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What Exactly Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes And The Circle Of Life

Type 2 Diabetes And The Circle Of Life

Type 2 diabetes has become an increasing problem in modern America. Because it is chiefly linked to obesity, as more people become overweight and as the age of gaining weight reaches down into childhood, a largely preventable disease turns into an epidemic. The litany about such lifestyle disorders is now familiar to almost everyone. The changes that prevent Type 2 diabetes all move in the direction of moderation: a balanced diet, exercise and management of stress. Yet here we face a paradox — the more information that circulates about lifestyle disorders, the worse the problem grows. A flood of medical warnings hasn’t kept America from eating more, exercising less, turning more sedentary and working under heavier burdens of daily stress. To escape from this paradoxical trap, we must look deeper. A single disorder like Type 2 diabetes leads us to examine the entire circle of life, which is a massive, tangled feedback loop. Each of us leads a life dictated by how well the circle of life is functioning; no single strand can be isolated to solve the problem, a mistake made by mainstream medicine and its focus on intense specialization. First, let’s look at the disorder as viewed by a physician. Diabetes begins when cells that normally respond to insulin, such as muscle and liver cells, become insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone, a chemical “password” that tells a cell to admit glucose (blood sugar). When cells don’t admit glucose into their interiors, sugar builds up in the blood, which has dire consequences for tissues and organs throughout the body. Diabetes is especially pernicious, then, because the damage it causes can crop up almost anywhere. Insulin resistance usually occurs several years before true diabetes develops. Insulin is secreted by the panc Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Vs. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes Vs. Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes affects over 29 million people in the United States, and 1 in 4 of those affected are unaware that they have diabetes.[1] Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in younger people and occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body cannot use the insulin it produces. This disease, frequently related to obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and genetics, is most often diagnosed in adults, but incidence rates are increasing among teens in America.[2][3] Comparison chart Type 1 Diabetes versus Type 2 Diabetes comparison chart Type 1 Diabetes Type 2 Diabetes Definition Beta cells in pancreas are being attacked by body's own cells and therefore can't produce insulin to take sugar out of the blood stream. Insulin is not produced. Diet related insulin release is so large and frequent that receptor cells have become less sensitive to the insulin. This insulin resistance results in less sugar being removed from the blood. Diagnosis Genetic, environmental and auto-immune factors, idiopathic Genetic, obesity (central adipose), physical inactivity, high/low birth weight, GDM, poor placental growth, metabolic syndrome Warning Signs Increased thirst & urination, constant hunger, weight loss, blurred vision and extreme tiredness, glycouria Feeling tired or ill, frequent urination (especially at night), unusual thirst, weight loss, blurred vision, frequent infections and slow wound healing, asymptomatic Commonly Afflicted Groups Children/teens Adults, elderly, certain ethnic groups Prone ethnic groups All more common in African American, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander Bodily Effects Beleived to be triggered autoimmune destruction of the beta cells; autoimmune attack may occur following a viral infection such as mumps, rubell Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes Genetic?

Is Diabetes Genetic?

Diabetes is a complex disease. Several factors must come together for a person to develop Type 2 Diabetes. While genetics may influence whether you’ll get this disease or not, other factors like environmental risk factors and a sedentary lifestyle also play a huge role. So, is type 2 diabetes genetic? And if not, which type of diabetes is genetic? Those are the questions we are faced with today. And unfortunately, the answer is not that simple. Yes, genetics can play a role in increasing the risk for both Diabetes Type 1 as well as Diabetes Type 2, but genes alone will not determine whether you will develop diabetes or not. Will You Get Diabetes If It Runs In Your Family? If you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes, chances are that you’re not the first person in your family who has diabetes. The details of whether diabetes can be inherited, and how this occurs, are not clear yet. About 10% of patients diagnosed with insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetes have a first degree relative with this type of diabetes. By first degree relative, we mean father, mother, sibling, twin and child. However, when it comes to the more common type of diabetes, which is Diabetes Type 2, it has a tendency to occur in families, but this is also not very strong and not predictable. A Swedish study on Metabolic Consequences of a Family History of Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus concluded that abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, and decreased resting metabolic rate are characteristic features of first-degree relatives of patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (in other words, Diabetes Type 2). And that the decrease in resting metabolic rate is partially related to the degree of abdominal obesity. Many doctors with clinical practice treating diabetes believe that thi Continue reading >>

