Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?
Type 2 diabetes is a serious, long-term medical condition. It develops mostly in adults but is becoming more common in children as obesity rates rise across all age groups. Several factors contribute to type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor. Type 2 diabetes can be life-threatening. But if treated carefully, it can be managed or even reversed. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. When your blood sugar (glucose) levels rise, the pancreas releases insulin. This causes sugar to move from your blood to your cells, where it can be used as an energy source. As glucose levels in your blood go back down, your pancreas stops releasing insulin. Type 2 diabetes impacts how you metabolize sugar. Either your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or your body has become resistant to its effects. This causes glucose to build up in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia. There are several symptoms of untreated type 2 diabetes, including: excessive thirst and urination fatigue increased hunger weight loss, in spite of eating more infections that heal slowly blurry vision dark patches on the skin Treatment for type 2 diabetes includes monitoring your blood sugar levels and using medications or insulin when needed. Doctors also recommend losing weight through diet and exercise. Some diabetes medications have weight loss as a side effect, which can also help reverse diabetes. If you start eating healthier, get more exercise, and lose weight, you can reduce your symptoms. Research shows that these lifestyle changes, especially physical activity, can even reverse the course of the condition. Studies that show the reversal of type 2 diabetes include participants who have lived with the condition for only a few years. Weight loss is the primary fact Continue reading >>
Have We Got The Causes Of Type 2 Diabeteswrong?
Have we got the causes of type 2 diabeteswrong? Have we got the causes of type 2 diabeteswrong? Associate Professor, Nottingham Trent University Mark Turner receives funding from the British Council in the form of a grant entitled "Carnosine: biological actions and therapeutic implications". The proportion of adults with diabetes around the world has risen from 4.7% in 1980 to more than 8.5% today . More than 422m people now suffer from diabetes so there is an urgent need to better understand the disease and develop new treatments. However, new research from Heidelberg University in Germany suggests that we may have got the causes of type 2 diabetes wrong. But have we? And if so, how might it affect treatment? People with diabetes need to carefully monitor their blood-sugar levels. This is important, as it helps to reduce the risk of developing complications, such as heart disease and blindness. But even with good control of blood-sugar levels, people with diabetes often go on to develop further complications, including nerve damage and kidney damage. This suggests that effective treatment of diabetes requires more than simply good control of blood-sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes often associated with obesity happens when the pancreas doesnt release enough of the hormone, insulin, or the bodys cells dont react to insulin. (Insulin helps the body use glucose for immediate energy needs or store it for future energy needs.) This means that sugar (glucose) stays in the blood and isnt used as fuel for energy. The cause of these defects remains controversial. The latest research, published in Cell Metabolism , suggests that a molecule called methylglyoxal (MG) may cause many of the defects associated with type 2 diabetes. But what does it do? MG is a reactive metabolite (a byp Continue reading >>
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Diabetes means having too much sugar (glucose) in your blood. In Type 2 diabetes, sugars go up because the body’s cells aren’t using the hormone called insulin effectively. What causes this “insulin resistance?” The answers may surprise you. Mainstream medicine and media have a standard explanation for Type 2. You get it if you’re fat and lazy. As WebMD puts it, “While not everyone with Type 2 diabetes is overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity are two of the most common causes of this form of diabetes.” However, Type 2 diabetes is not primarily a disease of behavior. As I showed in my book Diabetes: Sugar-Coated Crisis, it is an environmental illness. Here are ten causes for Type 2: • Refined foods. Type 2 diabetes was unknown until the rise of agriculture. Hunters and gatherers don’t get it, but people who eat a lot of grains can. Sugars or low-fiber refined grains like white bread get glucose into our systems very fast. The lower intestine isn’t involved in digesting these refined foods, so it doesn’t produce some of the incretin hormones needed for proper insulin function. Eating refined starches and sugars occasionally doesn’t cause insulin resistance, but too much of them can. • Genetics. Type 2 diabetes has a strong genetic component: If one identical twin has Type 2 diabetes, the other twin has a 70–90% chance of developing it. If one parent has Type 2 diabetes, his or her children have about a 40% chance of developing it in adulthood. If both parents have it, their children have up to a 70% chance of getting it. But are these associations genetic? Or is it that families share the same risk factors such as poverty, bad food, a history of trauma, or physical inactivity? Or is it something else, such as the following? • Inte Continue reading >>
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Insulin resistance and high levels of insulin and lipids all precede the development of metabolic dysfunction. Which metabolic factor is to blame? Type 2 diabetes is a multifactorial metabolic disease.1 Obesity, elevated levels of lipids and insulin in the blood, and insulin resistance all accompany the elevated blood glucose that defines diabetes. (Diabetes is defined as fasting blood glucose concentrations above 7 millimolar (mM), or above 11 mM two hours after ingestion of 75 grams of glucose.) But while researchers have made much progress in understanding these components of the metabolic dysfunction, one major question remains: What serves as the primary driver of disease? Lifestyle choices characterized by inactivity have been postulated as one possible cause. Researchers have also pointed the finger at nutrition, postulating that poor food choices can contribute to metabolic disease. However, there is thus far weak support for these hypotheses. Changing to a healthy diet typically does not result in significant weight loss or the resolution of metabolic dysfunction, and it is rare to reverse obesity or diabetes through increased exercise. Furthermore, there does not appear to be a strong relationship between body-mass index (BMI) and activity level, though exercise clearly has many other health benefits. With such macroscale factors unable to explain most cases of obesity and diabetes, scientists have looked to molecular mechanisms for answers. There are at least 40 genetic mutations known to be associated with type 2 diabetes. These genes tend to be involved in the function of pancreatic β cells, which secrete insulin in response to elevated levels of the three types of cellular fuel: sugar, fat, and protein. In healthy young adults, circulating glucose concent Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms, Signs, Diet, And Treatment
