Woman sitting on sofa and eating bowl of fresh fruit. A healthy diet is the recipe for diabetes management. More than 37 million (about 1 in 10 her) have diabetes, about 90-95% of whom have her type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is most common in people over the age of 45, but it is also occurring in an increasing number of children, adolescents and young adults.
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What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that serves as the key to taking blood sugar into the body’s cells for use as energy. In type 2 diabetes, cells do not respond normally to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas will produce more insulin to try to get the cells to respond, and eventually your pancreas will not be able to keep up, causing your blood sugar to skyrocket, leading to prediabetes and her type 2 diabetes. It’s ready. High blood sugar is harmful to the body and can lead to other serious health problems such as heart disease, blurred vision, and kidney disease.
Symptoms and Risk Factors
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop over years and may go unnoticed for long periods of time (sometimes with no obvious symptoms). Symptoms can be difficult to spot, so it’s important to know your risk factors and see your doctor to have your blood sugar tested if you have them.
Testing for type 2 diabetes
A simple blood test can tell if you have diabetes. If you have your blood sugar tested at a health fair or pharmacy, follow up at your doctor’s office or clinic to make sure the results are accurate.
Coping with diabetes
- Unlike many health problems, diabetes is primarily managed by you, your health care team (including your GP, podiatrist, dentist, ophthalmologist, registered dietitian, diabetes consultant, and pharmacist), you have the support of your family and the important people in your life. Managing diabetes can be challenging, but whatever you do to improve your health is worth it.
- In some cases, diabetes can be managed with a healthy diet and exercise. In other cases, doctors prescribe insulin and other injections and oral diabetes drugs to control blood sugar and prevent complications. Even if you are taking insulin or other medications, you should eat healthy and be active. It’s also important to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels close to the targets set by your doctor and to get the necessary tests.
- You should check your blood sugar regularly. Ask your doctor how often you should check and what your blood sugar goals should be. By getting your blood sugar levels as close to your target as possible, you can prevent or delay diabetes-related complications. Stress is part of life, but it can make managing diabetes difficult, including controlling blood sugar levels and daily diabetes care. Regular physical activity, adequate sleep, and relaxation exercises can help. Talk to your doctor or health care team about these and other ways to manage stress.
- Schedule regular meetings with your medical team to make sure your treatment plan is on track and get help with new ideas and strategies as needed. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes or have had it for some time.
Meeting with a diabetes care worker is a great way to get support and guidance on:
- Create a healthy diet and activity plan
- Test your blood sugar and record the results
- Recognize the signs of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia and what to do about it
- Administer insulin with a syringe, pen, or pump as needed
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