Diabetes Type II (Adult Onset)

Introduction To Diabetes, Type 2
Insulin is produced by the pancreas which is an organ located in the abdomen. Insulin is normally produced in response to the rise in blood sugar, which occurs after eating. Insulin is responsible for the transport of the sugar (glucose) from the blood into the cells where it is needed. In type 2 diabetes mellitus, the major problem is insulin resistance, which means that your insulin is not as effective as it should be in transporting the blood sugar into the cells. Therefore, the sugar level in your blood rises.
 
This elevation in blood sugar causes thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, and susceptibilities to certain infections. In addition, over the course of years, elevated blood sugar leads to blood vessel damage, which can affect many parts of your body, including the eye, the nervous system, the heart, and kidneys. Diabetes can result in blindness, strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, and nerve damage.
 
Fortunately, good control of diabetes can significantly reduce these serious consequences. I feel that it is most important that my patients with diabetes understand and help manage their disease. The more you know about diabetes, the better able you will be to help lessen the complications.
 
Treatment
 
Although your body is less sensitive to insulin, there are some things that you can do to help improve your own insulin action.
 
A daily exercise program of 30 minutes of aerobic activity can make a very big impact on your diabetes control. Aerobic activity includes walking, jogging, swimming, or biking. It is important to make a commitment to exercise 30 minutes daily in addition to your normal activities.
 
Diet can also play a huge role. Maintaining a normal body weight helps improve your own insulin action, therefore, if you are overweight, taking steps to diet and exercise for weight loss is quite important.
 
Additionally, looking at the components of your diet and reducing the carbohydrate percentage of your diet can be quite useful. There are many resources available at the bookstore for low carbohydrate diets; my personal recommendation is the Sugar Buster’s Diet.
 
Medications
 
There are a number of medications that we use to treat diabetes. I will review these with you in detail as I prescribe them. There are a number of medications available by mouth that help improve your own insulin activity and we can often avoid or delay the need for actual insulin injections.
 
Summary
 
I hope that this information is helpful to you as you begin managing your diabetes. The effort and attention that you place into managing this disease will be well worth the effort in terms of your future health.
 
 
Authored by: Theresa Vicroy, M.D.

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