What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes (sometimes called type 2 “diabetes mellitus”) is a disorder that disrupts the way your body uses sugar.

All the cells in your body need sugar to work normally. Sugar gets into the cells with the help of a hormone called insulin. If there is not enough insulin, or if the body stops responding to insulin, sugar builds up in the blood. That is what happens to people with diabetes.

There are two different types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the problem is that the body makes little or no insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the problem is that:

  • The body’s cells do not respond to insulin
  • The body does not make enough insulin
  • Or both

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes usually causes no symptoms which makes it very dangerous. When symptoms do occur, they include:

  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased appetite
  • Erection problems

How do I know if I have type 2 diabetes?

To find out if you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor can do a blood test to measure the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood or an average of blood sugars through a hemoglobin A1c (HgA1c)

Fasting glucose (mg/dL) Random glucose (mg/dL)
Normal 70-99 70-125
Pre-diabetes 100-125 (varies)
Diabetes 126 200 *with symptoms

Can type 2 diabetes be prevented?

Yes, it can. To reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes, the most important thing you can do is control your weight, and modify the dietary and lifestyle habits that are contributing to elevated blood sugar levels and insulin dysregulation.

How is type 2 diabetes treated?

You can have a lot of control over your blood sugar levels with diet and lifestyle changes, but often the use of medications and/or supplements are needed to help lower it while you continue to address the underlying cause.  Type 2 diabetes is not a chronic disease that you need to have for life.  If the appropriate lifestyle and dietary changes are made, blood glucose levels can be stabilized. The following are important steps to take if you have high blood sugar:

  • Work with a knowledgeable physician to address the underlying cause of your high blood sugar / diabetes.  This may include taking appropriate medications and/or supplements as well as addressing appropriate lifestyle and dietary factors.
  • Lose weight (if you are overweight)
  • Choose a whole foods diet including lean proteins, healthy fats (nuts, seeds, fish oils) and rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Do something active for at least 30 minutes every day
  • Avoid smoking and second hand smoke
  • Cut down on alcohol (if you drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day)
  • Consider monitoring your blood glucose at home.  We highly recommend checking throughout the day to determine the types of foods, stressors, activities that positively or negatively effecting your blood sugar levels.

In Health,

Dr. Carrie Norris

Naturopathic Medical Doctor

Source: RNH Old Blog