Health and Wellness

What You Need to Know About Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a terminal disease which prevents your body from using insulin as it should. People with type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant. The condition is common among people who are middle-aged or older, but it may also affect younger people like kids and teens who are obese. While diabetes is prevalent, there are many ways that you can prevent diabetes. Diabetes prevention is crucial because the disease is life-long. You can prevent diabetes by:

Managing your weight

If you are obese or if you have lots of fat around your abdomen, you risk getting diabetes. A woman with a waist circumference of more than 35 inches and a man with a waist size of more than 40 inches are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You should manage your weight through exercising and eating the right amounts of healthy foods to prevent the disease. Regular exercise can help reduce the level of glucose in your blood and burn cholesterol.

Checking your risk of diabetes

Taking a risk assessment test from a qualified physician can help you gauge your chances of developing diabetes. A score of 12+ indicates that you are at a high risk of diabetes, and you should modify your lifestyle accordingly. As you get older, you should see your doctor regularly to check your blood sugar, pressure, and cholesterol levels.

There are several other conditions which increase your risk of diabetes. These include:

Having a family history of diabetes, especially among parents or siblings.

A condition known as prediabetes, where you have high blood sugar, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

Gestational diabetes, which is common among pregnant women. Women who give birth to children who weigh more than 4kgs risk developing diabetes.

Having polycystic ovarian syndrome also increases the risk of diabetes. This condition manifests itself as irregular periods, obesity, and increased hair growth.

Quit smoking and drinking

If you are a smoker, your risk of developing diabetes is much higher than if you are not. Smoking makes your body resistant to insulin which raises your blood sugar and increases the chances of developing diabetes. Too much intake of alcohol also causes you to gain weight which increases your blood sugar levels, putting you at risk of diabetes.

Limit the intake of unprocessed foods and unhealthy diet

Whenever you can, eat cooked meals which you have made from fresh ingredients. Processed foods contain lots of fats, kilojoules, and salt, which make you gain weight and therefore increase your chances of getting diabetes. Focus on taking whole foods, greens and fruits and reduce your salt intake.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes include increased thirst and hunger, urinating frequently, fatigue, frequent infections, blurred vision, sores which take longer to heal, and dark areas in your armpits and neck. 

Complications of diabetes

Diabetes can result in other conditions such as heart and blood vessel disease, nerve, eye, and kidney damage, hearing impairment, fungal and bacterial skin infections, among others. 

Diabetes is preventable through a lifestyle change. If you have type 2 diabetes, you can still manage the disease with the help of a doctor.