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Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology

Type 2 Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms & How To Prevent It

Posted On: Mar 06, 2023

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Best Diabetes Hospital in Bangalore

Type-2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that affects the body’s ability to use insulin the way it should. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 95% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes primarily occurs because of physical inactivity and excess body weight and largely affects people who are middle-aged or older. Additionally, it also affects teenagers and kids who are obese. Recent research has revealed that type 2 diabetes is the most commonly reported type of diabetes across the globe.

Manipal Hospitals isconsidered to be the best diabetes hospital in Bangalore. As per Dr. Sharda A, Consultant - Endocrinologist and Diabetologist at Manipal Hospitals on Millers Road, “type 2 diabetes is more closely linked to genetic predisposition than to dietary habits like the consumption of sugar. So, if a person has a genetic predisposition (a family history) of diabetes and consumes excess sugar in their daily food intake, resulting in obesity, they have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes at an earlier stage than others. However, we can delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by many years even if we have a family history by adopting a few lifestyle measures that include regular exercise, a healthy diet, and weight maintenance”.

Currently, nearly 25 million adults are living with diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) in India and this number is predicted to rise to 35.7 million by 2045. In the global diabetes epidemic, India ranks second after China with 77 million people with diabetes. Out of this, 12.1 million people are aged above 65 years and by 2045, this number is expected to jump to 27.5 million. In addition, studies have found that around 57% of all adults, or 43.9 million adults with diabetes are presently undiagnosed in India.

What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes usually develop slowly. In fact, a person can be living with this disorder for years and they may not know about it at all. Some of the commonly experienced symptoms of this disease are:

  • Frequent urination.

  • Increased thirst.

  • Fatigue

  • Increased hunger.

  • Unintended weight loss.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Frequent infections.

  • Slow-healing sores.

  • Darkened skin especially in the neck and armpits.

  • Tingling or numbness in the feet or hands.

How is Type 2 Diabetes Caused?

Type 2 diabetes is mainly caused by 2 interrelated problems:

  • The pancreas becomes unable to produce enough quantities of insulin for managing blood sugar levels.

  • The cells in fat, liver, and muscle develop insulin resistance.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

  • Obesity

It is one of the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Moreover, people who are more likely to store fat in their abdomen instead of their thighs and hips are at a higher risk of developing insulin resistance. The risk of this disorder rises sharply in men with a waist circumference above 101.6 centimeters or 40 inches and in women with a measurement above 88.9 centimeters or 35 inches.

  • Lack of Physical Exercise

The lack of regular exercise augments the risk of type 2 diabetes as physical activity assists in weight management and helps the body use up glucose as energy, thereby making the cells more sensitive to insulin.

  • Family History of the Disease

The risk of type 2 diabetes increases significantly if parents or siblings have the disorder.

  • Blood Lipid Levels

People with low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (or good cholesterol) and high levels of triglycerides are generally associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • Prediabetes

This condition develops when the blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If left untreated, this condition can eventually progress to type 2 diabetes.

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome - a highly prevalent condition characterised by excess hair growth, obesity, and irregular menstrual cycles - augment the risk of diabetes.

  • Pregnancy-related Risks

According to the diabetes specialists in Bangalore, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is considerably higher in people who had gestational diabetes when they were pregnant as well as in people who gave birth to a baby weighing more than 4 kilograms or 9 pounds.

How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?

Following a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes to a great extent even if the person has biological relatives living with diabetes. Moreover, making healthy lifestyle changes, including exercising regularly and consuming a balanced diet, can significantly slow down the progression of diabetes in people diagnosed with prediabetes. 

A healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Getting physically active/regular exercises, such as swimming, running, brisk walking, and bicycling.

  • Consuming healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Avoiding inactivity for long periods of time, as sitting or lying down for long periods can augment the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Losing excess fat.

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