When first diagnosed with a disease, for many people the first reaction is to panic. Your body has been infected by an unknown enemy and your instinct is get as much intel as possible. Where has it come from, what will it do and most importantly how can you stop it?
As with any diagnosis, the questions are endless, and you find yourself dependent on the google search bar for answers. Whilst there’s no doubt the net is a great source of information, conflicting research can often leave you feeling bewildered, with no concrete answer. In this post we will take a glance (and answer!) 10 of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to type 2 diabetes.
#1 What Is Type 2 Diabetes?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions. You’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, but does that actually mean? Type 2 diabetes is a chronic medical condition, whereby glucose levels build up in your bloodstream. The hormone insulin plays an important role. It allows the glucose in our blood to enter our cells and provide fuel for our bodies.
However, when you have type 2 diabetes, your cells are not able to respond to insulin as effectively and in some cases cannot produce enough insulin. Your body still breaks down carbohydrates and converts it into glucose but because your insulin can’t work properly, blood glucose levels continue to rise. As a result, more insulin is released, which can result in your pancreas being overworked and producing less insulin. A consequence of this is high blood glucose levels, which can have a dangerous effect on your health if the proper steps are not taken.
#2 What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
A number of factors can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease, meaning that you can develop it because of a bad diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Diet has been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. One study looked at the relationship between diabetes and obesity and found that BMI has a strong relationship to diabetes and insulin resistance.
Diet and exercise go hand in hand, and a lack of exercise can lead to all sorts of health problem, including type 2 diabetes. One study found that combining physical activity with weight loss lowers type 2 diabetes risk by up to 58% in high-risk populations. The main benefits were improvements in insulin action and managing blood sugar levels. Overall, the study concluded that exercise, especially aerobic and resistance training, plays a major role in the prevention and control of insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Other factors that may increase your risk include:
• Age- you can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, but your risk increases as you get older, especially over the age of 45.
• Family-Your risk is greater if you have a brother, sister, or parent who has type 2 diabetes.
• Race- African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, and American Indians are at higher risk than Caucasians.
#3 What Are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?
People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, often experience similar symptoms to those with type 1. However, it should be noted that type 2 diabetes takes a longer period of time to develop. Some of the symptoms to look out for:
• Constant hunger
• Low energy
• Weight loss
• Excessive thirst
• Frequent urination
• Dry mouth
• Blurry vision
#4 Can It Be Passed on To Children?
For many people one of their greatest worries is whether their condition can be passed on to their children. Type 2 diabetes is caused by both genetic and environmental factors and if you have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes you are at a greater risk of developing it. However, when it comes to the genetics it’s not as clear cut as that.
Although Studies of twins suggest that type 2 diabetes might be linked to genetics. These studies were complicated by the environmental influences that also affect type 2 diabetes risk. Implementing a healthy diet and regular exercise regime could help to prevent your children developing type 2 diabetes. According to The American Diabetes Association:
• If either mother of father has diabetes increases risk of diabetes by 15%
• If both mother and father have diabetes increases risk by 75%
• If non-identical twin has diabetes increases risk by 10%
• If identical twin has diabetes increases risk by 90%
#5 What Is an ID Bracelet?
An ID bracelet is a form of identification to let people know that you have diabetes. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bracelet, though your wrist is often where paramedics look first for medical information.
The intention of it is to alert any medical personnel to your condition even if you are not conscious or able to inform them. Information that should be on your ID includes:
• Your full name
• Your Diabetes and Other Medical Conditions
• Whether you are insulin dependent or using a pump
• Any other medication you take regularly
• Emergency contact/ next of kin
#6 Are There Any Diabetic Friendly Diets?
If you are struggling with diabetes then a low carb diet, like the Keto diet could be of benefit to you. The diet is very effective at lowering blood glucose levels, helping to keep them at a low but healthy level. This encourages the body to break down fat, causing it to go into a state of ketosis.
As the diet restricts your carbohydrate intake, swapping carbs for healthy fats, your blood sugar levels may decrease, as carbohydrates are usually converted into sugar which can cause a spike in sugar levels.
#7 Can I Still Eat Sugar?
Many people diagnosed with diabetes may be thinking their days in indulging in a sweet treat are over. However, if consumed as part of a healthy diet and combined with physical activity, a treat now and then isn’t off limits. The key is to indulge in small portions and save them for special occasions. Chocolate will cause your blood levels to rise, which is why it should be consumed in moderation. Dark chocolate is usually a better option as it is higher in cocoa solids and has less sugar.
#8 Are Diabetic Foods Actually Healthy?
Diabetic’ labelling tends to be used on sweets, biscuits and similar foods that are generally high in fat, especially saturated fat and calories. While diabetic chocolate may seem the answer to many a diabetics prayer, it may not be great for your health. According to Diabetes UK, diabetic chocolate, though sugar free, can contain sweetener, such as fructose or sorbitol, which can affect blood sugar levels.
In terms of fat content, it is not much better and can have as many calories, if not more than normal chocolate. Following this, it is also very expensive and having reflected on its nutritional value, not worth the money.
#9 Can I Drink Alcohol?
A question many diabetics ask is can they still drink alcohol? The answer is yes but only in extreme moderation. Alcohol is high in both carbs and calories, so you may have to adjust your insulin. The symptoms of a hypo can be similar to that of a hangover, so make sure you check your blood sugar levels immediately. Being diabetic doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a drink and Doctors usually advise diabetics that they can drink in moderation. Just be alcohol aware and take into consideration your blood sugar levels.
#10 Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed?
The final question…can type 2 diabetes be reversed? The truth is that if the right actions are taken it really can! By implementing a healthy diet and exercising, research has transpired that type 2 diabetes is reversible. A diet consisting of high fibre, low carb intake and lean meats, such as the keto diet helps to regulate blood sugar levels, preventing the pancreas from being overworked.
There is no magic pill that will cure your type 2 diabetes. Regulating blood sugar levels is vital when battling diabetes and, in most cases, people will use medicine to do this. While many diabetes medications can leave you with side effects, my Glyco-Optimizer is made with powerful herbs, minerals and vitamins- each of which have been proven in double blind scientific studies to help reverse type 2 diabetes as well as restore normal blood sugar levels.