Diabetes Type 2 – What You Need to Know

Diabetes Type 2 is a chronic disease that affects the way your body uses glucose, or sugar. It can damage your heart, blood vessels, eyes and nerves over time if it is not well controlled. It is a serious condition that requires you to check your blood sugar often, take medicine and make lifestyle changes. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and losing weight if you are overweight. You also need to get regular health care checkups and immunizations.

Diabetes Type 2 can be treated by diet or life style changes, and with medication and insulin, if needed. You may need to take other prescription drugs as well, such as ACE inhibitors (drugs that help reduce cholesterol) or angiotensin II receptor blockers (medicines that slow down blood vessel narrowing). It is important to follow the advice of your doctor and diabetes care team, and report any significant deviations from your treatment plan.

The most common cause of Type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese. Being overweight increases your risk for developing the disease because fat interferes with the body’s ability to use glucose as energy.

Your body gets its glucose from two sources: food and your liver. Glucose enters your cells with the help of hormones, including insulin. Your body uses glucose as energy for all your cells, including the cells that keep you alive. If your glucose levels are too low, such as when you don’t eat for a long time, your body breaks down stored glycogen into glucose. This helps keep your glucose level in the normal range.

Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage your eyes and kidneys, and can cause a buildup of fat in your blood vessels (atherosclerosis). Damage to the nerves in your feet and legs can result in tingling or numbness, burning, pain or loss of feeling that usually starts at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads up the body.

Poor control of your blood sugar can also lead to slower healing of cuts and sores, which may become infected and septic. It can increase your risk of amputation of the foot, leg or arm. It can also increase your risk of nerve damage, called neuropathy, which causes numbness or pain in your hands and feet.

The best way to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight, get plenty of exercise and eat a balanced diet that includes lean proteins (poultry, fish, beans), whole grains, vegetables and fruit, and healthful fats (nuts, avocados, vegetable oils). It’s important to limit added sugar, salt and saturated and trans fats. It is also important to drink lots of water and avoid sugary drinks like soda. You should also get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week to raise your heart rate and burn calories.

Should you wish to discuss your condition with an experienced Australian trained Doctor or expert in this area. Please book in for an online and Telehealth consultation. Phenix Health is always available when you need us 24/7. Contact bookings@phenixhealth.com.au