Around 8.3 percent population in the US has diabetes. Type II is the most prevalent form of diabetes. It is common among the young and the obese. Diabetes Mellitus or simply diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by an increase in your blood sugar. This results from an inadequate amount of insulin in the body or the cells’ inability to respond to insulin. There are two types of diabetes:
- Diabetes Mellitus Type I
- Diabetes Mellitus Type II
Type 2 diabetes presents more commonly. Therefore, this article is dedicated to understanding the mechanism that causes type 2 and the measures that can be taken to prevent it.
Pathology of Diabetes Type II
- Imagine that you just ate a bowl of pasta. Now your body receives the nutrients present in pasta. One of these nutrients is glucose. Glucose is an important component of our diets. Many foods that we eat on a daily basis like cereal grains and baked products contain glucose.
- Once inside the body, the cells of organs like liver and muscle store the excess glucose to derive energy from it later. However, the liver and muscle cells can’t take up sugar from the blood on their own. We can say that these cells are locked. Under such conditions, insulin released by the Beta cells of pancreas act as the key.
- This insulin depresses the blood glucose levels by signaling the liver, muscle and fat cells to take in glucose. The cells of the body use glucose as a source of energy. Sometimes insulin converts glucose into glycogen and sends it to the liver. The liver and muscle are the storehouses for glucose.
Utilization Of Glucose
You see that there are two crucial events that must occur for the proper utilization of glucose.
- Beta cells of the Islets of Langerhans must secrete insulin.
- The cells of the liver and muscle must identify the signal sent by insulin to take up glucose.
A disturbance of these events can lead to abnormally high blood glucose levels. The condition is diabetes mellitus.
- When the pancreas fails to produce insulin or the insulin produced is insufficient, then the patient has type I.
- In case the patient develops a general insensitivity to insulin i.e. his cells don’t respond to insulin, then this is called Insulin Resistance. The pancreas is functional and produces the required quantity of insulin. It is the body cells that are the culprit here. They fail to recognize and respond to Insulin. The patient suffers from type II.
Risk Factors For Type 2 DM
There are many environmental and social factors that work together to present Type II DM.
The genetic basis of diabetes is unknown. But there is substantial evidence that suggests that you are at a higher risk of having diabetes if a family member or a close relative has it than others with no family history.
The state of constant feeding is called Obesity. It is the condition in which you eat nonstop. You are continuously supplying your body with food. As discussed earlier, a lot of this food contains carbohydrates. These carbs stimulate the release of insulin. However, the cells are constantly exposed to it and no longer care for it. They develop a strong resistance to it, resulting in type II diabetes. Initially, the pancreas tries to compensate for this insulin resistance by producing more of it. But over time, it also loses its ability to release insulin efficiently. And the affected person becomes diabetic.
Many people with high blood pressure also have diabetes. Having these conditions together can make them both worse. Diabetes reduces the elasticity of blood vessels, making them less stretchable. It also increases the amount of fluid in the body. Thus, it can and often does coexist with hypertension. Both these diseases also share the same risk factors including a sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary choices, and obesity.
As you grow older, your chances of getting diabetes rise steadily. Because you experience more cardiovascular troubles with increasing age, you are more likely to have this disease as well.
TIPS To Prevent Type II Diabetes
Although glucose permeates everything you eat, there are a number of lifestyle choices that you can consciously make to reduce your glucose intake.
Get Physical (With Yourself)
It is never too late to make lifestyle changes that help prevent diabetes. A lot of regular, healthy exercise is a great step towards a better lifestyle. There are many benefits to regular, physical activity. Not only does exercise make you feel better, it also strengthens your muscles and makes you stronger. You should participate in yoga, krav maga, deep breathing exercises and weight training. Research shows that aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes.
Stay At A Healthy Weight
You must try whole-heartedly to reduce excess body fat. If you are able to maintain a healthy weight, your risk for not only diabetes but also hypertension, heart disease, Stroke, and Cancer. The fact that even a small reduction in your Weight Loss can lessen your risk of getting diabetes is supported by extensive research. Participants in a study who lost a modest amount of weight — around 7 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing this disease by almost 60 percent.
Stop Eating Junk (Garbage) Food
If you eat out a lot and consume high amounts of synthetic, industrially processed foods then you need to alter your dietary choices soon. Research suggests that 1 out of 3 adults has prediabetes. Of this group, 9 out of 10 don’t know they have it. We, as adults, have good reason to worry. Junk food contains a high amount of sugar and trans fats, both of which are not very good for you. Thus, it is wiser to cook at home from scratch, prefer organic vegetables and fruits and skip fad diets. Limit takeaway and canned foods.
Quit Smoking And Excessive Drinking
Smoking is directly linked to cardiovascular disease. Cardiac diseases have risk factors similar to diabetes. So smoking can actually make you more susceptible to diabetes. Similarly, drinking alcohol can increase your weight. And we all know that obesity is the mother of all diseases.
See Your Doctor For Regular Check-Ups
As you grow older, it is a good idea to see your physician regularly and ask him if you need to get tested for diabetes. Old age increases the risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and related cardiovascular diseases.
Diabetes Type II is the commonest type. If you have come to know that you are prediabetic or that you have a close relative with this, then don’t stress. Don’t think that you will inevitably have diabetes. In fact, recognize that you have a say in this matter. You can eat healthier, move more and lose weight to delay and even prevent type II diabetes.
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