What causes type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes: symptoms, causes, and treatment
Type 2 diabetes begins insidiously and, if left untreated, leads to serious secondary diseases. However, proper nutrition and exercise can significantly improve blood sugar levels.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most widespread diseases in industrialized countries. In Germany alone, doctors treat around eight million people with diabetes. A distinction is made between type 1 and type 2, with the latter being the disease of affluence - over 90 percent of all diabetics suffer from it. Type 1 diabetes affects significantly less of all "diabetics". While this type often occurs in children and adolescents, it is mainly adults over 40 years of age who doctors diagnose type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes develops slowly
According to estimates from 2012, 7.2 percent of the population in Germany have known diabetes and an additional 2.1 percent have an undetected one. Type 2 diabetes usually develops slowly and can go unnoticed for years. This is precisely what is insidious: the body remembers every single excess sugar ("sugar memory") and years later presents the consequences, such as nerve damage or circulatory disorders, especially in the lower legs and feet. A dreaded long-term consequence is the diabetic foot with ulcers and wounds that no longer heal.
Cause: Pancreas overloaded with too many carbohydrates
Type 2 diabetes is hereditary. But not everyone with a predisposition to this carbohydrate metabolic disorder actually gets it. The so-called prosperity syndrome is decisive for the outbreak of the disease: too much food, coupled with too little exercise, promotes insulin resistance.
Insulin is a vital hormone made in the pancreas. It mediates the absorption of the energy supplier glucose (sugar) from the blood into the body cells and thereby lowers the blood sugar level. When the cells become less sensitive to insulin (resistant), the metabolism needs more and more insulin. Research today assumes that insulin resistance can be inherited. Despite hereditary predisposition, diabetes only develops if an inactive lifestyle and an unsuitable diet are added.
If you supply your body with many servings of easily usable carbohydrates, you keep the pancreas in constant operation. Insulin-resistant people have more insulin in their blood than healthy people, but the body can no longer accommodate the excess supply of sugar in the tissue. The constantly increasing insulin level has an effect elsewhere: the body stores more fat - this leads to obesity, and a frequent precursor or concomitant disease of diabetes is also fatty liver. Dangerous deposits form in the vessels. If there is also a lack of exercise, i.e. hardly any blood sugar is used as energy by the muscles, then the insulin resistance can advance particularly quickly.
In the worst case, the pancreas will eventually fail completely.
Symptoms initially unspecific
General malaise and fatigue are the first signs that the food energy (carbohydrates / sugar) that has been consumed is not reaching the body's cells because of insulin resistance. But who is going to see a doctor for that? The chances of a cure at this stage (prediabetes) are still excellent. When the diagnosis "type 2 diabetes" is made, there is often already consequential damage to the cardiovascular system.
The vernacular also calls diabetes diabetes and thus already names the main symptom: detection of sugar in the urine. If the blood sugar concentration is clearly too high, the body excretes sugar in the urine. Other signs of advanced type 2 diabetes:
- frequent urination
- Stunted growth, bed-wetting, weight loss (in children)
- Fatigue, weakness, dizziness
- Visual deterioration, changing eyesight
- dry skin, itching
- alternating loss of appetite and hunger pangs
- Potency disorders / loss of libido
- Muscle spasms
- Nerve disorders
- poorly healing wounds, especially on the feet
- Nausea, abdominal pain
- Urinary tract infections
- Menstrual irregularities, decreased fertility in women
- Mental changes such as aggressive behavior
Diagnosis through blood sugar tests
First, the blood sugar is determined in the doctor's office. A distinction is made between fasting blood sugar and occasional blood sugar. Normal fasting blood sugar does not exceed 100 milligrams per deciliter. Prediabetes may be present with fasting blood sugar levels of up to 125 milligrams per deciliter. If the values are even higher, diabetes mellitus is suspected. In addition, a glucose tolerance test is carried out and the so-called long-term blood sugar is determined: The glyco-hemoglobin ("saccharified" blood pigment, so to speak) provides information about the average blood sugar concentration over the past eight to twelve weeks.
If diabetes mellitus is diagnosed, the fundus, urine, blood pressure, nerves and feet must be examined and the blood lipid and kidney values determined.
Therapy: exercise and change in diet are most important
If you change your lifestyle in good time, you can avoid large amounts of medication and even reverse insulin resistance. He then does not have to fear secondary diseases.
About half of all type 2 diabetics could reduce their disease simply through targeted exercise and a conscious diet. Overweight people even have an advantage, because their insulin is often enough again after they have lost a few pounds. Abdominal fat in particular has to go - it produces inflammatory signal substances and promotes insulin resistance. In more difficult cases, a doctor-supervised formula diet can help you get started with losing weight.
Nutritional therapy: eat regularly, do not snack
- For your main meals, opt for a filling, high-fiber diet with correctly dosed protein (legumes, fish, meat, dairy products) and lots of vegetables.
- Eat mindfully - enjoy every bite.
- Eat regularly - with eating breaks of several hours in between. The body can only switch to fat burning during these short fasting intervals. Avoid snacks and snacks. This also includes beverages containing calories such as latte macchiato and Co.
- Carbohydrates should generally be served in the complex variant: that is, wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, unsweetened cereal flakes. Oats in particular contain fiber that helps lower blood sugar levels. Oat days as a short cure have been shown to make the body cells more sensitive to insulin again. On the other hand, avoid white flour and sugar: they make the blood sugar rise steeply!
- Fast food and ready-made products often contain large amounts of hidden sugars and unhealthy fats, so they should be served no more than once a week.
- Smoking should be as taboo as excessive alcohol consumption: Alcohol is a big calorie trap and it inhibits fat burning.
Our tasty recipes are low in carbohydrates and make the blood sugar level rise only slowly. more
Exercise Therapy: Exercise uses up sugar
Exercise helps directly because muscles need glucose: they take their energy from blood sugar. The equation is simple: the more muscles you build, the sooner and faster your blood sugar level will drop. Muscles have a higher energy consumption (basal metabolic rate) than adipose tissue, even when they are at rest - when they are not used.
Diabetics should therefore build up their muscles through targeted strength exercises. In addition, those affected need regular endurance training, which can permanently lower the blood sugar level. Ideally four times a week - then the effect lasts permanently: Because up to 48 hours after a training session, the muscles are still drawing blood sugar from the blood.
Drug therapy: Do not take insulin too early
Tablets can help you change your diet. Metformin and some other substances (such as glinides, glitazones, α-glucosidase inhibitors) even promote weight loss. On the other hand, sulfonylureas are contraindicated for people who are overweight.
The use of insulin should be carefully considered, as there is a risk of a vicious circle of weight gain and an increase in the insulin dose. However, women with gestational diabetes must take insulin if necessary, as the tablets could harm the unborn child.
The success of the therapy can be read from the long-term blood sugar value (HbA1c).
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Visit | 05/18/2021 | 8:15 pm
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