About 1 in ten Americans have diabetes, and of those numbers, 90-95% are type 2. Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes and it is a condition that affects your body’s metabolizing sugar (glucose), one of the body’s primary energy sources.
Though type 2 diabetes traditionally affects adults, in recent years, due to fast food and increasingly sedimentary lifestyles, children and teens are also developing the condition.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body resists insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates sugar’s movement in your cells. Your body might also not produce enough insulin to maintain ideal glucose levels in your cells.
Though there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, you can treat the disorder by losing weight, regular exercise, and modifying your diet. In more severe cases that don’t respond to diet, exercise, and losing weight, a doctor may recommend other medications or insulin therapy.
Type 2 Diabetes Causes
Insulin acts as a gateway for cells to absorb glucose and use it as energy. The pancreas produces this hormone. When your cells absorb the correct amount of insulin, your pancreas produces a normal amount, and the relationship remains harmonious. However, when your cells don’t respond the way they should to insulin (insulin resistance), the pancreas produces more insulin to keep up.
But the pancreas can’t maintain this increased production of insulin, and eventually, your insulin levels drop. When this happens, your blood sugar rises, and conditions such as prediabetes and type 2 diabetes start developing. Because high blood sugar can cause body damage such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease, recognizing these indicators is crucial for managing the conditon.
What Are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes symptoms develop over time and often go unnoticed. Sometimes, patients may experience no symptoms at all, which is why it’s important to understand risk factors, and how to respond to those risk factors.
The following risk factors contribute to type 2 diabetes:
- Being overweight or obese
- 45 years or older
- Genetic disposition such as a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
- African American, Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native descent.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (sometimes)
The good news is, that type 2 diabetes is relatively easy to prevent or control. Exercising more frequently, maintaining a balanced diet, and losing weight are all proven ways to prevent type 2 diabetes. There is also some evidence that suggests taking blood sugar control supplements such as Gluco Type 2 can help you delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.
Some common symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst or hunger
- Excessive fatigue
- Persistent blurry vision
- Cuts or sores that take abnormally long to heal
- Sudden mood changes
- Unintentional weight loss
- Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
In contrast with type 1 diabetes symptoms- which usually develop suddenly over a few weeks- type 2 diabetes symptoms often don’t occur until complications arise. That is why it’s crucial to have a yearly checkup with a doctor to test your blood sugar levels.
Type 2 Diabetes Diet
If you have type 2 diabetes, managing your diet is one of the most vital aspects of maintaining your heart health and glucose levels. The most encouraging part of managing your diet with type 2 diabetes is that subtle changes can produce significant results, especially if you’re only prediabetic.
The recommended diet for type 2 diabetes doesn’t stray too far from what doctors recommend to the general public. You should eat your meals and snacks on schedule. Avoid eating late at night, and avoid overeating. Opt for meals that provide nutritional value over empty calories such as chips, pretzels, or cookies. And make sure you read food labels to make sure what you’re putting in your body has a simple list of ingredients instead of a long list of preservatives.
All of these tips are fantastic ways to start managing your blood sugar levels.
In addition to thinking about when and how much you eat, you should also avoid some foods. The following is a list of such foods:
- Foods containing saturated or trans fats
- Organ meats such as liver
- Margarine and shortening
- Processed snacks or meats
- Wite rice or pasta
- Baked goods such as bagels or white-bread
- High-fat dairy products
- Fried foods
It’s tough to look at this list and not question, “can I ever have those foods again?” In most cases, unless specifically told by your doctor, you can. But you should try to avoid these foods 90% of the time and replace them with healthier foods to build a healthy routine. The key takeaway from this list is that keeping healthy habits helps mitigate type 2 diabetes risks.
Instead of thinking about all the foods you can’t eat, try to construct a diet with the majority of the following foods:
- Non-starch vegetables
- legumes and beans
- Whole grains
- Sweet potatoes
- Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and halibut
- Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from foods such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados
Type 2 Diabetes Supplements
Type 2 diabetes may require medication in instances, and no one should use supplements as a substitute for those medications. Also, people with type 2 diabetes should try to change their diet to get the healthy nutrients they need instead of using supplements.
However, some ingredients in supplements can be difficult to derive from natural foods, and a supplement can aid your intake of such nutrients. The following are a few examples of what to look for in diabetes supplements.
Chromium is an essential trace element useful in the metabolism of carbohydrates. Research is mixed on chromium, but low doses are safe for most. However, high doses can cause kidney damage.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Studies reflect this potent antioxidant carries the potential to reduce oxidative stress, decrease insulin resistance, and lower one’s fasting blood sugar levels. However, we need more research to solidify these claims.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that helps to regulate blood pressure while also potentially regulating insulin sensitivity. In diabetics, this supplement can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of diabetes. Researches have found a compelling link between high magnesium uptakes and lower insulin resistance.
Conclusion: Type 2 DIabetes, Though Serious, Is Preventable
If you or someone you love has type 2 diabetes or is worried you might be at risk, you should see a doctor to discuss your options and whether you need medication. In most cases, however, type 2 diabetes is very treatable by natural methods such as exercise and a high-quality diet. You can also speak to your doctor about taking supplements from companies such as Phytage Laboratories to further treat your type 2 diabetes.
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