Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) refers to a prolonged disorder where the glucose metabolism in the body does not function properly. This means that the amount of sugar supply required by cells to carry out their routine biochemical activities is neither available nor regulated.
When glucose from food sources as well as the liver enters our digestive system, it is broken down into simple sugars, which is then carried to several tissues in the body, to ensure their energy requirements are met.
Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, which is a large gland situated beneath the stomach, is responsible for transporting these sugars to various organs and for maintaining normal blood sugar range.
In the case of T2DM, the insulin delay and glucose processing do not work properly. As a result, sugars accumulate in the bloodstream, resulting in alarmingly high blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the pancreatic cells instrumental in synthesizing insulin also undergo damage, leaving insufficient insulin to control blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a persistent condition, that must be consistently dealt with precise medical treatments and rigorous lifestyle modifications. If the medications are not adhered to by the affected individual, it can lead to very grave consequences including kidney failure, vision problems, nerve damage or neuropathies, heart ailments and skin disorders. Also Read: Diabetic Neuropathy: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment.
Various underlying reasons can trigger the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults such as:
- Being overweight i.e. having a body mass index (BMI) above 24
- Excess fat storage in abdominal region
- Sedentary habits and complete lack of exercise
- A family history of T2DM
- Being older than 40 years of age
The characteristic symptoms of type 2 diabetes mellitus include:
- Feeling thirsty very often
- Unregulated bowel movements
- Unexplained weight loss
- Feeling exhausted and dizzy
- Wounds and blisters that heal very slowly
- Hazy vision
- Darkened skin in the armpit and neck areas
Diagnosis And Treatment:
The doctor will initially examine all the external symptoms of the patient and enquire about their family’s complete medical history.
The main technique employed in detecting T2DM is analysing the affected individual’s blood sugar levels at different instances in time, such as before a meal, after food and post overnight fasting.
In general, values within 140 mg/dL are considered normal blood sugar levels. However, when the reading is above 140 mg/dL but below 200 mg/dL, the risk of acquiring T2DM is relatively high and hence the patient is said to be prediabetic. When blood sugar levels cross 200 mg/dL, a diagnosis of diabetes is confirmed. Also Read: Diabetes Mellitus: Know Your Fasting, Post-Prandial, HBA1C Numbers.
The laboratory procedures carried out to calculate these blood sugar levels are the glycated hemoglobin test (HbA1C), random blood sugar test and the fasting blood sugar test.
Treatment is initiated as soon as blood sugar levels of the patient are elevated. This condition cannot be completely cured in the affected person, but following a strict diet, exercise and medication regime can vastly improve the quality of life and reduce the risk of further complications.
Weight loss is key in effectively managing Type2 Diabetes Mellitus. The doctors will advise the patient to routinely practice a well-balanced diet high in fibers, fresh fruits and vegetables and low on sugars. In addition, the healthcare professional will also suggest a daily exercise routine and frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels.
However, merely a balanced diet and regular exercise cannot help to keep T2DM in check. The medical professional also prescribe drugs and insulin therapy to bring down blood glucose levels within the normal range. Insulin is either taken orally or administered intravenously.
In situations wherein extreme obesity such as having a BMI more than 35 leads to type 2 diabetes mellitus, bariatric surgery is performed on the individual to reduce body weight and significantly reduce blood sugar levels.