When you have type 2 diabetes, your fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond correctly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar does not get into these cells to be stored for energy.
When sugar cannot enter cells, high levels of sugar build up in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia.
. Increased fat makes it harder for your body to use insulin the correct way.
Type 2 diabetes can also develop in people who are thin. This is more common in the elderly.
Family history and genes play a large role in type 2 diabetes. Low activity level, poor diet, and excess body weight around the waist increase your risk. See also: Type 2 diabetes for a list of risk factors.
Often, people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms at first. They may not have symptoms for many years.
The early symptoms of diabetes may include:
• Bladder, kidney, skin, or other infections that are more frequent or heal slowly
• Increased thirst
• Increased urination
The first symptom may also be:
• Blurred vision
• Erectile dysfunction
• Pain or numbness in the feet or hands
Diabetes blood tests:
• Fasting blood glucose level -- diabetes is diagnosed if it is higher than 126 mg/dL two times
• Hemoglobin A1c test --
• Normal: Less than 5.7%
• Pre-diabetes: 5.7% - 6.4%
• Diabetes: 6.5% or higher
You can improve blood sugar (glucose) levels by following a meal plan that has:
• Fewer calories
• An even amount of carbohydrates (30 - 45 grams per meal)
• Healthy monounsaturated fats
Examples of foods that are high in monounsaturated fats include peanut or almond butter, almonds, and walnuts. You can substitute these foods for carbohydrates, but keep portions small because these foods are high in calories. Learn how to read nutrition labels to help you make better food choices.
Often, you can improve type 2 diabetes control by losing weight (about 10 pounds) and increasing physical activity (for example, 30 minutes of walking per day). In addition to making lifestyle changes, some people will need to take pills or insulin injections to control their blood sugar.
Sweets are high in fat and sugar, so keep portion sizes small. Here are some tips to help avoid eating too many sweets:
• Ask for extra spoons and forks and split your dessert with others.
• Eat sweets that are sugar-free.
• Always ask for the small serving size.
Learn how to read food labels, and consult them when making food decisions.
In the past, people with diabetes were told to