Type 2 Diabetes
What it is and how to treat it.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which there are high levels of sugar present in the blood as a result of a body’s inability to produce or use insulin properly. When we eat, food is converted into sugar that our bodies use as energy. Insulin is produced in the pancreas, and it is responsible for making sure that the sugar in our blood gets into the cells of our body. When a person’s body is resistant to insulin - or does not manufacture enough insulin - sugar remains in the blood, raising blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia).
People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin. More common, however, is type 2 diabetes, whereby a person’s body can still produce insulin, but either not in sufficient quantities or once produced, the body becomes insulin resistant. More than 90% of the population diagnosed with diabetes fall into the type 2 category.
Left untreated diabetes can lead to coronary artery disease, kidney failure, neuropathy and life-threatening infections. Foot infections are common, and if severe enough, can lead to the foot or limb needing amputation. Early symptoms of diabetes include: Infections that heal slowly, blurred vision, numbness or pain in hands or feet, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, increased hunger and thirst and increased need to urinate.
What causes diabetes?
Causes of diabetes include obesity, high blood pressure, stress, malnutrition, heredity and age (approximately 20% of people affected by type 2 diabetes are over the age of 65). In some cases, medications and diseases that affect the pancreas can contribute to the development of diabetes.
What are the treatment options?
Medication– Your doctor may recommend one or more medications, such as brand names like Levemir, Victoza, Amaryl, Glucotrol, or generic names like pioglitazone hydrochloride (Actos), metformin, Humalog Pen or Novolog or Lantus (INSULIN), or glimepiride. Prescription drugs are designed to help lower blood sugar and/or increase insulin production in the pancreas.
Generic drugs in this category will do very well using a prescription discount card such as our AxiaRx card, which and can get for free here.
Brand name prescription drugs are expensive, particularly when on a regular treatment of one or more medications for chronic conditions. Unfortunately, not taking prescribed medication for diabetes is not a viable option.
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes – Losing excess weight through diet and exercise naturally lowers blood pressure and glucose levels and creates a stronger immune system for fighting off infection. Your doctor will also recommend blood sugar testing and routine screening as well as regular office visits to the dentist and optometrist to ensure that your diabetes is under control and that no infections are present.