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Diabetes Type 2
What Is it? How can we avoid it?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas’ beta cells still produce insulin, but not enough of it, or the insulin that is produced does not do its job properly. As a result, the cells’ gates are unable to open and allow glucose to enter. Insulin resistance is the term for this. When glucose is unable to enter cells, it accumulates in the bloodstream, causing blood glucose levels to rise. This is referred to as diabetes.

When a person has type 2 diabetes in its early stages, the pancreas works harder to produce more insulin than usual. This occurs because the pancreas is attempting to assist glucose in entering the cells and providing the body with the energy it requires.

If the pancreas continues to work hard, the beta cells begin to ‘die,’ and less insulin is produced. This makes it more difficult to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. This is why type 2 diabetes is sometimes referred to as a progressive disease, implying that it will worsen over time.

What are the treatment options for type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes management aims to keep blood glucose levels within a target range (usually 4-8 mmol/L, but up to 10 mmol/L in some cases). Your doctor will advise you to make lifestyle changes when you are first diagnosed. This entails getting regular exercise, eating healthier foods, and losing weight. Your doctor may advise you to try it for three months to see if your blood sugar levels improve. If they continue to be above the target range after three months, your doctor will prescribe medication to help you. To help keep your blood glucose levels in check, you may need more medicine or insulin injections over time.

What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes type 2?

People with type 2 diabetes often have no symptoms, so they may go years without realising they have the disease. When they develop a diabetes complication such as a heart attack, vision problems, or a stroke, it can be the first sign that something is wrong. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to those of type 1 diabetes.

Is type 2 a common condition?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, afflicting 85 to 90% of people with the disease. It usually affects people over the age of 45, but it’s now showing up in younger people as well.

What people are at risk for type 2 diabetes?

While type 2 diabetes has no single cause, there are several well-known risk factors. The following people are at the highest risk of developing type 2 diabetes:

Risk factors associated with one's way of life include:

Type 2 diabetes, unlike type 1, can be avoided.

There is no cure for type 2 diabetes at this time. Changing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help keep blood glucose levels in the normal range, allowing you to stop taking medication. It’s fantastic to achieve this, and it has numerous health benefits. However, this is referred to as remission rather than cure… The reason for this is that if you stop living a healthy lifestyle and gain weight, your blood glucose levels will rise again. This is why maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial.

Type 2 Diabetes And Nutrition

The key to successfully managing type 2 diabetes is to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, eat healthier foods, and stay as active as possible every day.

There is no such thing as a diabetes diet; healthy eating for people with diabetes is the same as it is for everyone else.

What are the most common nutrients in food?

The main nutrients found in food are carbohydrates, protein, and fat, and they all provide us with energy (which is measured in calories). It’s critical to understand which foods contain these nutrients and how they may affect your blood glucose levels and overall health.

Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of energy, particularly for your brain. When you eat a carbohydrate, your body converts it to glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream. Your blood glucose levels will rise due to this.

Carbohydrate can be found in a variety of foods, which also provide us with other essential nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Your blood glucose level is most affected by the amount of carbohydrate you consume at meals and snacks. In the tabs above, you can learn more about carbohydrate foods and the glycaemic index.

Protein

Protein is a key nutrient that aids the body’s growth and repair and is another source of energy in our diets. In order to be absorbed, protein is broken down into amino acids in the gut. Protein does not break down into glucose so it does not raise blood glucose levels directly.

A few foods contain both protein and carbohydrate and may cause your blood glucose levels to rise. These are the foods:

Fat

Fats are another source of energy in the diet because they break down into fatty acids. Fatty acids are a necessary component of all body cells; they also aid in the storage of energy and provide insulation. Fats also aid in the absorption of certain vitamins found in foods. Fat, like protein, does not break down into glucose and thus does not raise blood glucose levels directly.

Because fat contains the most kilojoules of all the nutrients, it is vital not to consume more than you require. Eating a lot of fat can cause you to gain weight, making it more difficult to manage your diabetes.

The following are the main fats in the diet:

When it comes to heart health and preventing cardiovascular disease, the type of fat you consume is crucial. It’s vital to prioritise monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and oils. Olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and oily fish like salmon and sardines are just a few examples.

If you are looking to improve your health and lifestyle, do get in touch with me. I can create a customized program that will be just right for you.

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