Could You Be at Risk for Type-2 Diabetes?
There are many different facets of the aging process that are physically hard on the body and mind. Staying fit and healthy while in your teens and twenties is almost mindless. But, when the late thirties and forties start to appear at birthdays, the struggles with weight and fitness become harder with each passing year. One of the possible side effects of a heavier and less fit body is the onset of type-2 diabetes.
Type-2 diabetes is the “other half” of the diabetes condition. Type-1 diabetes is usually diagnosed fairly early in life and occurs when the pancreas is not producing enough insulin for the body. Insulin enables the body to metabolize glucose or sugar in the blood for energy. Blood sugar levels rise if insulin is not present as the glucose cannot be taken out of the blood efficiently. Type-2 diabetes is the same problem, but due to other factors than the pancreas. One possible factor can be “insulin resistance,” where the cells lose at least some ability to use the insulin and consume the glucose.
Type-2 diabetes is often called adult-onset diabetes and is usually related to problems with overweight individuals and poor physical fitness. The disease can strike anyone, but the condition of the body is a risk factor as are genetics and past family history with the disease. In contrast to type-1 diabetes, type-2 diabetes usually does not require insulin shots to rebalance the body’s insulin-to-blood sugar ratio. Type-2 diabetes is often controlled with diet and nutrition efforts combined with exercise routines. Weight-loss efforts are an effective aid to treating this disease as well.
Additional risk factors for type-2 diabetes are high cholesterol or triglyceride levels and high blood pressure. These factors are related with many other diseases as well such as coronary problems. The onset of type-2 diabetes can be prevented to some extent by lowering the risk factors shown here and maintaining an active lifestyle. Medicines to reduce cholesterol levels are often prescribed to patients at risk of or having type-2 diabetes.
The symptoms of type-2 diabetes are very subtle and slow to develop, leading to difficulties in diagnosis at times. The diagnosis often follows several glucose tests for the blood at random intervals and after special preparation.
A fasting glucose test is blood drawn from a patient that has not eaten or drank anything for 12 hours before the test. If the glucose levels are higher than a certain level it is a strong indicator of type-2 diabetes.
Another related type of glucose test is an oral test. Normal eating is recommended for the time leading up to 12 hours of fasting prior to the test. A blood sample is drawn upon arrival and then a glucose mixture is ingested by the patient. Additional blood samples are drawn every 30 minutes after that and continue for several hours. The glucose data from all of the samples is analyzed and can show how well or poorly the body metabolizes the glucose mixture.
If you think you may be suffering from type-2 diabetes, or if the condition is present in your family history, it’s a good idea to visit with your doctor or healthcare provider about how to prevent or manage its effects.