14 Biggest Myths About Type 2 Diabetes

14 Biggest Myths About Type 2 Diabetes

Close to 30 million Americans have diabetes, but misconceptions surround the disease. The truth about type 2 First, a primer on what type 2 diabetes is: blood glucose governs your body's energy, and under normal conditions, a complicated set of interactions move glucose from the blood into muscle cells as quickly as possible. In type 2 diabetes blood sugar (glucose) levels rise higher than normal because the body makes insulin—the key hormone for regulating blood sugar—but can't use it properly. Nearly 30 million Americans—a number that has doubled over the last two decades—have type 2 diabetes. Despite its prevalence, misinformation surrounds the disease, from what causes it to which foods are forbidden and even how to treat it. Here, experts reveal the biggest diabetes myths and set the record straight. Myth: Type 2 diabetes is not that serious Not everyone with type 2 diabetes needs insulin, so it may not seem that serious, says Sarfraz Zaidi, MD, endocrinologist at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, Calif. "In reality it's a silent killer, also because those with type 2 don't have many symptoms," he says. In actuality, type 2 is more complex than type 1, says Dr. Zaidi, who describes type 2 diabetes as a manifestation of an underlying disease process called insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. "This causes high blood pressure, heart disease, and contributes to the growth of cancer and gout," he says. Myth: Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are easy to spot Nearly 28% of people who have type 2 diabetes don't even realize it. While the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are very similar—increased urination and thirst, fatigue, blurred vision, among others—type 1 symptoms tend to have a dramatic and abrupt onset (usually in children and adolescents, b Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance And Beta-cell Failure In Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin Resistance And Beta-cell Failure In Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes, sometimes called adult-onset diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. It is commonly found in adults, but it is being seen more and more in young adults, too. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. (More specifically, insulin is made by special cells in the pancreas, called beta cells.) The pancreas releases insulin to help the body use sugar. Insulin moves sugar to the cells, where it is used as energy. When blood sugar levels rise, such as after meals, the pancreas releases more insulin. When blood sugar levels are low, the pancreas releases less insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body makes some insulin, but the body does not respond to it the way it used to. This is called insulin resistance. In addition to other factors, having too much body fat can contribute to insulin resistance. As a result of diabetes, the body needs more insulin to work. At first, the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are able to keep up, and the pancreas churns out more insulin. But after a while, as more beta cells in the pancreas stop working, the pancreas is not able to keep up with the heavy demand, making less and less insulin until, in many people, it finally makes little to none. As a result of this lower amount of insulin, the sugar stays in the bloodstream, where it builds up and becomes too high. When blood sugar stays high for a long time, there’s a greater risk of developing some diabetes-related problems, like problems with the eyes (diabetic retinopathy) and the nerves in places like the hands and feet (neuropathy). This is why it is so important to keep blood sugar under control. People with type 2 diabetes need help controlling their blood sugar. The first things doctors usually suggest are diet, exercise, and often, di Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And The Circle Of Life

Type 2 Diabetes And The Circle Of Life

Type 2 diabetes has become an increasing problem in modern America. Because it is chiefly linked to obesity, as more people become overweight, and as the age of gaining weight reaches down into childhood, a largely preventable disease turns into an epidemic. The litany about such lifestyle disorders is now familiar to almost everyone. The changes that prevent Type 2 diabetes all move in the direction of moderation: a balanced diet, exercise, and management of stress. Yet here we face a paradox – the more information that circulates about lifestyle disorders, the worse the problem grows. A flood of medical warnings hasn’t kept America from eating more, exercising less, turning more sedentary, and working under heavier burdens of daily stress. To escape from this paradoxical trap, we must look deeper. A single disorder like Type 2 diabetes leads us to examine the entire circle of life, which is a massive, tangled feedback loop. Each of us leads a life dictated by how well the circle of life is functioning; no single strand can be isolated to solve the problem, a mistake made by mainstream medicine and its focus on intense specialization. The Medical Perspective First, let’s look at the disorder as viewed by a physician. Diabetes begins when cells that normally respond to insulin, such as muscle and liver cells, become insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone, a chemical “password” that tells a cell to admit glucose (blood sugar). When cells don’t admit glucose into their interiors, sugar builds up in the blood, which has dire consequences for tissues and organs throughout the body. Diabetes is especially pernicious, then, because the damage it causes can crop up almost anywhere. Insulin resistance usually occurs several years before true diabetes develops. Insu Continue reading >>

How Serious Is Type 2 Diabetes? Is It More Serious Than Type 1 Diabetes?

