19 October, 2016

Type 2 Diabetes

Each day 280 Australians develop diabetes. That’s one person every 5 minutes. 1.2 million Australians have been diagnosed with diabetes but it is estimated that a further 500,000 people remain undiagnosed. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia; increasing at an even faster rate than heart disease and cancer. And it is important to make the diagnosis as early as possible so as to prevent its long term complications, such as hearts attacks, strokes, blindness, and problems with circulation. Fortunately with early detection, close monitoring and treatment, these complications can often be avoided.

There are 2 main types of diabetes and both are increasing in frequency.

Type 1 diabetes, typically occurs in childhood or early adulthood, with a sudden onset of rapid destruction of the insulin producing cells of the pancreas, thought to be triggered by a viral illness.

Type 2 diabetes, a mostly preventable condition, is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or late onset diabetes. It accounts for 85% of all diabetes, mostly occurring in the overweight or people with eating disorders, and mostly developing in later age, although with increasing childhood obesity, we are seeing younger cases of type 2 diabetes than ever before. If you suspect that your child has a binge-eating disorder, consider Clementine eating disorder treatment program for adolescents in St Louis. In type 2, there is a gradual development of increasing resistance to one’s own insulin, the hormone produced in the pancreas, which is responsible for maintaining blood sugar levels below a certain threshold. The body’s insulin is increasingly ineffective at controlling glucose levels. As a result, the pancreas responds by producing ever greater amounts of insulin As a result of this over-production, the insulin producing cells in the pancreas fatigue and often by diagnosis, 50 – 70% of insulin secreting cells have been destroyed.

Insulin is responsible for directing our cells to take up glucose from the blood stream and use that glucose for energy. If our insulin is ineffective or not present at all, then the glucose can’t be taken up by the cells and instead it remains in our blood stream, causing high blood glucose levels. This in turn causes damage to our blood vessels and contributes to the many complications often seen in diabetes.

Whilst overweight and obesity are risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, healthy weight individuals may also be at risk and may also develop the condition. Type 2 diabetes can develop in people of any age and any weight, and having a family history of diabetes increases the risk of developing the condition

Below lists possible symptoms that could alert you to the diagnosis of diabetes

  • Passing more urine
  • Excessive thirst
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Feeling hungry
  • Poor wound healing
  • Frequent infections, especially fungal
  • Blurred vision
  • Gradual weight gain
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Leg cramps

Knowing if you are at higher risk, early diagnosis, optimal treatment and effective ongoing support and monitoring reduce the risk of developing diabetes and diabetes-related complications. If you are concerned or would like to discuss how to minimise your risk please do not hesitate to discuss this with one of our doctors.