Diabetes is a lifelong disease that affects the way your body handles glucose, a type of sugar, in your blood.
Most people with the condition have type 2.
In fact, more than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and 90% to 95% of them have type 2 diabetes.
Another 86 million have prediabetes: which happens when your blood glucose is not normal, but it is not yet high enough to be diabetes.
Diabetes affects 425 million people worldwide and it is estimated that in 2045 it will affect almost 629 million, according to estimates of the International Diabetes Federation.
What is type 2 diabetes
Simply put, diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.
Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream.
When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin.
Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.
It turns out that if you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should.
When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream.
Unlike people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes produce insulin; however, the insulin secreted by the pancreas is not enough or the body can not recognize the insulin and use it properly.
At first, the pancreas produces more insulin to try to bring glucose to the cells. But eventually it can not continue, and sugar accumulates in your blood.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC- type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more and more children, teens, and young adults are also developing it.
“Over time, type 2 diabetes can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease,” as noted by the CDC.
The source indicates that there isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, “but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can really help.
Taking medicine as needed, getting diabetes self-management education and support, and keeping health care appointments can also reduce the impact of diabetes on your life.”
Typically, a combination of things causes type 2 diabetes, which includes:
Scientists have found different pieces of DNA that affect the way your body makes insulin.
Being overweight or obese can cause insulin resistance, especially if you carry your extra kilos around the middle.
Now type 2 diabetes affects children and adolescents, as well as adults, mainly due to childhood obesity.
- Metabolic syndrome
People with insulin resistance often have a group of conditions that include high blood glucose, extra fat around the waist, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and high triglycerides.
- Too much glucose in your liver
When your blood sugar level is low, your liver produces and sends glucose.
After eating, your blood sugar level increases and, usually, the liver will slow down and store your glucose for later.
But the livers of some people do not and they continue to pump sugar.
- Poor communication between cells
Sometimes the cells send the wrong signals or do not collect the messages correctly.
When these problems affect the way cells produce and use insulin or glucose, a chain reaction can lead to diabetes.
- Broken beta cells
If the cells that produce insulin send the wrong amount of insulin at the wrong time, your blood sugar level is eliminated. High blood glucose can also damage these cells.