How Serious Is Type 2 Diabetes? Is It More Serious Than Type 1 Diabetes?

A fellow caregiver asked... How serious is type 2 diabetes, and is it less or more serious than type 1 diabetes? My mom, just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, keeps it under control without taking insulin. So is type 2 diabetes less of a problem than insulin-dependent type 1? Expert Answers No, definitely not. In fact, in some ways type 2 diabetes is a more serious disorder because your mom may have had it for years before she was diagnosed. So she may well have developed some of the long-term, debilitating complications linked to the condition without knowing it. In addition, since type 2 diabetes is a progressive disorder without a cure, over time her body may not be able to produce insulin or use it as well as it does now, and she may wind up needing insulin injections or pills. A person with type1 diabetes ignores it for a day at his own peril. He'll likely end up in the emergency room because his body can't absorb glucose without a continuous supply of insulin via injection or an insulin pump. People with type 1 diabetes typically develop such severe symptoms over a short time in childhood or early adulthood that they're forced to deal with it. Type 2 diabetes is a sneakier condition: Its harmful health effects can slowly build for years until full-blown complications, such as vision loss, heart disease, or foot problems, make it impossible to ignore. Plus it often comes with its own set of problems. For instance, people with type 2 diabetes are frequently diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol along with high blood sugar. This damaging threesome can lead to progressive thickening of the arteries and reduced blood flow, putting your mom at greater risk for a slew of complications including heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage. If your mom is overweigh Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes used to be rare, the kind of disease that doctors saw only once in a long while. Today, diabetes afflicts nearly 26 million Americans, and almost everyone knows at least one person who has it. But that doesn't mean it's well understood by most people. One out of three people with type 2 diabetes isn't aware that they have the condition, and even those who know they have it often aren't sure how to control it. As a result, many people needlessly suffer diabetic complications, including nerve damage, blindness, and amputations. As you might expect, the rise in diabetes means a greater financial impact on the health care system as well. A report released at a conference of the International Diabetes Federation in Paris estimates that worldwide annual health care costs for people aged 20 to 79 with the disease are at least $153 billion -- and they may rise to as much as $396 billion by the year 2025. In fact, in some countries, the IDF says, diabetes is a greater financial strain on the health care system than the AIDS epidemic. The good news is that while type 2 diabetes isn't curable, in some cases it is preventable -- and it's always manageable. If your doctor says you have the disease or are at risk of developing it, it's time to take action. By learning everything you can about diabetes, and following your doctor's instructions, you have a good chance of controlling your diabetes and leading a healthy life. What is type 2 diabetes? The story of diabetes starts with sugar (more specifically glucose). Sugar isn't found just in candy or other sweets. It livens up many other foods, from broccoli to bread. Starchy foods like mashed potatoes and pasta also contain large amounts of carbohydrates that can quickly turn into sugar. Whenever you eat something cont Continue reading >>

Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes In Children

Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes In Children

Doctors at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone have extensive experience diagnosing type 2 diabetes in children. This chronic condition is characterized by excess blood sugar. After you eat, the body breaks down sugars and starches into glucose, the main source of energy for cells. When glucose enters the bloodstream, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which signals the liver, muscles, and fat cells to remove the glucose from the blood and store it until the body needs energy. If the body becomes less responsive to the effects of insulin—a condition known as insulin resistance—the pancreas compensates and produces more insulin. With insulin resistance, the body has difficulty absorbing sugar from the bloodstream, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels, a condition known as prediabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body stops responding to the insulin signal and the pancreas can no longer make enough insulin to compensate for rising blood sugar levels. Causes and Risk Factors Once referred to as adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes has become increasingly common during childhood and adolescence. This trend appears to be linked to an increase in obesity and sedentary habits among children and teens. Although the exact cause of insulin resistance is not completely understood, evidence suggests that being overweight plays an important role. This is because fat cells—especially those found in the abdomen—produce hormones and other substances that increase inflammation in the body, which can lead to insulin resistance. Being inactive, which can contribute to weight gain and lower muscle mass, may be another cause of insulin resistance. Girls with a hormone condition called polycystic ovary syndrome—which can cause facial hair and t Continue reading >>

