I Have What? A Guide to Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be a scary diagnosis. But don’t worry, you’re not alone! In fact, according to the CDC, over 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 90-95% of them have type 2. That’s a lot of people, but the good news is that there are ways to prevent and manage this condition.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
To understand type 2 diabetes, it’s important to know how your body processes food. When you eat, your body breaks down the food into glucose, which is a type of sugar that your cells use for energy. Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, helps the glucose get into your cells.
With type 2 diabetes, your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to the insulin it produces. This leads to high levels of glucose in your blood, which can cause a variety of health problems over time.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Some common symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst and hunger
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores or cuts
- Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands or feet
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a healthcare provider. They can perform a simple blood test to diagnose diabetes.
Preventing and Managing Type 2 Diabetes
The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes. Here are some tips:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Losing even a small amount of weight can help prevent or manage the condition.
- Get moving: Regular exercise can help lower your blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
- Eat a balanced diet: Focus on whole, unprocessed foods, and limit your intake of added sugars and refined carbohydrates.
- Monitor your blood sugar levels: If you have diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar levels can help you manage the condition and prevent complications.
- Take medication as prescribed: If your healthcare provider prescribes medication, be sure to take it as directed.
When to Seek Medical Care
If you’re experiencing any symptoms of type 2 diabetes, it’s important to see a healthcare provider. They can perform a blood test to diagnose the condition and help you develop a plan to manage it.
In some cases, urgent medical care may be necessary. Seek emergency medical attention if you experience:
- High fever
- Rapid breathing
- Confusion or loss of consciousness
These symptoms can be signs of diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes can be a scary diagnosis, but there are steps you can take to prevent or manage the condition. By maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and monitoring your blood sugar levels, you can help prevent complications and stay healthy.
So, don’t let diabetes get you down! With the right care and management, you can live a happy and healthy life.