Today, unlike a few years ago, more people are becoming diagnosed with lifestyle diseases. This trend has been attributed to poor eating habits, lack of exercise, smoking etc. Common lifestyle diseases include but are not limited to diabetes, atherosclerosis and heart disease. This text will concern itself with type 2 diabetes and its causes, symptoms, diagnosis as well as treatment amongst other things.
According to Medifocus (2011), “in type 2 diabetes, the actions and secretion of insulin are impaired, as opposed to the absolute deficiency of insulin that occurs with type 1 diabetes mellitus.” It therefore follows that with type 2 diabetes; the body either resists insulin and its effects or fails to produce enough insulin for the maintenance of acceptable levels of glucose. Insulin in the human body is primarily produced by the pancreas.
It can be noted that the symptoms for type 2 diabetes develop over time and an individual may be living with the condition without knowing it. However, the condition has a number of common symptoms. Some of the main symptoms of the condition include increased thirst and hunger. An individual with the condition may also develop acanthosis nigricans. This is a condition occasioned by the development of dark patches of skin in some parts of the body. Other symptoms include but are not limited to erectile dysfunction, blurred vision etc.
Some risk factors in this case include obesity (cells become resistant to insulin as a result of fatty tissue), family history of diabetes, age and prediabetes. In the case of prediabetes, the level of blood sugar is significantly high but not high enough for it to be considered a case of type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes is yet another risk factor.
The main body organs affected by type 2 diabetes include the kidneys, eyes, nerves, blood vessels and the heart. When it comes to the effects on the heart, those having type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing angina, hypertension, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis and a host of other cardiovascular diseases. This condition also affects capillaries hence triggering neuropathy (damage to nerves). The damage caused to the kidney is what causes nephropathy. In regard to eye damage, some of the complications type 2 diabetes can occasion include glaucoma and cataracts. Other complications of the condition include Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis.
Tests and Diagnosis
Basically, there are several recommended testing procedures for type 2 diabetes. These methods include but are not limited to “fasting plasma glucose test (FPG), oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), hemoglobin A1c test, random blood glucose test” etc. (Medifocus 2011).
Treatment and Management
In addition to medications, the treatment of this condition calls for some fundamental changes in lifestyle. Thus individuals diagnosed with the condition must switch to a recommended diet and engage in regular exercises. When it comes to medications, the goal is usually to keep glucose levels within manageable levels. Medications in this case could either be oral (oral hypoglycemics) or administered by way of injections. Some of the medications in this classification include but are not limited to thiozolidinediones, sulfonylureas and metaformin (Medifocus 2011). Others are GLP-1 analogs, meglitinides, acarbose and biguanides. Insulin-based medications according to Medifocus (2011) include ultralente insulin, lente insulin, NPH insulin, insulin detemir, insulin glargine, glulisine, aspart, insulin lispro etc. To decrease risks of complications, diabetics should pay regular visits to specialists including ophthalmologists and foot care specialists.
It is important to note that in basic terms, the key to diabetes management lies with a combination of medications and adjustment to lifestyle. Further, it is recommended that individuals with diabetes learn as much as possible about the condition so that they can be prepared to adjust their lives accordingly. It is hoped that with more advancements in the medical field going forward, the management and treatment of diabetes will become easier.
Medifocus (2011). Medifocus Guidebook on: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Medifocus.Com Inc.
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