Home > Type 2 Diabetes > Living With Type 2 Diabetes

Living With Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a disease characterized by high levels of sugar in the bloodstream. The most common form of diabetes, type 2 diabetes today affects over 25,000,000 Americans and in 2006 was the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. People with type 2 diabetes have what’s known as insulin resistance. This is the inability of liver, fat and muscle cells to respond normally to insulin. As a result the sugar in your blood can’t get into the cells so it can be used as energy.

The basic fuel that the body uses is called glucose. Glucose is created when the body breaks down the sugar in your food. Insulin created by the pancreas then takes the sugar from the blood and carries it to the cells. The problem arises when there isn’t enough insulin to carry the glucose or when the cells don’t take the glucose in. When the sugar doesn’t get into the cells, the sugar in the blood starts to build up resulting in a condition called hyperglycemia. As levels of glucose in the blood increase, the pancreas responds by producing more and more insulin, but not enough to keep up with demand.

Genetics play a big role in determining who will develop type 2 diabetes as it tends to run in families. Because excess fat interferes with the body’s ability to use insulin, being excessively overweight can greatly increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Other prominent factors in developing the disease are a sedentary lifestyle and bad diet.

Managing your weight and eating a nutritious diet are critically important to living with diabetes. If diet is brought under control some people with type 2 diabetes can even progress to the point where they can stop taking medications after the losing weight. They still must be vigilant and keep the weight off because they still have diabetes.

Regular exercise is another important method of preventing and dealing with the effects of diabetes. Exercise lowers your blood sugar level and helps burn off excess calories and fat and helps to keep your weight under control. Even without the benefit of burning fat, exercise can help you fight diabetes by improving your blood flow and blood pressure. Increased energy, lower tension and an improvement in your ability to handle stress can also do a lot to improve your overall health.

If diet and exercise don’t do enough to maintain normal blood glucose levels your doctor may have to prescribe medication. These drugs help to lower your blood sugar levels and often work in different ways. This means that often you may need to take more than one of them.

You can help prevent type 2 diabetes by keeping a healthy body weight and an active lifestyle. If you have a family history of diabetes you should be especially careful about your diet and exercise and make sure you visit your doctor twice a year to monitor you blood sugar levels.

POSTED ON September 22, 2010,