What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease, that accounts for 90-95% of cases of diabetes, and is often associated with obesity. It is characterised by:
- High Blood Glucose Levels: When testing blood glucose levels, it is important that both fasting blood glucose as well as post-meal blood glucose levels are assessed. This is because, some people with type 2 diabetes have normal fasting blood glucose levels, but once they consume a meal, their blood glucose does not return to normal levels quite as fast as expected.
- Insulin Resistance:Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas and normally stimulates cells to take up glucose from the blood, hence lowering blood glucose levels. In type 2 diabetes, cells become less responsive to the action of insulin, leading to raised blood glucose levels.
Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to type 1 diabetes. However, in type 2 diabetes, symptoms may be milder initially, and become progressively worse over time. They include:
- Feeling thirsty
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing of cuts
Type 2 diabetes is a debilitating condition. The chronic high blood glucose levels results in various complications including, but not limited to:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Nerve damage
- Diabetic retinopathy ( retina or eye become damages)
- Kidney disease
- Foot ulcers
- Sexual dysfunction
- Miscarriage and still-birth
What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?
There are a number of factors that increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These include:
- Having a family history of diabetes
- Ethnicity- South Asians are particularly prone to developing type 2 diabetes
- Age- risk increases with age
- Genetic- in type 2 diabetes, multiple genetic variations can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Poor diet
- Low level of physical activity
Prevention and management of type 2 diabetes
One of the most important contributing factors to type 2 diabetes is obesity. For every 1 Kg increase in weight, the risk of diabetes increases by 4.5-9%. Therefore, one key strategy for prevention and management of type 2 diabetes is weight loss.
Weight loss can be achieved through following a healthy diet and increasing physical activity. Exercising not only reduces risk of type 2 diabetes through contributing to weight loss, but it also helps with the management of blood glucose levels by increasing the sensitivity of cells to insulin.
Diet plays a key role in the development of diabetes. Consumption of foods containing high amounts of refined sugars such as sugar-sweetened beverages, is strongly linked to type two diabetes, and dietary management of type 2 involves consuming a diet low in sugars.
Recent scientific evidence have shown that, consuming a diet high in fibre, healthy fats, as well as consumption of fermented dairy products, can help with prevention of type 2 diabetes.
How Can Our Services Help You?
If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or believe you may be at risk of developing it, it is crucial that you follow an appropriate diet. At WeightMatters, our experienced dietician can advise you on appropriate food choices (including the types of carbohydrates you may or may not be able to consume), appropriate amounts of each food category for you, and right timing of food consumption.
She will help you monitor your blood glucose levels by providing you with a glucose monitor and teaches you the skill to use it so that you can track your own blood glucose levels over a period of time.
Since obesity seriously increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, our dietician will also you help you through your weight loss journey if need be.