Diabetes type 2 is a lifestyle disease that often can be prevented or controlled by a proper diet and exercise. Here is a survey of the causes, symptoms and treatment options by this disease.
DIABETES TYPE 2 IS AN AVOIDABLE LIFESTYLE DISEASE
Special areas in the pancreas gland, the Islets of Langerhans, produce a hormone called insulin. This hormone is a protein of small size. Insulin stimulates muscle cells and other body cells to take up glucose from the blood and convert the glucose to glycogen, a kind of starch, and then store the glycogen. By need the body cells convert the glycogen to glucose and use it as fuel. In this way insulin keeps the glucose level in the blood at a normal size.
By diabetes type 2, the cells in the body do not react properly by stimulation from insulin. Therefore they do not take in enough glucose from the blood to store it or to use it as energy source. This condition is called insulin resistance. The amount of glucose in the blood therefore rises. Also the insulin production can rise to regulate the glucose amount down, but this effort to reduce the blood glucose is not effective enough. If the disease persists for many years, the insulin production may tire out, so that the amount of secreted insulin decreases.
Diabetes type 2 is the most common kind of diabetes, actually 10 times more common than diabetes type 1, where the insulin production is reduced or stopped. The disease usually appears after the age of 50, but the high sugar and fat consume in western countries nowadays also causes young persons to acquire the disease.
THE CAUSES AND MECHANISMS OF DIABETES TYPE 2
The exact mechanism that causes the disease is not known. There may be an autoimmune response to insulin or to the molecules on the cell surfaces that the insulin connects to. However, these lifestyle factors can cause the disease:
- Too high consume of sugar and fat
- Too less exercise over many years
Therefore diabetes type 2 can be prevented by a right diet and with regular exercise.
When the glucose uptake into the body cells is reduced, but glucose instead accumulates in the blood, the following physiological effects occur:
- The body cells do not get enough fuel for the work they shall do.
- The molecular thickness (osmality) of the blood increases. This causes water to be pulled out from the body tissues and into the blood. The tissues thus get dried out and the urine production increases.
- The tissues begin to break down protein and fat to get energy, causing weight loss and muscular reduction.
The symptoms of diabetes type 2 are a consequence of these mechanisms.
THE SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES TYPE 2
Symptoms of diabetes type 2 come gradually. The symptoms are:
- Increased urine production
- Dehydration, that is a lack of water in the body
- Abnormal high thirst
- Dry mouth
- Increased appetite
- Slow healing of physical injuries
- Itching in the skin
- Infections caused by yeasts
- Impaired vision
In the long turn, the disease can cause atherosclerosis with blood vessel narrowing, heart disease and stroke.
LIFESTYLE TREATMENT OF DIABETES TYPE 2
The treatment of diabetes type 2 is most often diet with a low sugar and fat amount, and with the amount of sugar and carbohydrates strictly controlled. A weight reduction program is a part of the treatment for over-weighted persons. An exercise program is also an important component of the treatment, both in order to get rid of excessive blood sugar levels and to loose weight.
A general healthy diet will also help. Such a diet contains food sources like fish, fouls, seafood, mushrooms, whole corn cereals, whole corn bread and vegetables. The following fat and sugar containing food types are recommended in moderate amounts: Nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, eggs, spawn and fruit.
These fat types are also recommended in moderate amounts: Olive oil, walnut oil, rape oil, sunflower oil. Soy oil, corn oil and butter can be used in small amounts, but these fat types should not be your only fat source. If you only use these fat types, you will not get all essential fatty acids that the body need to work properly. Things to be avoided in the diet are: Snacks, fast food, fat read meat, cookies, margarine, chemically altered fat and sweet beverages.
The listed measures will usually lighten the burden upon the blood sugar control of the body so that it manages to normalize the blood sugar levels.
The listed lifestyle measures will also prevent diabetes type 2, but for prevention the control of the daily carbohydrate intake does not have to be controlled so strictly.
MEDICAL TREATMENT OF DIABETES TYPE 2
If lifestyle measures do not work good enough, medication to lower the blood sugar is used. There are several classes of medicaments against diabetes type 2 to be taken by mouth and that work in different ways.
- The first class of drugs against diabetes type 2 developed, and which are still in use, are the sulfonylureas drugs like Glucotrol® and Micronase®. These drugs stimulate the pancreas to make more insulin. Side effects from these drugs that may occur are: Low blood sugar levels, water retention, edema, weight gain, heart problems and allergic reactions. Law blood sugar levels occur more easily if the drug is used together with alcohol.
- The biguanides like Metformin make the liver to slow down the brakedown of stored complex carbohydrates to glucose, and thus lower the blood glucose level. This drug class also help to control weight. Possible side effects form this drug class are lactic acidosis, nausea, appetite loss, diarrhea, abdominal gas and metallic taste.
- Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors like Precose® and Glyset®, inhibit breakdown of complex carbohydrates in the gut to simple sugars and the uptake of sugars from the gut into the blood, and thus lower the content of sugar in the blood. They may give side effects like abdominal gas and diarrhea.
- The thiazolidinediones like Avandia® and Actos® make body cells more sensitive to insulin and thus make skeletal muscle take up glucose form the blood. Side effects that may occur by this class of drugs are anaemia, head-aches, muscle aches, tooth aches, sore throut, increased upper respiratory tract infection rate, water retention, edema, weight gain, heart problems and liver injury.
- Meglitinides like Prandin® are taken by meals and controls the blood sugar levels after meals by stimulating the pancreas to make more insulin when the sugar from the meal comes into the blood. Possible side effects are low blood sugar levels, increased risk of upper respiratory tract infection, headache, joint and back pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and weight gain.
If the insulin production is reduced, insulin injections are also used.
There are also natural products in the market that can help to normalize the blood sugar level by diabetes type 2. Those products cannot heal the disease, but they can help the body to regulate the blood sugar. These products contain minerals that are working components of enzymes that stimulate the glucose metabolism in the body. They also contain herbs that have been used for a long time in traditional medicine to regulate the glucose level and have proven their effects in scientific studies.