What is Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes strikes people of all ages, and early symptoms are subtle. In fact, about one out of three people with type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it. This chronic condition restricts the body’s ability to use the carbohydrates in food for energy. The result is elevated blood sugar. Over time, this excess sugar raises the risk of heart disease, loss of vision, nerve and organ damage, and other serious conditions.
Diabetes Warning Sign
People with type 2 diabetes frequently have no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, one of the first may be an increase in thirst. This is often accompanied by additional problems, including dry mouth, increased appetite, frequent urination – sometimes as often as every hour – and unusual weight loss or weight gain.
As blood sugar levels become more abnormal, additional symptoms may include headaches, blurred vision, and fatigue.
In most cases, type 2 diabetes is not discovered until it takes a noticeable toll on health. One red flag is troubling infections, such as:
- Cuts or sores that are slow to heal
- Frequent yeast infections or urinary tract infections
- Itchy skin, especially in the groin area
Sexual dysfunction is common among people with diabetes. Diabetes can cause damage to blood vessels and nerve endings in the genitals, leading to a loss of feeling and making orgasm difficult. Other complications can include vaginal dryness in women and impotence in men. It’s estimated between 35% and 70% of men with diabetes will have at least some degree of impotence in their lifetime. And about 1 in 3 women with diabetes will experience some form of sexual dysfunction.
Some health habits and medical conditions related to your lifestyle can increase the odds of developing type 2 diabetes, including:
- Being overweight, especially at the waist
- A sedentary lifestyle
- A diet high in red meat, processed meat, High Carbohydrate Diet (bread, rice, potato, pasta, maize), soft drinks, sweetened fruit juices and sweets.
- Abnormal cholesterol and blood fats, such as HDL “good” cholesterol lower than 35 mg/dL or a triglyceride level over 250 mg/dL
- Take a product like the Manna Blood Sugar Support to control your blood glucose levels, even if you are not yet following the right diet.
Risk Factors You Can’t Control
Other risk factors are out of your control, including:
Race or ethnicity: Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asians have a higher than average risk.
Family history of diabetes: Having a parent or sibling with diabetes boosts your risk.
Age: Being 45 and older increases your risk of type 2-diabetes.
The more risk factors you have, the greater your odds of developing type 2-diabetes.
Risk Factors for Women
Having gestational diabetes when you’re pregnant puts you at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later on. Women who give birth to a baby weighing over 4.5Kg are also at risk. Having a history of polycystic ovary syndrome can also cause insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes.
How Does Insulin Work?
In a healthy person, insulin helps turn food into energy – in an efficient manner. The stomach breaks down carbohydrates from food into sugars, including glucose. Glucose then enters the bloodstream, which stimulates the pancreas to release insulin in the right amount. Insulin, a hormone, allows glucose to enter cells throughout the body, where it is used as fuel. Excess glucose is stored in the liver.
Type 2 Diabetes: Metabolism Mishaps
In type 2 diabetes, the cells cannot absorb glucose properly. That means glucose levels in the blood become elevated. If you’ve developed a condition called insulin resistance, the body makes excess insulin, but the muscle, liver, and fat cells do not use or respond properly to the insulin. With long-standing uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, the pancreas will reduce the amount of insulin it produces.
Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes
A simple blood test can diagnose diabetes. The A1C test gives a snapshot of your average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. An A1C level of 6.5% or higher may indicate diabetes. With a fasting plasma glucose test, a result above 126 is considered diabetes. Your doctor may order an oral glucose challenge test with a two-hour blood test. In people with classic symptoms of diabetes, a random blood glucose level of greater than 200 can help diagnosis diabetes.