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which cells cannot use blood sugar (glucose) efficiently for energy. This happens when the cells become insensitive to insulin and the blood sugar gradually gets too high. There are two types of diabetes mellitus, type 1 and type 2. In type 2, the pancreas still makes insulin, but the cells cannot use it very efficiently. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot make insulin due to auto-immune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells. Type 2 can be caused by: Lack of activity (sedentary behavior) Genetics Risk factors include: Being overweight Being sedentary including watching more than 2 hours of TV per day Drinking soda Consuming too much sugar and processed food The signs and symptoms of this type of this type of diabetes are sometimes subtle. The major symptom is often being overweight. Other symptoms and signs include: Urinating a lot Gaining or losing weight unintentionally Dark skin under armpits, chin, or groin Unusual odor to urine Blurry vision Often there are no specific symptoms of the condition and it goes undiagnosed until routine blood tests are ordered. A blood sugar level more than 125 when fasting or more than 200 randomly is a diagnosis for diabetes. Treatment is with diet and lifestyle changes that include eating less sugary foods, and foods that are high in simple carbohydrates (sugar, bread, and pasta.) Sometimes a person will need to take drugs, for example, metformin (Glucophage). People with both types of diabetes need monitor their blood sugar levels often to avoid high (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Complications include heart and kidney disease, neuropathy, sexual and/or urinary problems, foot problems, and eye problems. This health condition can be prevented by following a Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes
Print Overview Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), your body's important source of fuel. With type 2 diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — or doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. More common in adults, type 2 diabetes increasingly affects children as childhood obesity increases. There's no cure for type 2 diabetes, but you may be able to manage the condition by eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. If diet and exercise aren't enough to manage your blood sugar well, you also may need diabetes medications or insulin therapy. Symptoms Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly. In fact, you can have type 2 diabetes for years and not know it. Look for: Increased thirst and frequent urination. Excess sugar building up in your bloodstream causes fluid to be pulled from the tissues. This may leave you thirsty. As a result, you may drink — and urinate — more than usual. Increased hunger. Without enough insulin to move sugar into your cells, your muscles and organs become depleted of energy. This triggers intense hunger. Weight loss. Despite eating more than usual to relieve hunger, you may lose weight. Without the ability to metabolize glucose, the body uses alternative fuels stored in muscle and fat. Calories are lost as excess glucose is released in the urine. Fatigue. If your cells are deprived of sugar, you may become tired and irritable. Blurred vision. If your blood sugar is too high, fluid may be pulled from the lenses of your eyes. This may affect your ability to focus. Slow-healing sores o Continue reading >>
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes We all know the simplest way to check for diabetes is to see if you have too much sugar in your blood. This is most reliably measured by the HbA1c test, which measures how much sugar is coating your red blood cells on average over roughly 120 days. There are other tests too, that some doctors believe are better at catching diabetes earlier, at the prediabetes stage. When we ask “what causes Type 2 diabetes?” we can answer this question in two ways. One, we can look at the factors that are known to increase the risk of diabetes and two, we can look at what actually happens in the body, as a mechanism, before you develop a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Let’s look at both. Risk Factors Associated with Diabetes 1. Genetics If you have a close family member with diabetes, it increases your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes significantly. Mind you, like all genetics, we know from research that this is not a dead end. ‘Epigenetics’ or how you live plays as important a role. You can greatly improve your odds of beating your genetics by living right. 2. Being Overweight Obesity contributes a whopping 80-85% to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One of the mechanisms best understood for how being obese contributes to diabetes involves having too much abdominal fat, which leads to an “on fire” or inflamed state of your body. You can read more on this process later in this article. It is for this very reason that weight loss is one of the most effective ways of reducing diabetes risk and if you are already diabetic, of improving your diabetes control. 3. Having High Blood Pressure or Cholesterol … are factors that contribute to the phenomenon called Metabolic Syndrome that is thought of as being the precursor to diabetes. There are se Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by special cells, called beta cells. The pancreas is below and behind the stomach. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar (glucose) into cells. Inside the cells, glucose is stored and later used for energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, your fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond correctly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar does not get into these cells to be stored for energy. When sugar cannot enter cells, a high level of sugar builds up in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia. The body is unable to use the glucose for energy. This leads to the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually develops slowly over time. Most people with the disease are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed. Increased fat makes it harder for your body to use insulin the correct way. Type 2 diabetes can also develop in people who are thin. This is more common in older adults. Family history and genes play a role in type 2 diabetes. Low activity level, poor diet, and excess body weight around the waist increase your chance of getting the disease. Continue reading >>
Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which sugar, or glucose, levels build up in your bloodstream. The hormone insulin helps move the sugar from your blood into your cells, which are where the sugar is used for energy. In type 2 diabetes, your body’s cells aren’t able to respond to insulin as well as they should. In later stages of the disease your body may also not produce enough insulin. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels, causing several symptoms and potentially leading to serious complications. In type 2 diabetes your body isn’t able to effectively use insulin to bring glucose into your cells. This causes your body to rely on alternative energy sources in your tissues, muscles, and organs. This is a chain reaction that can cause a variety of symptoms. Type 2 diabetes can develop slowly. The symptoms may be mild and easy to dismiss at first. The early symptoms may include: constant hunger a lack of energy fatigue weight loss excessive thirst frequent urination dry mouth itchy skin blurry vision As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more severe and potentially dangerous. If your blood sugar levels have been high for a long time, the symptoms can include: yeast infections slow-healing cuts or sores dark patches on your skin foot pain feelings of numbness in your extremities, or neuropathy If you have two or more of these symptoms, you should see your doctor. Without treatment, diabetes can become life-threatening. Diabetes has a powerful effect on your heart. Women with diabetes are twice as likely to have another heart attack after the first one. They’re at quadruple the risk of heart failure when compared to women without diabetes. Diabetes can also lead to complications during pregnancy. Diet is an imp Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes Causes
Type 2 diabetes has several causes: genetics and lifestyle are the most important ones. A combination of these factors can cause insulin resistance, when your body doesn’t use insulin as well as it should. Insulin resistance is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes. Genetics Play a Role in Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes can be hereditary. That doesn’t mean that if your mother or father has (or had) type 2 diabetes, you’re guaranteed to develop it; instead, it means that you have a greater chance of developing type 2. Researchers know that you can inherit a risk for type 2 diabetes, but it’s difficult to pinpoint which genes carry the risk. The medical community is hard at work trying to figure out the certain genetic mutations that lead to a risk of type 2. Lifestyle Is Very Important, Too Genes do play a role in type 2 diabetes, but lifestyle choices are also important. You can, for example, have a genetic mutation that may make you susceptible to type 2, but if you take good care of your body, you may not develop diabetes. Say that two people have the same genetic mutation. One of them eats well, watches their cholesterol, and stays physically fit, and the other is overweight (BMI greater than 25) and inactive. The person who is overweight and inactive is much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes because certain lifestyle choices greatly influence how well your body uses insulin. Lack of exercise: Physical activity has many benefits—one of them being that it can help you avoid type 2 diabetes, if you’re susceptible. Unhealthy meal planning choices: A meal plan filled with high-fat foods and lacking in fiber (which you can get from grains, vegetables, and fruits) increases the likelihood of type 2. Overweight/Obesity: Lack of exercise and unhealthy me Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. We do not know what causes type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors. Type 2 diabetes also has strong genetic and family related risk factors. Type 2 diabetes: Is diagnosed when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (reduced insulin production) and/or the insulin does not work effectively and/or the cells of the body do not respond to insulin effectively (known as insulin resistance) Represents 85–90 per cent of all cases of diabetes Usually develops in adults over the age of 45 years but is increasingly occurring in younger age groups including children, adolescents and young adults Is more likely in people with a family history of type 2 diabetes or from particular ethnic backgrounds For some the first sign may be a complication of diabetes such as a heart attack, vision problems or a foot ulcer Is managed with a combination of regular physical activity, healthy eating and weight reduction. As type 2 diabetes is often progressive, most people will need oral medications and/or insulin injections in addition to lifestyle changes over time. Type 2 diabetes develops over a long period of time (years). During this period of time insulin resistance starts, this is where the insulin is increasingly ineffective at managing the blood glucose levels. As a result of this insulin resistance, the pancreas responds by producing greater and greater amounts of insulin, to try and achieve some degree of management of the blood glucose levels. As insulin overproduction occurs over a very long period of time, the insulin producing cells in the pan Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes: Causes And Symptoms
