An early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can result in an earlier intervention in the health risks associated with the condition – heart disease, nerve damage, Alzheimer’s, the list goes on. When too much visceral fat builds up around the organs, such as the pancreas, it can lead to hormonal problems. To illustrate, the pancreas is responsible for creating the hormone insulin.
When a person eats, and sugar in the blood increases, the pancreas responds by secreting insulin.
This insulin then allows the body’s cells to draw sugar (i.e. glucose) from the blood.
As a result, the quantity of sugar in the bloodstream decreases and cells in the body gain a source of energy.
If this unconscious process is disturbed, meaning the pancreas isn’t able to secrete enough (or any) insulin, the quantity of sugar in the blood increases over time.
Too much sugar in the blood can be very irritating for the arteries that transport blood around the body.
Symptoms of irritation include:
- Increased urination
- Increased hunger
- Increased thirst
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing wounds and cuts
In addition, the Mayo Clinic said there may be “areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck”.
Other bodily clues include unintended weight loss, frequent infections of thrush, and tingling in the hands or feet.
Anyone experiencing any of these signs, no matter how slight, need to make their GP aware.
A simple blood test can measure sugar levels in the blood, which will determine if you have diabetes or not.
“Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent type 2 diabetes,” said the Mayo Clinic.
This also applies if you’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, which is when sugar in the blood is elevated, but not in greater quantities to qualify as type 2 diabetes.
There are four key ways to lead a healthy lifestyle and to either prevent diabetes or to put the condition into remission.
Remission means that you have normal levels of sugar in the blood without the need to take medication.
The first thing one must do is to eat healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables and wholegrain, which are high in fibre.
The second concurrent task is to get active – aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise, such as cycling or swimming.
Both of these, diet and exercise, will help with the third objective – keeping trim.
Losing a modest amount of weight can delay the progression from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes.
The fourth goal is to avoid inactivity for long periods of time, as “sitting still can increase your risk”.
“Try to get up every 30 minutes and move around for at least a few minutes,” concluded the Mayo Clinic.