Diabetes Mellitus II
Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way our body digests sugar (glucose), which is our body's main source of fuel. Type 2 diabetes is often preventable, but the condition is on the rise â€" fueled largely by the current obesity epidemic.
When we have type 2 diabetes, our body is resistant to the effects of insulin â€" a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar into our cells or our body produces some, but not enough, insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. If left uncontrolled, the consequences of type 2 diabetes can be life-threatening. Type 1 diabetes is a similar, although much less common, condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
There's no cure for type 2 diabetes, but there's plenty we can do to manage â€" or prevent â€" the condition. Start by eating healthy foods, including physical activity in our daily routine and maintaining a healthy weight. If diet and exercise aren't enough, we may need diabetes medications or insulin therapy to manage the blood sugar.
The common symptoms of type 2 diabetes are as follows:
Type 2 diabetes symptoms may seem harmless at first. In fact, you can have type 2 diabetes for years and not even know it. Look for:
- Increased thirst and frequent urination.
- Extreme hunger.
- Weight loss.
- Fatigue. If your cells are deprived of sugar, you may become tired and irritable.
- Blurred vision.
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections.
- Some people who have type 2 diabetes have patches of dark, velvety skin in the folds and creases of their bodies usually in the armpits and neck. This condition, called acanthosis nigricans, is a sign of insulin resistance.
Mechanism of type 2 diabetes:
Glucose is a main source of energy for the cells that make up our muscles and other tissues. There are two major sources of glucose. The food we eat and our liver. During digestion, sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. Normally, sugar then enters cells with the help of insulin. The hormone insulin comes from the pancreas, a gland located just behind the stomach. When we eat, our pancreas secretes insulin into our bloodstream. As insulin circulates, it acts like a key which opens doors for sugar which is circulating in bloodstream to enter cells of the body. Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. As the blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from the pancreas. Our liver acts as glucose storage and produces glucose. When our insulin levels are low and when we haven't eaten for a while, the liver releases the stored glucose to keep our glucose level within a normal range. This is the reason why we can stay without food for few hours.
In type 2 diabetes, this process works improperly. Instead of moving into your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. This occurs when your pancreas doesn't make enough insulin or your cells become resistant to the action of insulin. Exactly why this happens is uncertain, although excess fat especially abdominal fat and inactivity seem to be important factors.
Prevention of type 2 diabetes:
Healthy lifestyle choices can help us prevent type 2 diabetes. Even if diabetes runs in our family, diet and exercise can help us prevent the disease. And if we are already been diagnosed with diabetes, the same healthy lifestyle choices can help us prevent potentially serious complications.
- Eat healthy foods: Choose foods low in fat and calories. Focus on vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to prevent boredom.
- Get more physical activity: Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. Take a brisk daily walk. Swim laps. If you can't fit in a long workout, break it up into smaller sessions spread throughout the day.
- Loose excess pounds: If you're overweight, losing even 10 pounds can reduce the risk of diabetes. To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.
Sometimes medication is an option as well. Oral diabetes drugs such as metformin (Glucophage) and rosiglitazone (Avandia) may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes but healthy lifestyle choices remain essential.
Tips for the management of type 2 diabetes:
Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease. Following the diabetes treatment plan takes round-the-clock commitment. But in the end the efforts taken are worthwhile. Careful management of type 2 diabetes can reduce the risk of serious and even life-threatening complications.
- Make a commitment to managing your diabetes: Learn all you can about type 1 diabetes. Make healthy eating and physical activity part of your daily routine. Establish a relationship with a diabetes educator, and ask your diabetes treatment team for help when you need it.
- Identify yourself: Wear a tag or bracelet that says you have diabetes. Keep a glucagon kit nearby in case of a low blood sugar emergency â€" and make sure your friends and loved ones know how to use it.
- Schedule yearly physical and regular eye exams: Your regular diabetes checkups aren't meant to replace yearly physicals or routine eye exams. During the physical examination, your doctor will look for any diabetes-related complications, as well as screen for other medical problems. Your eye care specialist will check for signs of retinal damage, cataracts and glaucoma.
- Keep your immunizations up-to-date: High blood sugar can weaken your immune system. Get a flu shot every year, and get a tetanus booster shot every 10 years. Your doctor may recommend the pneumonia vaccine or other immunizations as well.
- Take care of your teeth: Diabetes may leave you prone to gum infections. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss your teeth once a day, and schedule dental exams at least twice a year. Consult your dentist right away if your gums bleed or look red or swollen.
- Pay attention to your feet: Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water. Dry them gently, especially between the toes, and moisturize with lotion. Check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, sores, redness or swelling. Consult your doctor if you have a sore or other foot problem that doesn't start to heal within a few days.
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control: Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol. Medication may be needed, too.
- If you smoke or use other types of tobacco, ask your doctor to help you quit: Smoking increases your risk of various diabetes complications, including heart attack, stroke, nerve damage and kidney disease. In fact, smokers who have diabetes are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than are nonsmokers who have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Talk to your doctor about ways to stop smoking or to stop using other types of tobacco.
- If you drink alcohol, do so responsibly: Alcohol can cause either high or low blood sugar, depending on how much you drink and if you eat at the same time. If you choose to drink, do so only in moderation and always with a meal. Remember to include the calories from any alcohol you drink in your daily calorie count.
- Take stress seriously: If you're stressed, it's easy to abandon your usual diabetes management routine. The hormones your body may produce in response to prolonged stress may prevent insulin from working properly, which only makes matters worse. To take control, set limits. Prioritize your tasks. Learn relaxation techniques. Get plenty of sleep.
Above all, stay positive. The good habits you adopt today can help you enjoy an active, healthy life with type 2 diabetes.
Role of Homeopathy in Type 2 diabetes:
Role of Homeopathy in the management of type 2 diabetes is more preventive than curative. Homeopathy can elevate bodyâ€™s defense mechanism which can reduce personâ€™s susceptibility to opportunistic illnesses and infections which usually is the case with people whose blood sugar levels are always above normal. Constitutional homeopathic treatment can enhance the diabetes control when used with conventional diabetic treatment of insulin injection and other oral hypoglycemic drugs. Homeopathy thus helps in reducing the required dose of insulin or oral hypoglycemic drugs. Homeopathy helps in improving general condition and achieving better emotional balance in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. Homeopathy therefore helps in better adaptation to the illness as well as improves quality of life. Type 2 diabetes is not a curable illness but achieving a good control over the levels of blood sugar, ability to restrict the secondary complication to minimum and achieving good emotional balance can be considered as significant achievement in it self. Homeopathy has a very vital role to play in achieving these goals when it is used as complementary treatment along with conventional treatment for type 2 diabetes. Need for diabetic diet and regular exercise can not be ruled out at any point of time for each and every case of type 2 diabetes with whatever treatment modality used.