Diabetes is a major and growing public health problem in Bermuda. It affects 12% of the population in Bermuda, which is among the highest in OECD countries. This article covers important information about Type 2 Diabetes, including tips on how to manage it effectively.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent form of diabetes. It is a chronic condition that causes an inability to regulate high blood glucose (sugar) levels in the body. The pancreas produces the hormone insulin. It helps your cells turn glucose into energy.
Those with Type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin, or they do not work correctly. Their fat, liver, and muscle cells cannot respond to insulin properly. We call this insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar does not get into these cells to be stored for energy.
Eventually, the cells become insulin resistant, so moving sugar into the cells requires increasing insulin, resulting in an excess of sugar in the bloodstream. In the long run, if the cells need more insulin, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to keep up and even damage.
Symptoms of the Illness
Generally, this type of diabetes develops gradually, which means the symptoms and signs may not be obvious. Being overweight or obese is usually the most prominent symptom, but this may not always be the case. Weight loss can also be a symptom. Here are other symptoms:
- Unintentional weight gain or loss
- Blurry Vision
- Excessive thirst
- Urge to always pee
- A strange odor to the urine
- Darkening of skin, especially on the neck, armpit, groin areas
- Numbness or tingling in the feet
- Wounds that take a long time to heal
- Erectile dysfunction for men
Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors: What Are the Primary Causes?
Genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors may all play a role in causing this chronic illness.
- A diet high in carbohydrates, sugar, and processed foods
- Sedentary lifestyle or lack of exercise
- Obesity or being overweight
- Women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- High level of stress
- There is a family history of diabetes
- Lack of sleep
- Being prediabetic or pregnant with gestational diabetes
- Other metabolic syndrome problems, for example, high blood pressure
- In some ethnic groups, it is more common or has a higher risk of occurrence. Examples include Asian Americans, Latinos, and Pacific Islanders.
Complications and Life Expectancy of Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes can lead to detrimental health complications that can shorten life expectancy. According to a 2010 report from the United Kingdom, the prognosis of type 2 diabetes is likely to be ten years shorter than the life expectancy of those without the condition.
But it depends on several factors, including the person’s prompt diagnosis, management, and how well the body responds to the treatment. There can be several types of diabetic complications such as:
- Bacterial and fungal skin problems
- Risk of kidney damage and failure
- Cardiovascular disease
- High cholesterol and high blood pressure
- Nerve damage
- Diabetic eye disease- loss of vision, glaucoma
- Poor oral health like Periodontitis
- Urinary and sexual problems
The Best Ways to Manage Type 2 Diabetes
It is essential to learn diabetes management so you can control your condition. These skills will help you avoid further complications and expensive medical care down the road.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
Those who have diabetes should frequently monitor their blood sugar levels. This way, they can avoid hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). All in all, monitoring your blood sugar yourself and keeping a record also shows you how well you manage your diabetes.
Get Active and Lose Weight
The key to managing diabetes is fitness. Find out what level of physical activity is best for you by consulting with your doctor. Moderately intense exercises such as brisk walking or dancing can be a good place to start if you have been sedentary. Choosing activities you enjoy will make it easier to commit to them.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Diet plays a huge part in managing type 2 diabetes. You should consult your physician to figure out how much fat, protein, and carbohydrates you require in your diet. Instead, replace refined sugars and carbs with carbs and fiber that are low glycemic, such as whole grains and legumes. Choose lean meats, poultry, or fish for protein.
In addition, you should avoid high sodium foods such as processed meats and junk food. Make more water your beverage of choice and cut back on sugary drinks. Maintain a consistent eating schedule and watch your portion sizes.
Diabetes increases the risk of infection, such as pneumonia, influenza, and UTIs. When someone has diabetes, even the slightest infection can have life-threatening consequences. Plus, skin wounds may fail to heal, eventually leading to amputation in cases of ulceration. Thus, it’s vital to take measures in preventing infections such as:
- proper handwashing
- taking regular baths
- routine vaccinations against flu and other illnesses
- looking out for wounds on the feet and body regularly
- seeking prompt medical treatment for infections
Take Care of your Emotional and Mental Health
Living with type 2 diabetes can be pretty challenging. Having to manage your diabetes can feel overwhelming. In addition to taking care of your physical health, it is vital to take care of your mental health as well.
You can reduce your stress levels by incorporating meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi exercises into your daily routine. Don’t forget to relax, take a deep breath, and have fun. Moreover, having access to support groups is also a good idea if things get tough.
Undergo a Diabetes Reversal Program
You don’t have to fight diabetes by yourself. If you want better control of your type 2 diabetes, a medically supervised Diabetes Reversal Program is an excellent option. A multidisciplinary medical team provides assistance, advice, and support to diabetic patients through this comprehensive program.
Reverse your Diabetes with PHWC
Diabetes type 2 carries serious risks and can shorten life expectancy if left untreated. However, with the right management strategy, people with type 2 diabetes can expect to live just as long as those without the disease.
Take control of your diabetes and reverse it with our Diabetes Reversal Program here at Premier Health and Wellness Center. Call or schedule an appointment online to get started!