Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. Of the more than 30 million Americans who have some form of diabetes, 90 to 95 percent have been diagnosed as type 2, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The other 5 to 10 percent being those with either type 1 or gestational diabetes.
Many are unaware of what this condition is or how one can develop it during their lifetime. If you are diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, it means that your body is unable to properly utilize the insulin that is has produced. This is differentiated from type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas stops producing insulin entirely.
There are several risk factors of type 2 diabetes — the most glaring being obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Additional risks that many are unaware of include ethnic background, age and family history of diabetes.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can properly treat type 2 diabetes, and how you can avoid the ailment through simple changes in your everyday lifestyle.
Treatments for Diabetes
Patients with type 2 diabetes may be required to take insulin regularly, or in certain situations like pregnancy or hospitalization. Although receiving insulin shots at regular intervals is more common with those who have type 1 diabetes to avoid serious complications like diabetic ketoacidosis, which stems from inadequate glucose in the blood
Depending on its severity, Type 2 diabetes patients may be able to manage the condition through healthy eating and regular physical activity. These treatments also help with gestational diabetes.
Additionally, a doctor may prescribe a medication like Invokana or Jardiance — SGLT2 inhibitors that when combined with insulin treatment and/or healthy lifestyle choices, will effectively treat diabetes.
SGLT2 inhibitors are a class of prescription medicines that serve to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is vital that you consult with your physician about what diabetes medication is best for you. The effectiveness of the drug comes at a price, however, as the unfavorable side effects can be just as bad as the symptoms it is intended to treat.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk?
The following are preventative measures that everyone can take to limit your risk of developing diabetes at some point in your lifetime.
Since carrying excess weight is a significant risk factor in the development of type 2 and gestational diabetes, losing weight can help prevent the onset of diabetes. In most cases, you may only need to lose between five and seven percent of your body’s current weight to lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Engaging in physical activity for at least half an hour, five days per week, will greatly reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Exercise is the best way to stay in shape and maintain a healthy well-being.
Eating foods and drinking liquids that are low in calories, fat, and sugar can help prevent Type 2 diabetes, and contributes toward maintaining a robust weight.
In honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month this November, take the time to become a more informed consumer and learn how to manage your long-term health effectively.
By taking the time to choose hearty meals while also maintaining a regular exercise regimen, we can save thousands from the lifelong ailment of type 2 diabetes.
If you have a history of diabetes in your family or fit into any of the categories for being at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, visit your doctor and get tested — a simple blood test can determine the odds of being diagnosed.