By Diane Hwang
Have you recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? You might have eventually gotten this diagnosis after a long period of attempting to avoid it. Fortunately, if one correctly manages one's type 2 diabetes, one may continue to live a normal life. Testing systems, such as our OKRA glucose meter and test strips, are useful tools for keeping track of your health.
In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about type 2 diabetes and how the condition can be managed.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes basically means that your body does not produce enough insulin and that affects the way that your body processes your blood sugar. Many people in the United States have diabetes and over 90% of them have type 2 diabetes.
The way you figure out if you have type 2 diabetes starts with blood samples. Type 2 diabetes will be diagnosed if your blood glucose is over a certain number. There is also another test that can be done where you can do it at home with hemoglobin h1c. The sugar attached to your red blood cells will be measured and if it is greater than the recommended percentage, you will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
How Is One’s Diet Connected to Type 2 Diabetes?
Diet plays a major role in your blood sugar and it is important to note how diet can affect your diagnosis. There are a lot of foods like sweets that many of us love. However, these are not good for your diet and can likely contribute to your diabetes diagnosis. It is best to avoid these types of foods unless you see it as a special occasion. Everyone should have their own plan when it comes to attacking their diet. Ultimately, it is just going to require you to modify your food intake and figure out what works best for you.
Causes and Risk factors of Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition that affects about 1 in 10 Americans, with Type 2 diabetes accounting for 90-95% of these cases. While the condition mostly developed in people over 45, younger people are now being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes as well. Read on to learn about the causes of Type 2 diabetes, symptoms, diagnosis, and normal blood sugar levels for Type 2 diabetes to prevent or manage this common condition.
While researchers aren’t able to say that there’s a definitive reason that Type 2 diabetes develops, they can identify its effects on the body and risk factors that make you more vulnerable.
In a healthy body, your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin that allows blood sugar into the cells to be used for energy. When you develop Type 2 diabetes, the cells start to resist insulin — referred to as “insulin resistance” — and don’t allow the blood sugar to enter your cells. The pancreas produces more insulin to try to compensate. However, as the blood cells continue to resist, your blood sugar rises above a healthy level and may lead to prediabetes or Type-2 diabetes diagnosis.
If left untreated, Type 2 diabetes causes serious damage to the body. Possible consequences include vision loss, kidney disease, heart disease, and a shorter life expectancy.
The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes (lack of energy, losing weight, dry skin, excessive thirst, frequent urination) often come on slowly and can be hard to spot if you’re not looking for them. For this reason, experts recommend getting tested if you have one or more of the following risk factors:
- Are overweight or obese
- Lead a sedentary lifestyle
- Are at least 45 years of age
- Have a family history of Type 2 diabetes
- Have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes
- Have had a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- Are American Indian, Alaska Native, African American, Hispanic/Latino, Pacific Islander, or Asian American
The first condition that is likely to develop due to Type 2 diabetes causes is called prediabetes — which is estimated to affect 1 in 3 Americans. However, the diagnosis for either prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes is the same: a blood test or series of blood tests. What the doctor will be looking for is whether your blood sugar falls into one of the following ranges:
- Normal Blood Sugar Level: Less than 140mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L)
- Prediabetic Blood Sugar Level: 140 to 199 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L to 11.0 mmol/L)
- Normal Blood Sugar Level for Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes: More than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L)
Note: The aim for someone with Type 2 diabetes is to lower this blood glucose range — not to stay in the danger zone. The recommended Type 2 diabetes blood glucose targets are:
- 70-130 mg/dL (30.9-7.2 mmol/L) for fasting glucose
- 140-180 mg/dL maximum threshold for blood glucose after a meal (recommendations vary)
How to Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Whichever category you find yourself in, there are practical steps you can take to reduce your risks and manage your blood sugar.
Getting a diabetes test is the best way to manage your diabetes. Another thing that can help keep your blood sugar stable is regular exercise. These exercises can be as simple as walking and running. The key to exercise helping is to be consistent with it. Set goals and a routine and stick by them.
Also, Diabetic Test Strips from OKRA are an excellent option when looking into different testing methods. It will help you get ahead of your diagnosis and not let it control your life.
Here is a list of things that you can do to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.
- Eat a nutritious diet that is rich in whole foods and complex carbohydrates.
- Minimize or remove refined sugars, oils, and flours.
- Drink water rather than soft drink.
- Exercise five times a week for 30-60 minutes.
- Stay within Type 2 diabetes blood glucose targets by using an at-home testing kit.
At OKRA Care, we are here to accompany you on your health journey with accurate, FDA-approved blood sugar meters and information about Type 2 diabetes’ causes and management strategies. Explore our products and subscribe on your own schedule to maintain normal blood sugar levels for Type 2 diabetes.