What Is Type 2 Diabetes And How To Manage It

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What Is Type 2 Diabetes And How To Manage It

Diabetes is a life-long disease that affects the way your body handles glucose in your blood.


Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, facilitates the movement of glucose absorbed from food in blood into cells.

Patients with Type II diabetes have insulin resistance and the normal metabolism involving insulin becomes disrupted.

In the initial phase, the pancreas will compensate by making more insulin to maintain normal metabolism but eventually, due to inadequate compensation, sugar will build up in the blood.

Causes of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Genes. Certain individuals have a genetic predisposition to develop type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity. Obesity causes insulin resistance.
  • Metabolic syndrome. People with insulin resistance often have a group of conditions including high blood glucose, extra fat around the waist, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Hepatic Causes. Liver abnormalities can cause abnormally high blood sugars
  • Abnormal beta cells. Abnormal pancreatic beta cells (the cells that produce insulin) can cause Diabetes Type II

Risk Factors and Prevention

  • Age: 45 or older
  • Family members with Diabetes
  • Ethnicity: African-American, Alaska Native, Native American, Asian-American, Hispanic or Latino, or Pacific Islander-American are all predisposed to develop Diabetes Type 2
  • Heart and blood vessel disease
  • High blood pressure, even if it’s treated and under control
  • Low HDL (“good”) cholesterol
  • High triglycerides
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Gestational Pregnancy
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Depression
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Insufficient or excessive amounts of sleep

What Can You Do?

  • Lose weight. 7% to 10% of weight loss can cut your risk of type 2 diabetes by half.
  • Exercise. Moving muscles use insulin. Thirty minutes of brisk walking a day will cut your risk by almost a third.
  • Eat right. Avoid highly processed carbs, sugary drinks, and trans and saturated fats. Limit red and processed meats.
  • Quit smoking.


  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive amounts of urine
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased irritability
  • Tingling or numbness in your hands or feet
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Poor wound healing
  • Recurrent yeast infections

Getting A DiagnosisBlood tests can be performed to determine diabetic statuses.

A1C: This gives an indication of the sugar control over the last 3 months from the point of blood evaluation.

Fasting plasma glucose: This gives a direct measure of the blood glucose level at the point of blood evaluation.

Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): This evaluates how your body handles excessive sugar.

Long-Term Effects

Over time, high blood sugar can damage and cause problems with your:

  • Heart and blood vessels
  • Kidneys
  • Eyes
  • Nerves, which can lead to trouble with digestion, the feeling in your feet, and your sexual response
  • Wound healing
  • Pregnancy

The best way to avoid these complications is to manage your diabetes well.

  • Take your diabetes medications or insulin on time.
  • Check your blood glucose.
  • Eat right, and don’t skip meals.
  • See your doctor regularly to check for early signs of trouble.  By Dr. Tzun Hon Lau

Dr. Tzun Hon Lau is a resident housecall doctor at CMY Medical with more than a decade of experience in home care. He has attended to patients of all ages with a wide variety of health conditions.

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