How to Diagnose and Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that comes in several different forms, but all types share the same basic physical condition: Diabetic individuals cannot efficiently process the glucose in their blood. While there are multiple types of diabetes, Type 2 is the most common form of the condition and usually affects only adults. Without proper care and management, diabetes can cause serious health issues, such as heart disease and blindness. If you or someone you love is diabetic, learn some techniques to help manage the disease and live a healthy life.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is the name for a number of different conditions relating to the inability of the body to create and use insulin properly. Insulin is a vital hormone created by the pancreas to help your body use the energy from the food that you eat. The cells in the bodies of individuals with Type 2 diabetes are unable to respond properly to the body's natural insulin. If you are diabetic, the glucose from the food you eat will remain in your blood instead of entering your cells. Diabetes is a treatable condition, but it is not curable.

The Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Although the symptoms of diabetes can vary based on its type and other factors, there are a number of common signs. For example, you may feel an increased urge to visit the bathroom. If you have diabetes, your kidneys will struggle to function properly in the presence of excess glucose in your blood. Your bladder will fill up much quicker than normal, forcing you to make frequent trips to the bathroom. You will also feel thirstier than normal as your body struggles to replace its lost fluids.

Sudden and unexplained weight loss can also be a symptom of diabetes. If you lose 15 to 20 pounds in a couple of months without making any serious changes to your fitness or eating habits, you may have diabetes. This happens because your body's cells fail to get enough glucose. In desperation, your body breaks down stored muscle and fat cells to help your body continue to function.

Many diabetics also report feeling constantly weak and fatigued. If your body can't handle the glucose from the food you eat, the glucose stays in your bloodstream and is unable to power your cells. This leaves you feeling worn down and tired. In addition, you may experience extreme hunger as your body struggles to get enough energy to function. Less common symptoms include itchy skin, irritability, numbness in the feet and blurred vision.

How to Manage Diabetes

Diabetics can help boost their overall health and ease some of their symptoms with simple lifestyle changes. An improper diet can drastically affect how you feel; consuming large amounts of carbohydrates, for example, can cause spikes in your blood sugar levels. To address this issue, you must change your eating habits completely. Aim for a diet that includes plenty of nourishing vegetables and fruits. Try to add more complex carbohydrates into your meals; these carbohydrates will slowly release sugar, giving your body more time to process the resulting blood sugar spike.

Adjusting your eating schedule can also cause a big improvement in your health. Don't wait until you feel like you're starving before eating; try to eat on a regular schedule each day. Eating small snacks throughout the day can help you to balance your blood sugar between meals.

Your weight can also affect your disease. If you're overweight, reducing your weight can make your diabetes more manageable. Even losing just 10 pounds can make a big difference in your disease. Increasing your physical activity is a great way to lose weight and boost your overall health at the same time. If you are unable to lower your glucose levels, you may need to take insulin shots and regularly check your blood sugar levels.

Prevention

You can lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes with simple lifestyle changes. These adjustments mirror the changes diabetics should embrace to make their disease more manageable, including eating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity and shedding excess pounds. Diabetes is not caused strictly by your behavior, however. Your genes also play a pivotal role in determining whether or not you will become diabetic.

     If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it can be treated and controlled effectively. But it’s important to get it diagnosed early and accurately if you suspect that you may have it.

Call a HealthwoRx™ physician at 954.967.6550 to schedule a consultation today.