What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Let me give some clarity on the terms diabetes, insulin and glucose, before I answer the question: "what is type 2 diabetes".

Diabetes Summary

The term diabetes usually refers to diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes mellitus is a disorder where there are abnormally high blood glucose levels.
This is usually as a result of the body's inability to utilize insulin or to produce insulin in enough quantities for glucose to be metabolized (used).

That is when the glucose builds up in the blood and the only way to get rid of it is via the kidneys.
Mellitus literally means "sweet urine".

Insulin and Glucose

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas, a gland located just behind the stomach. The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream according to the level of sugar in your blood.

The insulin attaches to the insulin receptors of the cells, allowing sugar to enter the cells. Insulin is the "key" that unlocks the doors of the cells for the sugar in your blood.
As the sugar gets used, the level of sugar in your blood drops and the pancreas produces less insulin.

Glucose (sugar) is a main source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues. Glucose comes from the food you eat and your liver.

The food you eat is broken down into glucose and other nutrients, which is then released into your bloodstream. From the bloodstream, glucose enters the cells with the help of insulin.

If there are no or little insulin, the glucose do not enter the cells and remains in the bloodstream and the level of sugar in the blood is higher than normal. Sustained high blood sugar levels can cause a number of health problems.

The liver stores glucose as glycogen. When your blood sugar levels are low, the liver metabolizes stored glycogen into glucose to your bloodstream, so that your blood sugar levels stays within a normal range.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes (AOD), insulin resistant diabetes and non-insulin diabetes mellitus. (NIDDM)
Also known as diabetes type 2, or plainly type 2.

Though type 2 diabetes is more common in adults aged 45 and older, children and adolescents are increasingly at risk for the disease due to growing childhood weight problems and sedentary lifestyles.

Being overweight or worse, obese and leading a sedentary lifestyle are major risk factors for developing diabetes type 2, as well as having a family history of diabetes.
Diabetes type 2 is the most prevalent form of the disease, accounting for over 90% of all cases.

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that affects the way your body uses food for energy.
The disease is due to insulin resistance, where there is usually a problem with the body's insulin receptors, which do not allow the insulin to attach and therefore the glucose is unable to enter the cells.
There could also be a problem with the chemical makeup of the insulin itself, though less frequent.

When the glucose is not used by the cells, it builds up in the bloodstream, resulting in high blood sugar levels.
The pancreas keeps increasing insulin secretion in an effort to keep up with rising blood sugar levels, resulting in high circulating levels of insulin (hyperinsulinemia) develop. Hyperinsulinemia increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems.

Over time, the high blood glucose levels from uncontrolled diabetes damages the insulin producing cells of the pancreas, resulting in less insulin output.

Persistent high blood sugar can cause serious long term health problems with virtually every system in your body.
Including the heart (leading to a heart attack), eyes (diabetic retinopathy), kidneys (diabetic Nephropathy), nerves (diabetic Neuropathy) and blood vessels (leading to high blood pressure, strokes, peripheral arterial disease, and possibly amputation).

Sometimes type 2 diabetes develops so slowly that you do not have symptoms until you already have some more serious problems from the disease.
Diabetes is sometimes called: "The invisible disease". You could be totally unaware that you have the disease. Make it more "visible" by testing your blood sugar levels.

Fortunately, in many cases type 2 diabetes can be adequately controlled through a combination of exercise and correct nutrition.

Treatment usually includes eating healthy foods and spreading carbohydrate throughout the day, exercising regularly, checking your blood sugar levels often, and possibly taking medicine.

You can prevent or delay more serious health problems by keeping your blood sugar within a safe range.

Final Thoughts

It is necessary for you to come to terms with the disease and to accept responsibility for your own life.
Your body is the only one you have - For the rest of your life!

You have been given this extra burden called diabetes. It does not do anything if you rebel against it, go into depression about it or even completely deny it.

It is up to you and you alone to make the decision to take control and enjoy the best your body has to offer, even if it is different than those around you.

Yes, your body is your responsibility, the health care team or anybody else cannot do it for you, only assist you in the best way that they can.

Further information on Type 2 Diabetes.

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