Type 2 diabetes is one of the biggest health risks we face today. Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, and it’s a chronic health condition that you have to manage in order to prevent potential complications. Because of how serious the complications of type 2 diabetes can be, it’s important to understand what diabetes can look like and how its symptoms first appear.
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Since diabetes is a chronic condition, you should know how it’s treated and managed over time. Type 2 diabetes can be treated in several ways. Many of which you can discover by searching online.
If you’re wondering what diabetes looks like and how it can be managed, here’s what you need to know.
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What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body’s cells don’t respond normally to the hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. Essentially, you develop a resistance to this hormone. As your cells become increasingly resistant to action of this hormone, it prevents the entry of glucose into the cell, causing levels to rise in the blood sugar. These high blood sugar levels can lead to other serious health issues.
Type 2 diabetes can be caused by several different factors or health considerations, including:
- Genes (i.e., having a first-degree relative [parent or sibling(s)] with the disease)
- Being overweight or obese;
- Having metabolic syndrome
- Too much glucose created by the liver
- Bad communication between cells
- Broken beta cells, the cells that produce the hormone that regulates glucose in the blood.
Additionally, if you have certain risk factors in your health history or background, you may be at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The more risk factors you have, the more likely you may be to become diabetic. These risk factors include:
- Being > 45 years of age
- Having an immediate family member (i.e., parents, brother, or sister) with diabetes
- Being of a certain ethnicity, such as African American, Hispanic American, Native American, or Pacific Islander, or Alaska Native
- Having high blood pressure (or hypertension)
- Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol
- High triglyceride levels
- Sedentary lifestyle (i.e., being physically active < 3 times per week)
- Having had gestational diabetes (i.e., diabetes during pregnancy) or having given birth to a baby weighing > 9-pounds
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
If you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes, it’s important to talk with your doctor. Make sure to discuss your potential risk level and ways that you may be able to mitigate that risk.