When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. The hormone insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells so it can be used for energy. In type II diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.
Whilst it is a serious condition, with proper management people with diabetes can live long, healthy, happy lives.
The result of this is that glucose builds up in the blood instead of in the cells. Right away, the cells start to become starved of energy and over time the high level of glucose in the blood can cause damages to the eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.
Type II diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. While diabetes occurs in people of all ages and races, some groups have a higher risk for developing type II diabetes than others. Type II diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.
Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless, but early detection can decrease the chance of developing complications.
Some diabetes symptoms include
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Unusual weight loss
- Increased fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Tingling or numbness in hands legs or feet
- Skin that is dry or itchy
- Frequent infections
- Cuts and bruises that take a long time to heal
Certain risk factors are associated with an increased chance of developing type II diabetes. These include:
- Obesity/Being overweight – A body mass index greater than 27
- Apple shape – A waist measurement of more than 100 cm (39.5 inches) in men and 95 cm (37.5 inches) in women.
- Age -diabetes risk increase with age
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history of diabetes
- History of diabetes in pregnancy
- Ethnicity – Being of Aboriginal, African, Latin American or Asian ethnic ancestry increases the risk of developing of type II diabetes
In addition these metabolic parameters also increase diabetes risk
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Impaired Glucose Tolerance – People affected by this condition do not meet the diagnostic criteria for diabetes, but their blood sugar control is considered to be abnormal. This places them at higher risk for the development of type II diabetes
Testing for diabetes
Diabetes is tested for using what is called a fasting glucose blood test which your GP can carry out. This measures the level of glucose in the blood after 12 hours of not eating anything. In a healthy person blood sugar should be quite low after fasting because insulin has packed all the glucose away in the cells to maintain energy production. However, in diabetics there is either not enough insulin or the cells are no longer responsive. This means that blood glucose levels stay high even after 12 hours without food.
It is also possible to have test done that can find out if you are an increased risk of developing diabetes. If a number of the general risk factors for diabetes above apply to you, you might like to consider having a metabolic profile blood test. This measures your fasting glucose, cholesterol and other important markers that can indicate whether you might have impaired glucose tolerance. If an increased risk is identified then Smart Nutrition would be able to give you expert advice on diet, supplements and lifestyle adjustments that could help prevent your condition from progressing to full blown diabetes. Metabolic Syndrome Test.
Diet – When you have diabetes you have to be careful about which foods you eat. Eating foods which cause large increases in blood sugar leads to weight gain and some of the more serious diabetes complications. Certain foods release their sugar into the blood stream more rapidly than others. Typically the more refined and processed the food the faster it will release its sugar and the bigger the rise in blood glucose level. Learning which foods to eat to keep blood sugar levels even is an important part of staying healthy as a diabetic. This is something that Smart Nutrition would be able to give you expert advice on. Book a Consultation.
Nutrient deficiencies – The proper balance of vitamins, minerals is critical to proper blood sugar regulation. Deficiencies of key nutrients can increase diabetes risk or aggravate an existing condition. Our modern diets are often full of refined, processed foods, saturated fats, salt and simples sugars. These foods are low in nutrients and this predisposes us to developing a deficiency. Having a NutrEval Health MOT can identify these deficiencies and allow them to be corrected before they become a serious problem. NutrEval MOT Health Test.
Essential fatty acids balance – Every cell in the body is surrounded by a special protective membrane which is made from fatty acids. This membrane is home to the special receptors that respond to insulin and other hormones. Insulin’s ability to shuttle glucose into cells is dependent upon healthy cell membranes, which is in turn determined by the overall balance of fatty acids. Unfortunately one side effect of diabetes is that the body’s ability to handle essential fatty acids is reduced. This means many diabetic patients become deficient. Luckily essential fatty acid deficiencies can quite easily be corrected. For more Information about the Fatty Acid Analysis Click Here.
Oxidative damage – Researchers have found that oxidative damage plays a role in the damage to tissues caused by diabetes. Our cells utilize oxygen in the making of energy, but that process produces free radicals, toxic by-products that damage our cells and DNA. Oxidative stress can also damage the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, which can worsen diabetes. Luckily, our bodies produce natural antioxidants to help mop up those free radicals and reduce the amount of damage they do. We also get other antioxidants from our food. The problem is that scientists have found diabetics frequently have much lower than normal antioxidant levels, making them at much higher risk of oxidative damage. This means monitoring and controlling oxidative damage is an important aspect of effective diabetes management. An oxidative stress analysis gives an indication as to how much oxidative stress you body is under and how well it’s defence mechanisms are working. Oxidative Stress Test.
Male hormones – As men age, declining levels of male sex hormone testosterone can trigger imbalances that promote diabetes. For example obesity and a large waist circumference are strongly associated with low testosterone levels in men. The major symptoms of low testosterone levels tend to be low sex drive, reduced erection strength, reduced physical strength, fatigue, and changes in mood. Changes in testosterone levels can be measured via a Male Hormone Profile. This profile also includes measures of stress hormones and the sleep hormone melatonin, thereby providing a more complete picture of hormonal health. Male Hormone Profile.