9 little-known facts about Type 2 diabetes

Whether you may have realised it or not, diabetes is one of the largest epidemics of the 21st century and the

Whether you may have realised it or not, diabetes is one of the largest epidemics of the 21st century and the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system. Right now, 1.7 million people in Australia have diabetes (both Type 1 and Type 2) and that number is only increasing: around 280 people develop the condition every day.

According to Diabetes Australia, for every person diagnosed with diabetes there is usually a family member or carer who also ‘lives with diabetes’ every day in a support role. This means that an estimated 2.4 million Australians are affected by diabetes every day, bringing the total annual cost impact of diabetes in Australia to $14.6 billion.

Because so many people are diabetes sufferers, we thought we would share some facts about the condition and how it can be managed.

1. Men are at higher risk

Males are at slightly higher risk of developing diabetes than women, but age, excess weight, family history, physical inactivity, and poor diet are also significant risk factors for the illness.

2. It can be prevented

Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed, though sometimes a person has no symptoms of the disease or has no diagnosis of pre-diabetes. The best way to prevent diabetes type 2 is to engage in regular physical activity and a healthy diet, as well as keeping your cholesterol down.

3. There are links to kidney failure

In 2011, diabetes was the primary cause of kidney failure in 44 per cent of all new cases.

The main job of the kidneys is to remove waste from the blood and return the cleaned blood back to the body. Kidney failure means the kidneys are no longer able to remove waste and maintain the level of fluid and salts that the body needs.

Over time, the high levels of sugar in the blood of a T2D sufferers damage the millions of tiny filtering units within each kidney. This eventually leads to kidney failure.

Around 20 to 30 per cent of people with diabetes develop kidney disease, although not all of these will progress to kidney failure.

4. Many report loss of sensation

Diabetes causes mild loss of sensation in extremities in as many as 70 per cent of diabetics. When this loss of sensitivity occurs, amputations of lower extremities may be necessary.

These are called diabetic neuropathies. People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body, and around 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of it.

5. About one third of all people with diabetes do not know they have the disease

In some cases of Type 2 diabetes, there are no symptoms. That means some people can live for months, even years, without knowing they have the disease.

People with Type 2 diabetes frequently experience certain symptoms that may be passed off as another illness:

  • being very thirsty
  • frequent urination
  • blurry vision
  • irritability
  • tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • frequent skin, bladder or gum infections
  • wounds that don’t heal
  • fatigue

6. Type 2 diabetes is not a deficiency or absence of insulin

The different between Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes is that with Type 1 the body does not produce the hormone insulin so it can’t metabolise sugar, and Type 2 occurs when your body does not use the insulin properly.

7. Insulin resistance isn’t just caused by eating too much sugar

One of the most common misconceptions of Type 2 diabetes is that it is purely caused by eating too much sugar. While that can be a cause, a diet high in glucose (found in many different foods) is generally the reason why you can get diabetes. Lack of exercise, weight, pregnancy, and genetic factors all can build insulin resistance.

8. You don’t have to be overweight to get Type 2 diabetes

Many people think that if you’re skinny you won’t get diabetes – this is not true. Being overweight isn’t always a precursor to diabetes. In fact, no matter your weight, you can still get an insulin resistance.

9. Type 2 diabetes can be fatal

A huge problem is that people think that just because it won’t kill you straight away, Type 2 diabetes isn’t that serious and treatment can be put off. But T2D is a chronic illness and it can have serious complications.

Make sure you always see your doctor and get a plan for your treatment and management of your diabetes.

Tell us, are you suffering from diabetes?

  1. Hans  

    It seems to be well known that dietary changes can certainly help overcome diabetes. During an allergic reaction nonessential systems (like digestion and immune system) shut down to allow more energy for emergency functions. Systems related to digestion includes the pancreas. In a fight or flight situation it is ‘turned off’, which means the islets of Langerhans are NOT producing insulin. (Wikipedia, Fight or Flight)
    The body can only utilize sugars that have undergone ALL digestive processes so they need to be broken down into individual components. Insulin is one of those hormones. There are many steps in the digestion of sugars such as Amylasdigestive processes are ‘turned off’e, Sucrase, Maltase and Lactase. Basically diabetes occurs if if any of the ‘ases’ is not digesting the ‘oses. This commonly occurs if the ‘ases’ like ‘lactase’ is missing. The production of lactase ceases after weaning. (Wikipedia, Lactose intolerance)
    A diet free of dairy will certainly be beneficial to sufferers of both D1 and 2.

  2. I love the facts. In July of 2015. it was discovered that I got type 2 diabetes, By the end of the July month. I was given a prescription for the Metformin, I stated with the ADA diet and followed it completely for several weeks but was unable to get my blood sugar below 140, Without results to how for my hard work. I really panicked and called my doctor. His response?? Deal with it yourself, I started to feel that something wasn’t right and do my own research, Then I found Rachel’s great blog (google ” HOW I FREED MYSELF FROM THE DIABETES ” ) .. I read it from cover to cover and I started with the diet and by the next morning. my blood sugar was 100, Since then. I get a fasting reading between the mid 70s and 80s, My doctor was very surprised at the results that. the next week. he took me off the Metformin drug, I lost 30 pounds in my first month and lost more than 6 inches off my waist and I’m able to work out twice a day while still having lots of energy. The truth is that we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods..

  3. Joanne Blacker  

    I’ve had T2D for over 20 years, I’m 66. Mine is actually linked to genetic factors as I have a strong history of T1D in the family. So far do not require insulin but take medication, Metformin and Diamicron. You cannot cure this disease but you must respect it and take care of yourself. our son has had it for several years T2D but requires insulin. Husband also has it.

    • Hans  

      It is common to hear both medical professionals and the population at large talk about certain diseases as if they are inherited from the family genes. Diabetes is one such disease for which many people assume they have no control over its development because it “runs in the family”.
      But many studies have put this myth to rest, noting that lifestyle habits and diet play a much more critical role in diabetes development. (see; ‘Wisdom of your cells’ . Bruce Lipton: ‘ This new biology takes us from the belief that we are victims of our genes, that we are biochemical machines, that life is out of our control, into another reality, a reality where our thoughts, beliefs and mind control our genes, our behavior and the life we experience. This biology is based on current, modern science with some new perceptions added.

  4. Carol  

    The reason diabetes is more common in men is probably because of the predominantly lactating female hormones in dairy,.
    “Among the routes of human exposure to estrogens, we are mostly concerned about cow’s milk, which contains considerable amounts of female sex hormones,” Dairy accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of estrogens consumed.
    Part of the problem seems to be milk from modern dairy farms, where cows are milked about 300 days a year. For much of that time, the cows are pregnant. The later in pregnancy a cow is, the more hormones appear in her milk.
    Milk from a cow in the late stage of pregnancy contains up to 33 times as much of a signature estrogen compound (estrone sulfate) than milk from a non-pregnant cow.
    In a study of modern milk in Japan, it was found that it contained 10 times more progesterone, another hormone, than raw milk from Mongolia” .(Ganmaa Davaasambuu is a physician (Mongolia), a Ph.D. in environmental health (Japan), a fellow (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study), and a working scientist (Harvard School of Public Health).

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