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for over 90% of all diabetes cases.1,2 The number of adults diagnosed with diabetes in the US has risen significantly in the past 30 years, almost quadrupling from 5.5 million cases in 1980 to 21.3 million in 2012.1 Type 2 diabetes used to be known as adult-onset diabetes and noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), but the disease can have an onset at any age, increasingly including childhood.2 What is type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes mellitus most commonly develops in adulthood and is more likely to occur in people who are overweight and physically inactive.3 Unlike type 1 diabetes which currently cannot be prevented, many of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes can be modified. For many people, therefore, it is possible to prevent the condition.4 The International Diabetes Foundation highlight four symptoms that signal the need for diabetes testing:5 Frequent urination Weight loss Lack of energy Excessive thirst. To learn more, visit the Knowledge Center articles about symptoms or diagnosis. Causes of type 2 diabetes Insulin resistance is usually the precursor to type 2 diabetes - a condition in which more insulin than usual is needed for glucose to enter cells.3 Insulin resistance in the liver results in more glucose production while resistance in peripheral tissues means glucose uptake is impaired.2 The impairment stimulates the pancreas to make more insulin but eventually the pancreas is unable to make enough to prevent blood sugar levels from rising too high.3 Genetics plays a part in type 2 diabetes - relatives of people with the disease are at a higher risk, and the prevalence of the condition is higher in particular among Native Americans, Hispanic and Asian people.2 Obesity and weight gain are impo Continue reading >>
Causes Of Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a number of diseases that involve problems with the hormone insulin. While not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity are two of the most common causes of this form of diabetes. It is also responsible for about 90% to 95% of diabetes cases in the United States, according to the CDC. This article will give you a better understanding of the causes of type 2 diabetes, what happens in the body when type 2 diabetes occurs, and specific health problems that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Each section links to more in-depth information on that topic. In a healthy person, the pancreas (an organ behind the stomach) releases insulin to help the body store and use the sugar from the food you eat. Diabetes happens when one or more of the following occurs: When the pancreas does not produce any insulin. When the pancreas produces very little insulin. When the body does not respond appropriately to insulin, a condition called "insulin resistance." Unlike people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes produce insulin; however, the insulin their pancreas secretes is either not enough or the body is unable to recognize the insulin and use it properly (insulin resistance). When there isn't enough insulin or the insulin is not used as it should be, glucose (sugar) can't get into the body's cells and builds up in the bloodstream instead. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it causes damage in multiple areas of the body. Also, since cells aren't getting the glucose they need, they can't function properly. To understand why insulin is important, it helps to know more about how the body uses food for energy. Your body is made up of millions of cells. To make energy, these cells need food in a Continue reading >>
Symptoms & Causes Of Diabetes
What are the symptoms of diabetes? Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination increased hunger fatigue blurred vision numbness or tingling in the feet or hands sores that do not heal unexplained weight loss Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can start quickly, in a matter of weeks. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly—over the course of several years—and can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. Some people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes-related health problems, such as blurred vision or heart trouble. What causes type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease. Studies such as TrialNet are working to pinpoint causes of type 1 diabetes and possible ways to prevent or slow the disease. What causes type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes—the most common form of diabetes—is caused by several factors, including lifestyle factors and genes. Overweight, obesity, and physical inactivity You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index (BMI) charts. Insulin resistance Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resista Continue reading >>
Can Eating Too Much Sugar Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
Because type 2 diabetes is linked to high levels of sugar in the blood, it may seem logical to assume that eating too much sugar is the cause of the disease. But of course, it’s not that simple. “This has been around for years, this idea that eating too much sugar causes diabetes — but the truth is, type 2 diabetes is a multifactorial disease with many different types of causes,” says Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDE, a nutrition coach in Prescott, Arizona, and a medical reviewer for Everyday Health. “Type 2 diabetes is really complex.” That said, some research does suggest that eating too many sweetened foods can affect type 2 diabetes risk, and with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that 30.3 million Americans have the disease — and that millions of more individuals are projected to develop it, too — understanding all the risk factors for the disease, including sugar consumption, is essential to help reverse the diabetes epidemic. The Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes Story: Not So Sweet After the suspicion that sugar was the cause of diabetes, the scientific community pointed its finger at carbohydrates. That makes sense, notes Grieger, explaining that simple and complex carbohydrates are both metabolized as sugar, leading blood sugar levels to fluctuate. Yet carbs are processed differently in the body based on their type: While simple carbs are digested and metabolized quickly, complex carbs take longer to go through this system, resulting in more stable blood sugar. “It comes down to their chemical forms: A simple carbohydrate has a simpler chemical makeup, so it doesn’t take as much for it to be digested, whereas the complex ones take a little longer,” Grieger explains. Sources of complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat bread an Continue reading >>