TYPE 2 DIABETES
Is type 2 diabetes related to being over weight?
At Peak Medical, we think of type 2 diabetes as a symptom of obesity. In other words, it's something that can be resolved. By treating obesity, you may find you also treat your diabetes. If you can lose weight and keep it off you will improve your chances of living without T2D entirely. Weight loss can also resolve high blood pressure, kidney disease, and other health problems.
Type 2 diabetes is different from type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin at all. People with T2D don’t respond to insulin like they should. Often their bodies don’t make enough insulin the longer they’ve had the disease. Both types of diabetes can lead to prolonged high blood sugar levels, which increases the risk of diabetes complications.
There are two types of complications that diabetics may experience: acute or chronic. Acute complications demand emergency attention. If these complications are left untreated, they can lead to seizures, loss of consciousness, or even death. Chronic complications occur when you don’t control your blood sugar levels over time. Living with high blood sugar levels for long periods of time can damage the eyes, kidneys, heart, and skin. To avoid acute and chronic complications, people with diabetes must constantly monitor and regulate blood sugar levels.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a metabolic disorder. A metabolic disorder happens when your body’s natural chemical processes aren’t working correctly. Recent research has made the medical community rethink how it views the illness. Some think it might be better described as an autoimmune disease, just like type 1 diabetes. This would mean that the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells in the body. This insulin resistance could mean that the way doctors treat type 2 diabetes will change in the future. For now, doctors know that diet and exercise play a big part in treating the disease.
Type 2 diabetes happens when the body becomes more resistant to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that moves the sugar you eat to the cells in your body. It also changes it to energy. Experts don’t know exactly what makes the body to become resistant to insulin in. They do agree that it is linked to obesity and often genetics. You can't change your family history, but you can be successful at managing type 2 diabetes by managing your weight.
Can you get rid of type 2 diabetes?
Yes! Though there is no “cure” for type 2 diabetes, studies have confirmed that it is possible to reverse it. Significant weight-loss is a primary driver to reverse insulin dependence in patients with T2D. Many patients that lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle see a complete resolution to their diabetes. This means they are able to maintain normal blood sugar levels without medication.
Diabetes is a progressive disease. When you are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, there are oral treatments to manage it, making complications delayed. Ultimately, most people do end up on insulin. Insulin independent T2D patients are people that don’t yet need to supplement their body’s insulin production. In other words, their pancreas is still doing its job well enough.
Type 2 diabetes is progressive, so these insulin independent patients will eventually become insulin dependent. If you have been diabetic for more than 10 years, you are probably insulin dependent. Losing weight and keeping it off will help in releasing insulin and controlling blood sugar levels. The best method for diabetes care is prevention. Managing your weight, eating the right types of food, and engaging in physical activity will reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Although losing weight is vital to resolve T2D, sudden drops in blood sugar can lead to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Skipping a meal or taking too many medications that alter your insulin levels can lead to this drop in blood sugar. If your blood sugar gets too low, you may experience blurred vision, a rapid heartbeat, headaches, dizziness, or even seizures. It is important that type 2 diabetics regulate their diet over time and make adjustments to their lifestyle. Extra calories add up, and a good diet plan can go a long way to weight management.
Another type of acute complication that can occur from starving your cells is ketoacidosis. If your body doesn’t have enough energy, or insulin, your body will begin breaking down fat. Throughout this process, the body may produce toxic acids. That kind of toxic build up in the body can lead to dehydration, abdominal pain, and breathing problems.
Most diabetes complications develop over time. The longer you’ve lived with diabetes, the higher your risk is for complications. Managing and maintaining normal blood sugar levels will lower the risk of developing complications. In many cases, losing weight and keeping it off will resolve those type 2 diabetes symptoms entirely.
How do you treat type 2 diabetes?
To treat type 2 diabetes, most doctors will tell you to lose weight and exercise. There are some kinds of medication that can be taken orally to help, as well. No matter how you look at it, it is important to commit to a healthy lifestyle.
Do I have type 2 diabetes?
If you are American diabetes is likely to effect as many as 1 in 4 people. That number is considered much higher is you are an Asian American, at almost 1 in 2. Plus, 90% of people who have the illness don’t even know they have it. Making sure you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly can help prevent T2D.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your blood sugar levels are too high and your body does not make enough insulin. Insulin is what helps sugar (blood glucose levels) get into and energize your body’s cells. Without insulin, you’ll end up with too much sugar in your blood. Over time this can lead to major problems with your kindeys, heart, nerves, eyes, and teeth. Risk of heart disease and stroke are twice as likely to occur if you have diabetes.
You are at risk to develop type 2 diabetes if you suffer from obesity. Other risk factors include a history of diabetes in your family, not getting enough exercise, and age. Those over the age of 45 are at a higher risk to develop the disease. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are not always noticeable, but do include:
Need to urinate often
Pain and numbness in hands or feet
Cuts, sores, or bruises that take a long time to heal
If you have any of the symptoms listed above and are overweight, you could be at risk for type 2 diabetes. If you know you have type 2 diabetes or if you're worried you might, call our office to schedule a consultation today. Our medical weight loss programs can lead to long term weight control and positive health benefits, and often include blood tests to monitor your progress. The products and services Peak Medical Weight Loss Clinic offers protect against weight gain and foster healthy eating.