Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is a disease in which the bodys ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in elevated levels of glucose in the blood. Diabetes can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness. It is estimated that more than 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and it is one of the leading causes of death in this country.
The most common type of diabetes is Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90-95% of all cases. This form of diabetes usually develops later in life due to lifestyle factors such as obesity and lack of physical activity. People who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes because excess fat can interfere with the bodys ability to use insulin properly. Additionally, physical inactivity has been linked to a higher incidence of Type 2 diabetes since exercise helps the body use insulin more effectively. Other risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes include older age, family history, race/ethnicity (African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans and some Asian Americans are at an increased risk), and gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy).
The signs and symptoms associated with Type 2 diabetes are often subtle and may be mistaken for other illnesses or conditions. Some common symptoms include increased thirst and urination; fatigue; blurred vision; slow healing wounds; frequent infections; tingling or numbness in hands or feet; weight loss despite eating more; and dark patches on skin folds called acanthosis nigricans. If left untreated, these symptoms can progress into more serious complications such as heart attack, stroke, nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney failure (nephropathy) and blindness (retinopathy).
Treating Type 2 diabetes involves making lifestyle changes such as eating healthier foods (low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables), exercising regularly (at least 30 minutes per day) and maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise. Additionally, medications such as metformin may be prescribed to help control blood sugar levels if lifestyle changes alone do not provide enough relief from symptoms.
It is important for those living with Type 2 diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly through home testing kits or by visiting a healthcare provider for regular checkups. Monitoring blood sugar levels allows people with diabetes to adjust their treatment plan accordingly if necessary so they can avoid any potential complications from uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Additionally, people with Type 2 diabetes should also take care to watch out for any signs or symptoms that could indicate a complication arising from their condition so they can seek medical attention right away if needed.
Living with Type 2 diabetes can be challenging but there are many resources available today that make managing this chronic condition easier than ever before. By making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating right, exercising regularly and monitoring their blood sugar levels closely individuals living with this condition can enjoy long lives full of vitality without having to worry about developing any long-term complications related to their diagnosis