Historically, diabetes mellitus was considered a rather serious disease, since severe stages were usually accompanied by serious side effects. The phenomenon of diabetes was already known to doctors in ancient Greece 2500 years ago. In those times, this disease seemed incurable. It was the 20th century when scientists invented an effective way to combat the disease, and these were insulin injections. It was 100 years ago, in 1922, that an eminent Canadian scientist saved a child from death with this injection. However, there are some limitations. This type of treatment is helpful when a person is suffering from type 1 diabetes. In such cases, the body cannot produce enough of its supply of insulin. However, one will deal with a different situation when a person has type 2 diabetes. In this case, the therapy is focused on the improvement of the situation.
The 21st century has become a time of scientific discoveries in the field of medicine. With the help of the knowledge gained from endocrinologists, the concept of type 2 diabetes has changed dramatically. On the one hand, scientists have identified a huge list of comorbidities such as Alzheimer’s disease and various cardiovascular diseases. However, there is now a much broader understanding of insulin resistance and disease pathways that help prevent the use of an insulin needle.
Recent statistics show that one in three American adults can now be diagnosed with prediabetes. Many people may not even be aware of the existence of such a disease, since the practice of recognizing prediabetes is not widespread. With the help of deep knowledge about insulin resistance, it was possible to recognize the main symptoms of prediabetes and begin treatment at an early stage.
Diabetes in Layman’s Terms
In simple terms, diabetes is a disruption in the transport of glucose into cells which leads to a significant increase in sugar levels in the body as a whole. Glucose and ketones are the main sources of energy in the body. When glucose enters the bloodstream, insulin begins transporting it through the tissues of the body. Glucose is made from carbohydrates, the molecules of which are broken down to the desired state to be transported through the blood.
What is diabetes? Type 1 diabetes signals a lack of insulin due to insufficient work of the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes occurs due to a lack of insulin due to excessive insulin resistance in cells. Let’s take a closer look at this process.
When a person takes food, glucose enters the bloodstream and triggers the pancreas to work due to an increase in blood sugar. The hormone insulin comes into its own to transport cells throughout the body. This is a standard process that takes a few minutes and occurs every time your blood sugar rises. When the body receives more glucose than it can handle, insulin resistance can be observed. In other words, the body requires more insulin to be able to distribute glucose to cells. The pre-diabetic state occurs when this tendency becomes permanent.
The pancreas continues to work as long as the organ can handle the load. This is called a prediabetic condition, and it can last for years or even decades. Diabetes occurs when β cells are unable to produce enough insulin. Due to this fact, a jump in blood sugar occurs. Blood sugar readings do not always show the real situation, although previously it was the only method for diagnosing the disease. At the moment, insulin injections are not the only way to treat the disease, since the real cause is insulin resistance. Its level can be reduced. Diabetes is quite treatable because the level of insulin resistance can be reduced successfully.
What are the risks for you getting the disease? There are different risk factors. If you are overweight, you should go ahead and visit the doctor. Obesity is one of the main factors that influence the development and rapid progression of the disease. Another risk comes from your body fat distribution. If you notice increased fat in your abdomen area, it may be a real diabetes indicator. One of the common reasons is extreme inactivity. If you don’t have an active lifestyle, you should think of changing your routine a bit. Being inactive for a long time may cause different problems with your health, not only type 2 diabetes.
One of the main risk factors is your family history. If one of your parents got the disease, you should be careful with your health. It’s important to get annual checkups and monitor your health conditions. What’s also interesting is the relation of the disease to the nations and ethnicities. The statistics say that Native Americans, Hispanic people, Asians, and Pacific Islanders are prone to the disease. Severe type 2 diabetes cases aren’t likely to happen in young people. They may most likely experience prediabetes. But it is common thing for people over the age of 45 to suffer from diabetes symptoms. And you shouldn’t also neglect the prediabetes symptoms. If you notice any changes in your health, it is important to visit the doctor. If you diagnose prediabetes early, it is easier to choose the treatment and cure everything.
