Diabetes Type 2 – The Lifestyle Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, also known as lifestyle diabetes, mature onset diabetes or diabetes mellitus is an insidious condition afflicting increasing numbers of people worldwide. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas either cannot produce sufficient insulin or more commonly the body becomes resistant to insulin (due to excessive production).
Insulin is a vital component to a healthy body as its primary function is the delivery of nutrients to cells. Unfortunately, however, when we produce too much insulin due to our diet of highly processed and sugar filled carbohydrates, many things start to go wrong.
Muscles can only store a limited amount of glycogen (the stored form of glucose) and any excess glucose still in the bloodstream will be converted to triglycerides and stored in fat cells. If this cycle of high insulin producing eating continues then the body will continue to store even more fat and we will gain weight — eventually muscle, liver and even fat cells will become insulin resistant resulting in glucose toxicity and insulin damage. This will result in a greatly increased risk for heart and circulatory problems, high blood pressure, visual problems and blindness, nerve damage, and kidney damage and amputations. Not a pleasing outcome.
However, the good news is that most of these type 2 diabetes complications can be avoided through lifestyle changes. The first step should be a visit to your local physician who may well then refer you to a nutritional counseling. A nutritionist will be able to educate and inform you on the relationship between blood sugar levels and various foods.
Excess weight also greatly increases the workload on the pancreas as fat cells require much more insulin than lean muscle tissue. Therefore, you will need to adopt some form of exercise program to improve your chances of controlling your blood sugar. However, it is important to note that 70 to 80% of weight loss comes from adjusting your dietary intake.
You should also look at some of the supplements available that may help improve blood sugar levels such as gymnema sylvestre, chromium, magnesium, and vanadyl sulfate. But again, please discuss these with your physician and/or nutritionist.
It is very simple and easy to monitor your blood glucose levels at home, as these days the blood glucose monitors are smaller, easier to use, more accurate and the amount of blood required quite minuscule – no more painful pin pricks these days.
So although diabetes type 2 is a very serious condition, with a good diet, weight control, blood glucose monitoring and an exercise program it is possible to markedly reduce complications and even reverse the effects.