Understanding this is important as it allows people to become more aware of their potential for developing this condition. Risk factors include those that are hereditary as well as those that are based upon lifestyle.
Hereditary risk factors for Type-2 diabetes include:
- Being 45 years of age or older
- Having a family history of diabetes
- Race/ethnicity does play a factor-Native-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and people of African descent are more likely to develop Type-2 diabetes.
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Lifestyle risk factors for Type-2 diabetes include:
- Consuming red meat
- Eating a diet that contains highly processed, fatty foods
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High cholesterol levels
- Being overweight-especially in the abdomen region
Women have special conditions that make them more prone to developing Type-2 diabetes. They include:
- Having a baby over 9 pounds
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome
- Experiencing gestational diabetes while pregnant
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A physician can provide an official Type-2 diabetes diagnosis through an A1c test. This test provides a measurement of blood sugar levels for a period of 2-3 months. Those that are already experiencing symptoms related to Type-2 diabetes may receive a blood glucose test to determine the current levels of sugar in the blood.
Type-2 diabetes does not have to be a death sentence if people are willing to take control of their health. Unlike Type-1 diabetes, Type-2 diabetes can be controlled without the use of insulin. It just requires a commitment to improving health.
The type and amount of food consumed do affect blood sugar levels. For this reason, it is important that people diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes adopt a healthy diet. It is best to consume lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and lean sources of protein. Reducing the consumption of fats and sweets is highly recommended.
For many people, a Type-2 diabetes diagnosis requires a change in dietary habits. The assistance of a nutritionist or dietician is a valuable resource for those seeking assistance with controlling their Type-2 diabetes via diet.
Leading an active lifestyle can greatly improve the overall health of those with Type-2 diabetes. A simple regimen of exercise for 30 minutes a day can reduce blood sugar levels as well as improve the body’s use of insulin. Exercise also reduces the risk of heart disease and controls weight.
There are instances where diet alone is not enough to control Type-2 diabetes. There a variety of oral medications that help control blood sugar levels. In some cases, Type-2 diabetics may use insulin if their pancreases are no longer able to make insulin when blood sugar is high. A physician can determine the best treatment plan for Type-2 diabetes.
In order to treat Type-2 diabetes effectively, it is important to recognize the signs of this disease and obtain treatment immediately.