There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is normally found in children which then becomes a life-long disease where the body does not produce any insulin. Type 2 diabetes known as adult-onset diabetes is a disease that afflicts mostly those who are in the mature age group. However, with rising affluence, people of all ages including children are beginning to get the disease. For people with type 2 diabetes, insulin is produced but the body does not use it correctly, a condition known as insulin resistant, or there is insufficient insulin to aid in the conversion of glucose.
There are more people being afflicted by type 2 diabetes as compared to type 1 diabetes. Globally, there are an estimated 387 million people living with diabetes and this is expected to increase by an additional 205 million people by 2035.
The choice of diet and lifestyle are the main reasons for type 2 diabetes. The rising affluence which enables one to indulge in diets considered as unhealthy combined with a sedentary lifestyle positioned in front of the television exacerbates the chances of getting type 2 diabetes.
Physically speaking, in type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is not working as efficiently as it is expected to for good health. The body is building insulin resistance and is not able to effectively convert glucose into energy resulting in blood containing an overdose of glucose.
The management of type 2 diabetes includes lifestyle modifications including changes in diet towards a healthy diet, regular exercise that works the heart and the monitoring of blood glucose levels. Eating a healthy diet facilitates in blood sugar levels and in the management of weight control. A regular set of vigorous exercise helps in insulin control, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.
The regular monitoring of blood glucose levels ensures the treatment undertaken is effectively controlling blood glucose levels or if an adjustment in treatment is required. The blood glucose levels should be close to the target range of between 4 to 6 mmol/L (during fast) which will prevent short-term and long-term complications. The healthcare team consisting of a doctor, specialist, dietician, and educator in diabetes helps type 2 diabetes patients in the management of diabetes.
Although the two recommended lifestyle changes of healthy diet and exercise are practiced in the management of blood sugar levels, this is insufficient due to the progressive nature of type 2 diabetes. This means the insulin resistance level increases and the pancreas become less effective in converting glucose into energy. The initial prescription for the conversion of glucose into energy by the pancreas are tablets that will help in controlling blood glucose levels. With the progression of diabetes, it will become necessary for more effective medication that will react immediately with the blood system that is the injection of insulin directly into the bloodstream. This is the stage when the body does not produce insulin on its own.
There has to be a thorough understanding of the implications on the body with the progression of the disease and the importance of the correct kind of medication at each stage of the disease. If a tablet or form of insulin is found to be unsuitable for one’s body, then an alternative medication with a doctor’s recommendation should be prescribed.
It is important that the management of the glucose level with medication in the form of tablets and insulin has to be accompanied by a proper diet and regular exercise. The proper management of the disease and the taking of the required medication can result in fewer long-term complications.
Gentle reminder: The information on this article is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare professional and should not be considered as professional advice. Please seek appropriate medical help when necessary.