Type 2 diabetes is an increasingly prevalent health condition affecting millions worldwide.
Understanding the causes, health problems associated with Type 2 diabetes, and ways to prevent it is crucial for maintaining optimal health. Read on to learn more about the causes of this life-changing disease and our 7 top tips to prevent yourself from getting it.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterised by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inadequate response to insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating blood glucose. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune condition, Type 2 diabetes typically develops later in life and is closely linked to lifestyle factors.
When we consume carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose (or sugar), which enters our bloodstream. Insulin facilitates the transport of glucose from the bloodstream into our cells, where it is used for energy production.
In Type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to its effects, meaning there is not enough of it to transport the glucose around your body. Consequently, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar levels.
What causes Type 2 Diabetes?
There are several reasons why people develop Type 2 Diabetes.
Sedentary Lifestyle – A lack of physical activity and prolonged periods of inactivity contribute to the development of insulin resistance.
Poor Diet – Consuming excessive amounts of processed foods, sugary beverages, and high-fat meals can contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance.
Obesity – Being overweight or obese significantly increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Genetics – Family history and genetic factors play a role in the development of Type 2 diabetes.
Age – The risk of Type 2 diabetes increases with age, particularly after 45 years old.
Diabetes and your health.
Type 2 diabetes can have a profound impact on an individual’s health and quality of life. Some common health problems associated with this condition include:
- Cardiovascular Complications: Increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
- Nerve Damage: Peripheral neuropathy, leading to tingling, numbness, and pain in the extremities.
- Kidney Disease: Kidney damage or failure (diabetic nephropathy) due to prolonged high blood sugar levels.
- Eye Problems: Diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma can affect vision.
- Foot Complications: Reduced blood flow to the feet, nerve damage, and infections, which may lead to amputation in severe cases.
Seven top tips to prevent Diabetes.
Fortunately, there are several lifestyle modifications you can adopt to improve your health, reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and manage your blood sugar levels effectively. Here are our top tips to prevent developing Type 2 Diabetes:
Maintain a Healthy Weight: Strive for a healthy body weight by adopting a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity.
Follow a Balanced Diet: Emphasize whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Limit processed foods, sugary snacks, and beverages.
Engage in Regular Physical Activity: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling, every week.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels: Regularly check your blood sugar levels and consult with your healthcare provider to ensure they are within a healthy range.
Manage Stress: Chronic stress can impact blood sugar levels. Engage in stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, or hobbies you enjoy.
Limit Alcohol Consumption: If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation and with caution.
Quit Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of various health complications, including diabetes
Can I take a test to check my diabetes risk?
Here at Goodbody Clinic, we offer a Diabetes blood test that can be complete at home or in one of our nationwide clinics.
Our Diabetes blood test requires just a small sample of blood which is then analysed at a leading UK laboratory.
Your results report will be sent back to you within 3-5 days with a helpful commentary from a registered GP to explain your results and provide guidance on next steps.With your results in hand, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to improve your lifestyle and avoid the risks of Type 2 Diabetes!
Find out more and book your test online via our Diabetes blood test page.