Who is at risk of Type 2 Diabetes?

What is Type 2 Diabetes Cont:

How do you get type 2 diabetes?

Information on diabetes give us a good example of a person at risk for type 2 diabetes as being, someone around forty whose lifestyle consists of little or no physical exercise, poor diet/nutrition, and is overweight. Without any changes in their habits, this person has a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes as they continue to age. This is because as you grow older the function of your pancreas slows, and with no changes in lifestyle it will be unable to produce the insulin necessary to metabolize the high amounts of glucose in the blood produced from a sedentary lifestyle and excessive intake of carbohydrates. And as mentioned above your body can also become resistant to the actions of insulin which keeps the glucose in your blood from entering the cells of your body to be used as energy and nourishment, which can happen at any age.

If this same person does develops type 2 diabetes and still makes no changes in their lifestyle, continuing to let it go unchecked and untreated they will most likely suffer the complications of diabetes. This can include damage to the eyes (retinopathy), kidney disease (nephropathy), and nerve damage (neuropathy) being the most common. Other things such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke are very likely by the time they are in their sixties.

Family history and ethnicity also play a role in a persons risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For reasons not entirely clear, people of African American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian, Inuit and Pacific Islander descent have an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

What can you do to prevent Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different in the fact that type 2 diabetes can be largely prevented if you take measures early on. Here are a few things you can do to greatly decrease your chances of developing it and help you during your treatment and management of diabetes:

•  Lose and maintain an optimal weight

If you are overweight/obese, one of the best things you can do now is to lose the extra pounds because your risk increases the more extra weight you have. Extra weight increases your risk of heart disease and stroke as well.

•  Develop and maintain a daily exercise routine

Exercise not only helps you to burn off extra pounds it also helps your body to use insulin more effectively, helps improve respiration and blood circulation, as well as generally keeping the processes of your body in good working order. Since everyone is at different levels of health and physical fitness it is recommended that you first see your physician for any advice as to how you should proceed.

•  Keep your body clean and healthy with good nutrition

For diabetics maintaining proper nutrition is even more important than simply the need to "feel better" or to lose weight, it can actually become a determining factor in the development of complications of diabetes. Enjoying a occasional meal at your favorite fast food restaurant is fine, but some people actually have diets that consist almost entirely of prepackaged/processed and or fast foods that are loaded with high calories, fat and sugar. In today's world it is far too easy to develop poor nutrition habits, and if someone keeps loading their body with such things its eventually going to catch up with them. Working with a dietician is the best way to develop a well rounded nutrition program for your individual needs.

•  Follow the "Five Star Plan of Action for Diabetics"

This is a plan of following five main areas of prevention as outlined on the prevention of heart disease page, or click here.

How is Type 2 Diabetes treated?

When it comes to the treatment of diabetes, only your primary care physician can diagnose diabetes and prescribe treatment options. Treatment for type 2 diabetes usually consists of diabetic medications that increase insulin made by the pancreas, as well as a plan for weight reduction, exercise and dietary changes in accordance with nutritional counseling. In some cases type 2 diabetics can eventually require injections of insulin, if their pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin in sufficient quantities. Once treatment begins however it is important to monitor blood sugar in order to keep them within normal range blood sugarlevels, and due to the risk of reactive hypoglycemia as a result of treatment.