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Nearly 3 million Poles suffer from type 2 diabetes. As many as 90% of diabetics suffer from type 2. The good news is: that it can be avoided or the development of symptoms delayed.

In this article we will discuss what type 2 diabetes is, where it comes from, what symptoms it causes and how to protect yourself against it.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes, is a condition in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the patient’s body does not use it effectively.

As a result, too much sugar remains in the blood and is not used as an energy source by the body’s cells. Insulin is needed for glucose to enter the cells.

Type 2 diabetes usually affects older people, and was once even called “senile diabetes”. However, due to rising obesity rates, younger and younger people are beginning to suffer from it. It has become a disease of civilization!

Type 2 diabetes: symptoms that should concern you

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes usually appear slowly, develop over many years and may be so inconspicuous that they go unnoticed.

Some people don’t realize they have this disease until they develop complications of diabetes.

In the early stages, although the pancreas produces insulin, it does not release it properly, which takes longer than it should. However, at this stage, blood sugar levels usually remain normal.

Over time, insulin resistance (the body’s resistance to insulin), which is largely influenced by excess body fat, forces the pancreas to produce more insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

After several years of doing this, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin wear out and produce less of it. Then the blood sugar level begins to rise, leading to the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • greater thirst and hunger,
  • weight gain,
  • dry mouth
  • urination more frequently
  • fatigue, weakness,
  • visual disturbances,
  • heavy breathing,
  • hard-to-heal wounds
  • erectile dysfunction,
  • urinary tract infections,
  • itching, especially around the groin and vagina,
  • interdigital mycosis,
  • tingling or numbness in the feet and hands
  • palpable acetone on the breath (indicating the development of ketoacidosis).

Diagnosis for type 2 diabetes

The most common methods used to diagnose diabetes are: random plasma glucose test (Random Plasma Glucose – RPG), fasting plasma glucose test (Fasting Plasma Glucose – FPG), glycated hemoglobin level (HbA1c) and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

The Polish Diabetes Association provides diagnostic criteria for diabetes, taking into account these tests.

Diabetes is indicated by symptoms and a random blood glucose test result ≥ 200 mg/dl (≥ 11.1 mmol/l).

If casual blood glucose is normal but HbA1c is ≥ 6.5% (≥ 48 mmol/ mol) or fasting blood glucose in both measurements is ≥ 126 mg/dl (≥ 7.0 mmol/l), diabetes is also diagnosed.

It is also diagnosed when the oral glucose tolerance test at 120 minutes of the OGTT results in a result of ≥ 200 mg/dl (≥ 11.1 mmol/l).

What causes type 2 diabetes? Causes and risk factors

Two main factors lead to type 2 diabetes: problems with insulin production and insulin resistance.

When does type 2 diabetes start? The risk group includes people over 45 years of age, overweight, lipid metabolism disorders, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

The risk of developing the disease increases if there is a history of diabetes in the immediate family, the person has been diagnosed with prediabetes or has had gestational diabetes.

Lack of physical activity also increases risk.

Can you avoid getting type 2 diabetes?

Proper diet and physical activity are very effective in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes. The patient’s involvement in changing a lifestyle to a more health-friendly one cannot be overestimated in case of type 2 diabetes.

Regular physical activity and the right amount of body fat reduce insulin resistance – one of the key causes of disease.

It is also very important to respond early to prediabetes, which often precedes type 2 diabetes.

It occurs when blood sugar levels are above normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. This is an emergency condition that needs to be taken seriously to protect yourself from developing diabetes symptoms.

It is worth taking even greater care of healthy habits, regular exercise and proper nutrition.

Properly managing your disease: tips

People with type 2 diabetes must remain under the regular care of a diabetologist and have their blood sugar levels checked regularly. The traditional method of measurement is a glucometer, but its use involves with the need for painful puncturing of the skin.

Other measurement methods are also being developed, including: Diabetomat, which determines blood sugar levels based on diabetes biomarkers present in the breath.

Just blow air into the device to measure your sugar level. Check out more information about how Diabetomat works.

Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes take medications to reduce insulin resistance. When blood sugar levels continue to rise despite treatment, therapy may include other antidiabetes medications (oral or injectable).

If this is not effective, there is no insulin production in the pancreas, requiring the use of insulin.

It is very important for patients to maintain their blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Physical exercises tailored to individual capabilities and a diabetic diet are also recommended.

Complications of type 2 diabetes

Due to diabetic complications which 6 secondssomeone dies in the world! If type 2 diabetes is not treated properly, it can lead to:

  • nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy),
  • stroke,
  • dementia,
  • kidney problems (diabetic nephropathy),
  • cardiovascular diseases,
  • heart attack
  • eyesight problems
  • sleep apnea,
  • diabetic foot syndrome
  • gum inflammation
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD),
  • sexual problems,
  • bladder problems
  • depression,
  • some types of cancer.

Severely elevated blood glucose levels combined with low insulin levels can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

In turn, too much insulin, not matched to diet and physical activity, may lead to hypoglycemia (blood sugar too low).

Therefore, even if there are no visible symptoms, it is good if people at risk of type 2 diabetes go for preventive blood glucose tests once a year. This facilitates early diagnosis and quick implementation of appropriate treatment.

Type 2 diabetes is preventable

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. The good news is that there are effective methods to prevent this disease or at least delay its development.

The key is to implement dietary and lifestyle changes early, which can significantly improve the health prognosis of people at risk of type 2 diabetes.

If you or someone you love are struggling with diabetes andwould like to know when non-invasive monitoring of sugar levels using Diabetomat will be possible – contact us . We will inform you when the device goes on sale.

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