Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent type of diabetes around the world. This happens when your blood sugar levels rise due to problems with the production or use of insulin. Diabetes type 2 can happen to people of all ages; however, it mostly occurs to people above 45 years.
Although diabetes is incurable, it is not a life sentence. According to the International Diabetes Federation, about 17% of adults in the UAE have type 2 diabetes. Some of the causes of this condition include living a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, and stress.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs slowly, and patients get mild symptoms during the early stages. This means it can be difficult to know whether you have diabetes. Early signs include frequent urination. When your blood sugar rises, the kidneys try to remove excess sugar by getting it out of the blood. This leads to frequent urination, especially at night.
Patients also feel thirstier – as the body filters excess sugar, you become dehydrated. Your need to replace water lost during frequent urination rises. This leaves you feeling thirstier. People with diabetes feel hungry all the time because they don’t get enough energy from what they eat. You might also feel tired because of lack of energy, get blurred vision, numbness in your hands, and even yeast infection.
Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
Anyone can get type 2 diabetes; however, certain factors increase the risk of developing this condition. These factors are:
The risk of getting type 2 diabetes increases as you age. This can be attributed to weight gain and less exercise. This is why Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners advise people to eat healthily and do light exercises that help to prevent and manage this condition. Most adults between 45 and 64 have type 2 diabetes. Although this condition is prevalent in adults, teenagers and children are now developing this condition because of poor lifestyle choices.
Genetics play a huge role in type 2 diabetes. The risk of getting this condition increases if you have a close relative who has type 2 diabetes. The closer the relative, the higher the risk. For instance, if both parents have type 2 diabetes, the child is most likely to develop the condition. This means if your sibling has type 2 diabetes, you are at risk of developing the condition compared to if your uncle has the condition.
Too much fat can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Traditional Chinese Medicine advocates for a healthy lifestyle, which counters obesity. Too much fat is caused by a sedentary lifestyle, genes, an unhealthy diet, family history, medication, and even age.
Obesity increases the risk of developing certain health conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This is because obesity increases inflammation and fatty acids, which causes insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Although people with type 2 diabetes can produce insulin, this is not enough, and sometimes, their body cells fail to respond or recognize it. Because of this insulin resistance, blood sugar piles up in the body, causing high blood sugar. This is why patients experience increased thirst and frequent urination.
Although your risk factors of developing type 2 diabetes are heightened by being obese and living a sedentary lifestyle, your race and ethnicity also contribute to this condition. Certain ethnicities are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. For instance, people from African-Caribbean, black African, Chinese, and South Asia are a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is 6 times more prevalent in South Asian communities and 3 times more common among African-Caribbean and African communities. As certain countries adopt western culture, their lifestyles, especially food choices, become more sedentary.
Prediabetes also increases the chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is a sign that you could develop type 2 diabetes. This is an early warning sign that your blood sugar level is high but not high enough to have diabetes.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, you can manage prediabetes and prevent it from developing into diabetes. Specialists recommend a change in diet, for instance, eating whole foods and reducing processed foods. You can also prevent the onset of diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising.
Prediabetes occurs when your body cannot use insulin appropriately. Insulin transports glucose, which provides energy. Prediabetes means that your body does not produce enough insulin or doesn’t use it appropriately (insulin resistance). When this happens, too much glucose builds up in your blood, which increases your blood glucose levels, therefore, causing prediabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, and it is brought about by several factors, including a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and even genes. Adopting a healthy diet, exercising, and losing weight if you have excess fat are some ways to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Also published on Medium.