Self-monitoring Of Blood Glucose As Part Of The Integral Care Of Type 2 Diabetes

Self-monitoring Of Blood Glucose As Part Of The Integral Care Of Type 2 Diabetes

Results from landmark diabetes studies have established A1C as the gold standard for assessing long-term glycemic control. However, A1C does not provide “real-time” information about individual hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic excursions. Real-time information provided by self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) represents an important adjunct to A1C, because it can differentiate fasting, preprandial, and postprandial hyperglycemia; detect glycemic excursions; identify hypoglycemia; and provide immediate feedback about the effect of food choices, physical activity, and medication on glycemic control. The importance of SMBG is widely appreciated and recommended as a core component of management in patients with type 1 or insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, as well as in diabetic pregnancy, for both women with pregestational type 1 and gestational diabetes. Nevertheless, SMBG in management of non–insulin-treated type 2 diabetic patients continues to be debated. Results from clinical trials are inconclusive, and reviews fail to reach an agreement, mainly because of methodological problems. Carefully designed large-scale studies on diverse patient populations with type 2 diabetes with the follow-up period to investigate long-term effects of SMBG in patients with type 2 diabetes should be carried out to clarify how to make the best use of SMBG, in which patients, and under what conditions. Over the last 2 decades, it was firmly established that tight glycemic control is associated with a significant reduction in serious long-term diabetes-related complications. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial demonstrated that treatment that maintains blood glucose levels near normal in type 1 diabetes delays the onset and reduces the progression of microvascular complications (1 Continue reading >>

Causes Of Diabetes

Causes Of Diabetes

Tweet Diabetes causes vary depending on your genetic makeup, family history, ethnicity, health and environmental factors. There is no common diabetes cause that fits every type of diabetes. The reason there is no defined diabetes cause is because the causes of diabetes vary depending on the individual and the type. For instance; the causes of type 1 diabetes vary considerably from the causes of gestational diabetes. Similarly, the causes of type 2 diabetes are distinct from the causes of type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes causes Type 1 diabetes is caused by the immune system destroying the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. This causes diabetes by leaving the body without enough insulin to function normally. This is called an autoimmune reaction, or autoimmune cause, because the body is attacking itself. There is no specific diabetes causes, but the following triggers may be involved: Viral or bacterial infection Chemical toxins within food Unidentified component causing autoimmune reaction Underlying genetic disposition may also be a type 1 diabetes cause. Type 2 diabetes causes Type 2 diabetes causes are usually multifactorial - more than one diabetes cause is involved. Often, the most overwhelming factor is a family history of type 2 diabetes. This is the most likely type 2 diabetes cause. There are a variety of risk factors for type 2 diabetes, any or all of which increase the chances of developing the condition. These include: Living a sedentary lifestyle Increasing age Bad diet Other type 2 diabetes causes such as pregnancy or illness can be type 2 diabetes risk factors. Gestational diabetes causes The causes of diabetes in pregnancy also known as gestational diabetes remain unknown. However, there are a number of risk factors that increase the chances of deve Continue reading >>

