What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a condition which occurs when the cells in your body don’t respond well to insulin. In a healthy person, insulin allows glucose (sugar) in the blood to be transferred to the cells, to be used for energy. However, when the cells become resistant to insulin the glucose builds up in the blood. This is called high blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes can lead to potentially serious complications, which can be deadly if left untreated.
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms:
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body isn’t able to bring glucose into your cells to use for energy. This means that the cells will start to draw energy from other sources which can lead to symptoms. The sugar will also start to build up in the blood. Type 2 diabetes patients may experience symptoms like fatigue, lack of energy, constant hunger, excessive thirst and constant urination in the early stages. However, type 2 diabetes can lead to complications including heart attack and stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, neuropathy and erectile dysfunction in men. Type 2 diabetes can also lead to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes:
Type 2 diabetes is most commonly triggered by lifestyle choices. If you are overweight or obese the tissues in the body become fattier. This makes cells more resistant to insulin which causes type 2 diabetes to occur. Similarly, living a sedentary lifestyle may allow the body’s cells to become more resistant to insulin. This means that maintaining a healthy body weight and exercising regularly can help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes:
Some factors like your age and your family history of diabetes and obesity can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You may have an increased risk of the condition if you are over 45 years old, or if there is a genetic predisposition for type 2 diabetes or obesity in your family. These factors are beyond our personal control.
However, there are some things we can do to decrease our chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Exercising regularly helps the cells to become more responsive to insulin and maintaining a healthy body weight can also help to prevent the condition. Similarly, consuming a healthy diet full of nutritious fruits, vegetables and whole grains may also help to reduce your risk.
How Can Chinese Medicine Help?
Chinese Medicine can be very effective at treating type 2 diabetes. Acupuncture in particular has been shown to reduce the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetes patients. The aim of Chinese Medicine is to treat the root cause of the condition, which can be done through lifestyle and diet changes combined with treatments like acupuncture. This contrasts with Western Medicine, which often prescribes medications that replace the functions of the body and can cause harmful side effects. With acupuncture, you have the benefit of treating your health problems at the root, without the risk of serious side effects. For information about diabetes and Chinese Medicine, click here.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the cells in the body become resistant to insulin. This causes the cells to draw energy from other sources and glucose to build up in the bloodstream. These factors can cause symptoms like excessive hunger, thirst and fatigue, and may also lead to more serious complications. Being overweight or obese and living a sedentary lifestyle can dramatically increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, while exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet can help to prevent the condition from occurring. Chinese Medicine techniques like acupuncture can be effectively combined with lifestyle changes to treat and even reverse type 2 diabetes.