What causes type 2 diabetes mellitus?

Type 2 diabetes (previously maturity-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes) is a disorder that usually begins in middle age onwards. Unfortunately, with the increasing rates of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes has begun to develop in younger individuals. Because type 2 diabetes and obesity are linked, as the obesity rate soars, so does the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
The underlying issue for the onset of this type of diabetes is the pancreas failing to produce enough of the hormone insulin (the hormone that controls your blood-glucose levels). This may be due to not enough insulin-producing cells being present in your pancreas to match your body’s demand for insulin and/or insulin resistance developing in your body’s target cells where increasing insulin levels are required for the same effect. Ultimately, however, type 2 diabetes is related to you being overweight/obese.

What happens to my body if insulin does not work efficiently?

Insulin helps to regulate your blood-sugar levels (your blood glucose). Insulin works as it promotes sugar uptake by your cells (e.g. your muscle cells). If your insulin cannot work efficiently then sugar uptake is reduced, producing an abnormal blood sugar increase and resulting in the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

What are the common symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

The most common type 2 diabetes symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Itchiness
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent skin infections (e.g. boils)
  • Urinating excessively

Your IPSA Medical clinic: Diagnosing type 2 diabetes

Your IPSA Medical clinician typically diagnoses type 2 diabetes based on both your presenting symptoms and the results of your blood-sugar test.

Can I prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes sometimes runs in families, yet you can still take steps to prevent its onset: eat a healthy diet, exercise daily and maintain a good, healthy weight.

Your IPSA Medical clinic type 2 diabetes consultation and treatment options

Your type 2 diabetes treatment at your IPSA Medical clinic very much depends on how well you are controlling your blood-sugar levels. At the clinic, your diabetes specialist initially aims at diabetes management/control solely through dietary changes. You will be talked through these dietary changes and the goals in terms of managing your diabetes during your consultation. If after your review, dietary changes have proven unsuccessful, your IPSA Medical clinician might then consider diabetes medication (typically metformin tablets or gliclazide tablets).
The tablets prescribed by your physician for diabetes work in one of three ways: they help your pancreas produce more insulin; they help your body use insulin that is present more efficiently; they slow down glucose absorption in your bowel after you have had meals.
Some type 2 diabetes sufferers might need insulin injections if treatment (tablets and dietary changes) does not effectively manage their diabetes.

What can I do to help myself if I have type 2 diabetes?

If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your clinician is there to help. There are changes you can make personally that can be highly effective at managing your condition, as your specialist will explain to you during your IPSA Medical diabetes consultation.

  • Are you overweight? A 10% body weight reduction can reduce fasting blood-sugar levels by up to 50%.
  • Do you exercise daily? Exercising every day helps with weight management, improves your insulin sensitivity (thus improving blood-glucose control), helps control blood fats and improves your general sense of wellbeing.
  • Eat healthily. Develop/maintain a healthier ‘diabetic’ diet.
  • Regularly monitor your own blood-sugar levels.

At your IPSA Medical clinic, preventing your diabetes from worsening and monitoring the other diabetes-related conditions (e.g. skin infections, eye problems, kidney function issues and an increased heart disease risk) are of utmost priority.
For a confidential, client-centred approach to diabetes, call your nearest IPSA Medical clinic or book your same-day diabetes consultation online.

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