8 Facts About Diabetes That Can Save Your Life

8 Facts About Diabetes That Can Save Your Life

En español l Actress S. Epatha Merkerson still remembers the moment a doctor took her aside and said he needed to talk to her. Merkerson, best known as Lt. Anita Van Buren on Law & Order, had volunteered at a health event in Washington and, with cameras rolling, had agreed to be tested for type 2 diabetes — a way to encourage people at risk to see their doctors. When the doctor pulled her aside, "I thought he wanted to get a photo with me or an autograph," Merkerson says with a laugh. "In fact, he told me that my blood sugar levels were way too high. I went to my doctor and discovered that I had type 2 diabetes." In retrospect, she admits, she shouldn't have been surprised. "My dad died of complications of diabetes. My grandmother went blind because of diabetes. I had an uncle with amputations." Like many, she'd ignored some classic warning signs — excessive thirst and frequent urination. Twelve years later, the Emmy Award-winning actress has joined forces with drugmaker Merck in an initiative called America's Diabetes Challenge, to spread the word about prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. "What I've learned is that this is a manageable disease," Merkerson says. It's also a preventable one. Yet type 2 diabetes continues to exact a terrible toll. Untreated, diabetes can damage the retina, causing blindness, and destroy the kidneys. Over time, abnormally high blood sugar levels can reduce circulation to the limbs, ultimately necessitating amputations. Recent research links type 2 diabetes to a higher risk of dementia. People with diabetes are also up to four times more likely to develop heart disease. Fortunately, there's plenty you can do to prevent or delay the disease. Here's what you need to know. 1. Genes determine some — but not all — of your risk Continue reading >>

Loneliness Has A Surprising Link To Type 2 Diabetes, Says Study

Loneliness Has A Surprising Link To Type 2 Diabetes, Says Study

A recent study discovered an intriguing relationship between social isolation and the development of type 2 diabetes, suggesting that having a smaller network of friends could possibly make us prone to the illness. As with any such research, the precise nature of this link isn't clear. But it's as good a reason as any to reach out and make sure those isolated and alone this Christmas know they have friends to share the holiday with. While type 1 diabetes is a lifelong auto-immune disease that typically develops in childhood, type 2 diabetes refers to the body's increasing resistance to insulin, which can develop at any age and slowly progress. While we know of various genetic and lifestyle factors that can raise the risk of its onset, the exact mechanisms are still unknown. Past investigations have explored the links between social structures and type 2 diabetes, looking for clues in factors such as stress and emotional support that could help us improve lifestyle decisions. While it seems fairly clear that there's some kind of link, and intervention can be of benefit, there are still questions over which social elements play a crucial role in the relationship. Researchers at Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands made use of an existing study's database of individuals with type 2 diabetes to determine exactly what features of isolation might be linked with the condition. They analysed 2,861 subjects aged between 40 and 75, about a third of which were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes either previously or as part of the study. Characteristics of their social groups were collected through a questionnaire, giving researchers a range of details on their friend network's size, frequency of contact, and how far away they lived. They discovered that having a sma Continue reading >>

I Have Type 2 Diabetes: What Can I Eat?

I Have Type 2 Diabetes: What Can I Eat?

You have just received news that you have type 2 diabetes and there is no shortage of thoughts running through your mind, most of them discouraging at best. Rest assured, you are not alone in your condition or your thoughts. Diabetes rates have been increasing at an alarming pace with no sign of slowing down. According to 7th edition of the Diabetes Atlas, 415 million adults (1 in 11 persons) worldwide have diabetes and this is expected to rise to 642 million by 2040. Unfortunately, there is more bad news. The American Diabetes Association reported that in 2012 there were 29.1 million Americans with diabetes and of these 8.1 million were undiagnosed. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95% of all diabetes cases in America. What exactly is Type 2 diabetes? When you eat, your body breaks down food into glucose (sugar) and other nutrients that are necessary for a myriad of bodily functions. The glucose and nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream via the gastrointestinal tract and your blood sugar levels rise. In response, your pancreas makes a hormone known as insulin. Insulin is very much like a key that works to unlock cell doors to allow glucose to enter. Cells need glucose for energy. When insulin does not work properly the glucose cannot get into the cells and remains in the blood. Over time, levels of sugar become dangerously high, leading to what is known as insulin resistance. High blood sugar may promote serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, nerve and kidney damage. The Good News If you are one of the millions diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, there are some things that you really need to know. First of all, there is good news, this is not a life sentence by any means. Type 2 diabetes is 100% reversible through proper lifestyle choices. Namely, Continue reading >>

Symptoms & Causes Of Diabetes

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 >>

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