Different Views on Diabetes and Its Progression in Humans
In 1999, WHO introduced a new paradigm for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It consisted in the fact that insulin resistance is the trigger for the development of type 2 diabetes. Also, this ailment can be accompanied by visceral obesity and the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Usually, practice shows that only 2 main tests are needed to diagnose prediabetes. This is a fasting blood sugar test, or fasting plasma glucose. It is also necessary to calculate the average blood sugar over 3 months. This test is called A1C.
Type 2 Diabetes: Main Facts to Know
You must know a lot about diabetes if you’re reading the article. But it is always a nice idea to improve your understanding of the topic. Here are some of the most crucial facts you should learn about the disease:
- Up to 10% of the U.S. population is suffering from the diseases or experiencing prediabetes. These people are mostly adults aged 18 years and more. Some of them don’t even know that they are in bad condition and need medical help.
- Age influences the risks of disease. The older the person is, the more risks of having real symptoms of diabetes. If you’re older than 45, you should think about the medical checkup.
- It is important for people with obesity to check their sugar levels and test their blood. In most cases, people with obesity suffer from type 1 or 2 diabetes.
- People with severe forms of diabetes can experience depression and different deteriorations of mental health.
- You may experience different complications related to diabetes. It may be heart and blood vessel disease. Some people experience nerve damage in their limbs. Some other nerve damage may also be a consequence of type 2 diabetes. Sometimes you may suffer from kidney disease. Severe kidney conditions and slow healing are also the results of the disease. In some cases, sleep apnea is also observed in patients who suffer from type 2 diabetes.
What are the causes of the disease? You may face two major reasons that make your hormonal system change over time. The first reason is insulin resistance. Your body cells, including liver, fat, and muscle cells can’t interact properly with insulin. Thus, these cells don’t take in the necessary amount of sugars that the body consumes. The second major reason lies in the inability of the pancreas to work with blood sugar levels. Different research practices focus attention on the sources of the disease. The reasons are clear, but why the body reacts in such a way is still being researched. Some people say that an inactive lifestyle and overeating may cause your pancreas to work improperly. Others admit that cortisol is the reason for insulin resistance.
There are different symptoms you may have during the disease. It is always a good idea to get a medical checkup in case you have any of the listed symptoms. And it is always better to diagnose the disease at its early stage and handle the problem. If you notice an increased hunger followed by an increased thirst for no reason, it’s time to call the doctor. If you abruptly lose weight or gain some extra kilos, it’s another thing to be worried about. It always signalizes a hormonal imbalance. Check your skin and look if it’s colored or not. Usually, the skin gets darker in the armpit areas and on your neck. Another thing is your vision. If you have any problems with eyesight or your vision is getting worse, it’s time to check your insulin and go to see the doctor. Do you notice any of these? Sometimes they may indicate depression or fatigue. But in some cases, it may be a real cause for type 2 diabetes. So, you shouldn’t hesitate with your doctor’s appointment.
Type 2 Diabetes: A Modern Solution to the Problem
Contrary to popular belief, type 2 diabetes does not require constant injections of insulin. This is required for type 1 diabetes. This ailment is curable and preventable at almost any stage. It is a modern vision that the great minds of the 21st century are listening to. The main sugar comes from carbohydrates. Accordingly, the number of carbohydrates consumed should be reduced. Sometimes these measures can be quite drastic. It is believed that fructose is an excellent sugar substitute, but this is a lie. The good news is that carbohydrates can be easily substituted for protein in the diet. If a person tries to balance the diet properly, then the body will not notice the lack of carbohydrates.
Diabetes develops over the years. Sometimes it takes decades. That is why the process of lowering the level of insulin resistance can take a very long time. It all depends on the severity of the disease. The complexity of the situation determines the duration of the treatment. However, even the most advanced cases of type 2 diabetes can be cured, or at least minimized.
It is also necessary to mention the link between diabetes and cancer. Statistics show that cancer is often accompanied by overweight and obesity. The 13 types of cancer diagnosed in both men and women are very often associated with being overweight.
When discussing the issue of type 2 diabetes, it is necessary to recall such a famous case as the Semmelweis practice. Ignaz Semmelweis was a renowned obstetrician. He practiced in Hungary and was nicknamed “The Savior of Mothers”. In 1847, he proposed treating hands and instruments with chlorine water before surgery. This idea was rejected by the medical society and never found embodiment among his contemporaries. It was only in 1880 that the practice of using antiseptics became widespread in surgery.
