Type 2 Diabetes Homework Help
Type 2 diabetes is an impairment in the way the body regulates and uses sugar (glucose). This is a long-term chronic condition that results in too much sugar circulating in the system. If left untreated high blood sugar levels can lead to disorders of the circulatory, nervous and immune systems.
Causes of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes comes about when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin and also the cells respond poorly to insulin whereby, they take in less sugar. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into the cells. Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults than in children and it is the most common type of diabetes.
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
The signs and symptoms of diabetes develop slowly. One might have it for many years and not know it. The signs and symptoms may include:
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Loss of weight
- Increased thirst
- Blurred vision
- Wounds that heal slowly
- Numbness and tingling in the legs or arms
- Darkened skin in the armpits or neck
- Frequent infections
Insulin is a hormone that comes from the pancreas and it regulates how the body uses sugar in the following ways:
- Sugar in the bloodstream triggers the pancreas to secrete insulin
- Insulin circulates in the bloodstream enabling sugar to enter the cells
- The amount of sugar in the bloodstream drops
- In response to this drop, the pancreas releases less insulin
What is the role of glucose in the body?
Glucose (sugar) is a major source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues. Glucose is the body that comes from the liver and the flood we eat. With the help of insulin, glucose enters the cells which help to regulate the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. This helps in lowering the risk for type 2 diabetes.
What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?
- Weight- being overweight or obese is a major risk for diabetes.
- Sedentary lifestyle- being inactive can contribute to type 2 diabetes. Exercise helps to control weight gain as it helps in the usage of glucose hence making the cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Fat distribution- Storing fat in the abdomen can raise the risk for diabetes. Aman with a waist circumference of above 40 inches and a woman with a waist circumference of 35 inches and above are at a higher risk of type diabetes.
- Family history- your risk of diabetes increases in case your family has a history of type 2 diabetes.
- Race and ethnicity- people of certain races are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than others.
- Age- the risk of type 2 diabetes increases as you grow older. People above 45 years are at a higher risk.
- Blood lipid levels- low levels of high-density lipoprotein increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Blood lipid levels: low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “good” cholesterol — and high levels of triglycerides. Increases the risk for type 2 diabetes.
- Prediabetes-it is a condition in which your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. If left untreated, prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome- it is a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, and obesity which increases the risk of diabetes type 2.
- Pregnancy-related risks- if you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant or if you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms) you are at risk of type 2 diabetes.
What is the role of insulin in the body?
Insulin is a type of hormone that comes from the pancreas and its work is to regulate how the body utilizes sugar(glucose). The following are the ways insulin regulates sugar in the body:
- Sugar in the bloodstream triggers the pancreas to secrete insulin.
- As insulin circulates the body it enables sugar to enter the cells.
- As a result, the amount of sugar in the cells decreases.
- When the sugar levels drop the pancreas releases less insul
What are the complications related to type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes can affect major organs like the heart, kidney, eyes, and blood vessels. Proper management of type 2 diabetes and other coexisting conditions(comorbidities) can help to lower the risk for complications. Potential complications associated with diabetes type 2 include:
- Heart and blood vessel disease- Diabetes can cause an increased risk of heart diseases, stroke, blood pressure, and the narrowing of blood vessels also known as atherosclerosis.
- Neuropathy (nerve damage) in the limbs- high blood sugar levels can with time damage the nerves causing tingling, numbness, pain, or eventual loss of feeling that normally begins at the tips of the toes and fingers which then spreads upwards.
- Kidney disease-Type 2 diabetes can lead to kidney disease or irreversible end-stage kidney infection which even requires dialysis or even transplant.
- Eye damage: Type 2 diabetes increases the risk for eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, damaging blood vessels in the retina which can cause blindness.
- Skin problems- Type 2 diabetes makes the skin more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.
- Slow wound healing: If diabetes is left untreated, cuts and wounds can become serious infections that heal poorly. Severe infection can lead to foot or leg amputation.
- Dementia- Diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Lack of and poor control of blood sugar levels can lead to a rapid decline in memory and other thinking skills.
- Sleep apnea- obstructive sleep apnoea is common in people living with type 2 diabetes. Obesity can be the main contributing factor to both conditions. It’s not clear whether treating sleep apnoea improves blood sugar control.
- Other nerve damage- damage to nerves of the heart can be a contributing factor to irregular heart rhythms. Nerve damage in the digestive system can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation. It can also cause erectile dysfunction in men.
- Hearing problems – People with diabetes often have a hearing problem.
What is a diabetic coma?
A diabetic coma is a life-threatening condition that is a result of diabetes complications causing unconsciousness. Dangerously high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or dangerously low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) can lead to a diabetic coma.
Causes of diabetic coma
A diabetic coma is caused by:
- Severe dehydration
- Very high blood glucose levels
- Very low glucose levels
Hyperglycemia or high glucose levels in the blood can be caused by an infection such as pneumonia, flu, forgotten medication for diabetes, or in case one forgets to take insulin.
Risk factors for diabetic coma include:
- An illness, trauma, or surgery- when you are injured, blood sugar levels tend to rise. This may cause diabetic ketoacidosis in case you have type1 diabetes and you fail to add your insulin dosage to compensate.
- Insulin delivery problems- patients on an insulin pump have to keep checking their insulin levels frequently. In the scenario whereby the pump fails or the tubing or catheter gets twisted or falls out of place, lack of insulin can lead to diabetic coma.
- Poorly managed diabetes- failure to take drugs properly, monitor blood sugar can have a risk of developing long-term complications and even diabetic coma.
- Drinking alcohol- alcohol may cause unpredictable effects on blood sugar levels. Alcohol also causes a sedating effect which makes it hard to know when you are having low blood sugar symptoms, therefore increasing the risk for hypoglycemia.
- Deliberately skipping meals or insulin- people with diabetes who also have an eating disorder choose not to use their insulin as directed with the hope of losing weight. This is a dangerous practice life-threatening practice that increases the risk of diabetic coma.
- Illegal drug use- cocaine and ecstasy can increase the risk of severe high blood sugar levels and other conditions leading to diabetic coma.
How to prevent type 2 diabetes
Embracing a healthy lifestyle can help prevent type 2 diabetes even in the case of a family history of diabetes. Even with prediabetes, lifestyle changes can slow or stop the progression to diabetes.
A healthy lifestyle includes:
- Eating healthy foods- choosing foods lower in fats and calories, higher in fiber, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can lower the risk for type 2 diabetes.
- Engaging in regular physical activity- this involves vigorous aerobic activity like running, swimming, taking a brisk walk, and cycling.
- Losing weight- losing a reasonable amount can delay the progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.
- Avoiding being inactive for long periods- Sitting still or lying down for long hours can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Instead, try [getting up every 3o minutes and taking a walk every few minutes.
Diabetes is a serious life-threatening disease that must be monitored constantly. Its complications can be reduced through proper awareness and treatment. By following a healthy lifestyle, regular check-ups and medication one can observe a healthy long life. Effective lifestyle modifications like adoption of a healthy dietary pattern together with regular physical activity are important in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
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