Diabetes is a disease wherein your sugar levels accumulate in your bloodstream. The injection of insulin will move the glucose from your blood to your cells to become energy.

In type 2 diabetes, your cells can’t respond to insulin effectively. Later on, your body also can’t also make enough insulin.

When uncontrolled, type 2 diabetes can result in long-term high blood sugar levels, and can cause severe complications, like heart and kidney disease.

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Woman suffers headache, takes pill while sitting in sofa with glass of water.
Photo by Bermix Studio / Unsplash

Type 2 diabetes means your body can’t use insulin effectively to bring glucose in your cells. This makes your body need alternative sources of energy in your muscles, organs, and tissues. It can cause a chain reaction of symptoms.

The symptoms may appear mild and you can easily dismiss them. These are the early symptoms to watch out for:

  • No energy
  • Fatigue
  • Hungry all the time
  • Weight-loss
  • Extreme thirst
  • Urinating frequently
  • Itchy skin
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry mouth

As the disease festers, the symptoms can be more extreme and even life-threatening. If your blood glucose levels have been constantly rising, your symptoms can include:

  • Foot pain
  • Numbness in your extremities
  • Dark skin patches
  • Your sores heal very slowly
  • Yeast infections

See your doctor if you have two or more of these symptoms.

The Cause of Type 2 Diabetes

A Caucasian male doctor from the Oncology Branch consults with a Caucasian female adult patient, who is sitting up in a hospital bed.
Photo by National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

Insulin is naturally produced by the pancreas. It’s released when we eat. Insulin transports the glucose from your bloodstream to cells in your body to facilitate the production of energy.

Having type 2 diabetes means you’re resistant to insulin. Your body can’t use the hormone effectively anymore. This results in your pancreas working harder.

Over time, this damages the cells in your pancreas. Then, your pancreas won’t be able to make any insulin.

Not making enough insulin means a build up of glucose in your blood. Your body then becomes hungry for energy. Your doctor knows exactly what triggers these.

It has to do with cell dysfunction or cell signaling and regulation. Some people are genetically predisposed to contracting type 2 diabetes as well as obesity, multiplying the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance.

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

You can manage type 2 diabetes. Your physician will tell you how frequent you need to check your blood glucose levels. Your goal is to remain in a specific range.

These are some tips in managing type 2 diabetes:

  • Include fiber-rich foods. Eating vegetables and sticking to whole grains will maintain your blood glucose levels.
  • Eat at a regular schedule.
  • Eat only when you’re full.
  • Keep your heart healthy by staying away from refined carbs, sweets, and unhealthy fats.
  • Get at least half an hour of aerobic activity.

Your doctor will tell you how to recognize high blood sugar. They’ll also tell you which foods are good for you and not good for you.

Not everyone with type 2 diabetes will need insulin. If you’re one of the few who do, it’s because your pancreas can’t make enough insulin on its own. Follow the instructions your doctor tells you on when you should take insulin. Other medications will also help you.

Type 2 Diabetes Medications

Insulin Level Test Conducted by an EMT
Photo by Matt Chesin / Unsplash

You can keep type 2 diabetes under control with the right lifestyle changes. And there are medications that will help you with your daily life.

  • Metformin lowers your blood glucose levels and improves your insulin response.
  • Sulfonylureas help your body produce more insulin.
  • Meglitinides are fast-acting medications that will stimulate your pancreas into releasing more insulin.
  • Thiazolidinediones make your body more sensitive to insulin.

Other medications you can look into are dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, glucagon-like peptide-1, and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2.

Each of these medications will have its own side effects. Insulin therapy is also needed if you can’t make enough insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes Diet

Diet is needed for your heart to be healthy and blood glucose in a safe range. It doesn’t have to be unpleasant or complicated. It all comes down to eating meals on a regular schedule, choosing foods that are nutritious and low-calorie, not overeating, and reading labels carefully.

Stay away from foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, beef or liver meats, processed meats, shellfish, margarine, white bread, processed snacks, fruit juices, high-fat dairy products, pasta, and white rice.

Also stay away from overly-salty foods and fried foods.

Foods To Eat

Photo by Dimitri Karastelev / Unsplash

Whole fruits are great, as well as non-starchy vegetables, legumes, beans, oats, quinoa, and if you can’t help it, some sweet potatoes, tuna, sardines, salmon, mackerel, cod, flax seeds.

Go for olive oil, canola oil, or peanut oil, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and avocados.


Talk to your physician about your personal calorie and health goals. You can create a diet plan that will suit you and your lifestyle needs.

Want to Keep Reading?

Continue reading with a Health Confidential membership.

Sign up now Already have an account? Sign in