The discovery of Semmelweis saved the lives of many women in labor, who at that time very often died due to an epidemic of childbirth fever. Due to the condemnation of his superiors and rejection of his ideas, Semmelweis ended up in a psychiatric hospital, where he died at the age of 47. Today, the expression “Semmelweis Practice” means that scientists do not accept new ways of solving problems, if such methods contradict already known methods.
Prediabetes: Main Symptoms
Elevated insulin levels signal a pre-diabetic state. This is a long process of development of insulin resistance, in which the blood sugar level can no longer drop to the required norm. The likelihood of developing diabetes can be determined by the following symptoms:
- The first sign is excess weight, which is very difficult to lose despite physical exertion and proper nutrition. This is a wrong practice since it is extremely difficult to lose weight due to hormonal disorders. This is a metabolic process that has almost nothing to do with exercise. If a person cannot cope with being overweight, and his condition remains the same, it is problems with hormones that can cause difficulties. There are two main options here. The first is insulin, which stimulates the growth of both muscle and adipose tissue. Secondly, cortisol can cause stagnant weight. It is a stress hormone that triggers an increase in fat stores. In most cases, these two hormones act simultaneously, indicating a violation of metabolic processes in the body.
- Excessive irritability can signal unhealthy surges in insulin. A person can get irritated when there’s no food. And the irritation may disappear when the food is served. If after eating a pie you regain a good mood, you need to think about your physical health.
- If you notice tremendous cravings for sweets and pastries, it could signal excess carbohydrate intake. The human body does not distinguish between sweets and healthy foods. The whole difference lies in the different lengths of the molecules. Carbohydrates that enter the bloodstream can enter it in different ways. Some need half an hour, while others need several hours to assimilate and absorb into the blood. If you need to replenish the need for “fast” carbohydrates, you need to consider insulin resistance.
- If you notice pollinated drowsiness after eating, it could also be a sign of high blood sugar. When fast carbohydrates enter the body, glucose levels drop dramatically. If you feel sleepy after a heavy meal, this could be a sure sign of prediabetes. Concentration problems can also be considered a symptom of prediabetes.
- Another significant sign is visual impairment at the end of the day. Due to the presence of a network of capillaries in the eyes and small limbs, these body parts are especially vulnerable in diabetes. If high sugar levels are found in the blood, it is the eyes, as well as the fingers and toes, that will suffer the most. The tissues are especially sensitive in the early and late stages of diabetes. That is why deterioration of vision can very clearly signal changes in the hormonal background of a person.
- Remember how often you go to the toilet at night. If you have excess blood sugar, it will be directly related to the amount of water in your body. Normally, the lack of desire to go to the toilet while sleeping is the signal of good body functioning. If you notice some difficulties, you need an appointment with the doctor.
These are the main symptoms of prediabetes. If you find some of them, you need expert advice.
How is diabetes diagnosed? Some many different techniques and methods help to detect a violation in metabolic processes in the early stages. If you are interested in this topic, or if you need help, you should urgently consult a doctor. It is the expert who will help determine the general present condition and prescribe the necessary medications. Different methods are used to diagnose prediabetes. One of the main ones is A1C. This is a biochemical indicator of glycated hemoglobin in the blood. This indicator helps to understand what is the state of the blood in the body and the average sugar levels. There is also an index of insulin resistance. This is a new technique that is used to more accurately determine the hormone in the blood. You may also know about a non-invasive heart screening test called the coronary artery calcium test.
On the Way to Recovery: Inhibiting the Development of Insulin Resistance
How can you stop the development of insulin resistance when it comes to type 2 diabetes? The two most effective ways are to reduce carbohydrate intake and intermittent fasting. Many cases prove nutrition is a lifesaver from the effects of type 2 diabetes. With the establishment of nutrition, a person can reduce the level of insulin resistance and even take the path of complete recovery and refusal of medications.
One of the most effective methods for managing type 2 diabetes is diet and meal spacing. Thus, the body has more time to process food. Also, don’t forget about quality sleep and healthy physical activity.