Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects between 90 and 95 percent of all the people who have diabetes (estimated to be 21 million people). This means that their body does not effectively use the insulin that they produce. This results in a buildup of glucose affecting other parts of the body.

Dehydration is one of the most significant risks that diabetes patients face. This is caused by the kidneys attempting to rid themselves of built up glucose. The kidneys work harder creating more urine and the results can be devastating. In some patients, unchecked dehydration can trigger a diabetic coma. Other issues include nerve damage, potential heart problems and also the potential for diabetic retinopathy caused by damage to the blood vessels in the eye.

Risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes

It is true that nearly anyone can be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. However, some people have more risk factors than others. These include those who fail to eat a proper diet and people who fail to get enough exercise. Women who had gestational diabetes may also be at higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Genetics also play a role, and those with a history of diabetes in the family may be more prone.

Understanding the symptoms

Not everyone has the same symptoms when they are diabetic, however there are some common symptoms which should be monitored. They include unexplained thirst which occurs frequently, unexplained hunger, excessive cases of dry mouth, unusual urination frequency to name a few. The more pronounced the symptoms, the more likely that you need to have them checked. It is a good idea to review all of the potential symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, especially if you are at risk for developing this disorder due to a family history.

Associated diseases

Those who suffer with Type 2 Diabetes may also be at higher risk for other diseases. These may include (but are not necessarily limited to) diabetic retinopathy, kidney disease and gastroparesis.  These potential problems can be minimized by working with your medical professional to make sure that you have a solid plan in place to maintain your blood glucose levels at normal levels.

Minimizing the risks

There are several ways that diabetic patients can manage the risks associated with Type 2 Diabetes including a proper diet, plenty of exercise and keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure within normal limits. Type 2 diabetes management is critical to your overall health.

The health risks of type 2 diabetes can be devastating to your overall health. However, with proper care and management, you can overcome many of them. Working with your physician to understand how to best manage your Type 2 Diabetes is critical to your overall health and well-being.

Image credit: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons: Pre-filled insulin syringe ("insulin pen"). Picture taken by PerPlex.