Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Edited by Olivia, Lynn, Maria, Shelley and 1 other


You have probably heard about diabetes and its causes. You may have read an article or two about how it can be prevented. However, you might not realize that there are two types of diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, also called non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is a preventable type of diabetes. When you read "non-insulin dependent" it means that your pancreas, which is responsible for regulating your blood sugar does not need insulin to regulate it. Therefore, this type of diabetes is preventable and manageable.

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How Does Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Occur In the Body?

Normal Process When Sugar Is Taken Into the Body

When you eat, your digestive system will naturally digest the food you eat. The carbohydrates derived from the food you ate will be converted into glucose. This will then give rise to your blood sugar. This rise in the blood sugar will trigger your pancreas to release the hormone called insulin.

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Carbohydrate-Rich Foods.jpg

The hormone insulin helps to break down the sugar into a substance called pyruvate to release energy. When there is excess sugar, it is then converted to glucose and stored in the liver. Insulin also helps in the body's absorption of proteins and fat.

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How Food is Converted and Used by the Body.jpg

According to a study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 2002 [1], several factors contribute to a person's risk for developing this disorder. A family history of diabetes mellitus will most likely contribute to your risk of developing NIDDM. If your food preferences come from the carbohydrate food groups, then you are also at risk.

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Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.jpg

Your lifestyle may also be a factor in developing this condition. Smoking and drinking beer coupled with a sedentary lifestyle will put you at risk. One of the factors involved in conjunction with poor eating habits is having a sedentary lifestyle – meaning you don't move a lot. This also means that most of the activities of your daily living are spent on sitting and less movement. Less activity means less energy required. Therefore, if you eat more than the energy you use, it will later on build up.

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What are the symptoms of NIDDM?

Diabetes has three classic symptoms:

Symptoms of Diabetes.jpg

  • Frequent urination. Your body will try to eliminate the excess sugar in the body. As such, the kidney does its function by trying to eliminate it through elimination
  • Feeling of Thirst. Consequently, as the body tries to eliminate the excess sugar through the kidneys, the body also craves replenishment through thirst.
  • Frequent Hunger. The fact that there is increased circulating blood sugar means that the body is unable to absorb and store glucose for energy consumption. As such, the stomach sends a message to your brain that it needs food.
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Why do you need to prevent Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

NIDDM produces a variety of multi-system complication [2] that physicians highly recommend its management and prevention. Here are the reasons why you should try to prevent this disorder:

  1. 1
    Complications involving the eyes, feet and skin.
    Glaucoma, cataract and retinopathy are just a few of the many complications that NIDDM can cause. Take note that blood vessels are also present in the eyes, and too much sugar in the bloodstream means that it also reaches the eyes. The highest level of sugar in the blood stream will later on damage the cells, thus producing a multi-system complication.
    NIDDM complications involving the eyes.jpg
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  2. 2
    Complications involving the feet and skin.
    Your feet and skin may also be involved. When you develop NIDDM, you tend to feel weak further promoting inactivity. This inactivity will contribute to poor circulation, making your blood flow sluggish. As the flow of blood becomes sluggish, the cell walls become irritated, which explains for the itching that diabetic people feels. Take note that bacteria thrives on sugar and oxygen. As such, the diabetic person's body is a happy place for bacteria to develop. It is also for this reason that a diabetic person's wound takes a long time to heal. Again, with inactivity and increased blood sugar, nerves are also damaged, which plays a part in weakness of the lower extremities.
    Diabetic Foot Ulcers.jpg
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  3. 3
    Complications involving the heart.
    A diabetic person has the possibility of developing hypertension later on. When food gets converted to glucose and is not used, it is stored in the liver. This cycle of storing too much glucose is not good. The glucose is converted to stored fat. This cycle of over-storage and conversion goes on and on, until your body can no longer adapt. The buildup is too much, and the blood becomes loaded not just with sugar, but also with fat. Because blood flows throughout the body, the possibility of the fat depositing on the cell wall is high, which then creates plaque. This plaque decreases the lumen or passageway of your blood vessels, making it difficult for blood to pass through. The above mentioned process will likely later on develop into a heart attack or stroke or worse, death.
    Heart attack.jpg
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How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus[3]

  1. 1
    Increase your physical activity.
    If your work comprises of sitting for long hours, then make it a point to walk every now and then. Some people benefit from walking the few miles going to work instead of riding. You can also start using a bicycle, especially if your work is near your home. Aim for 30 minutes of physical exercise per day, 5 days a week.
    Increase physical activity.jpg
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  2. 2
    Weight control methods.
    Daily exercise is helpful in maintaining one's weight. As mentioned previously, less activity means that there is less need for the converted glucose when you eat. As such, you will need to create opportunities for your body to burn off the stored glucose to prevent it from converting into fat.
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  3. 3
    Diet modification.
    You should try to start integrating more fiber and protein into your diet. Fiber adds more satiety value to food. You can get this from fruits and vegetables. In addition, fruits and vegetables are readily excreted by the body, unlike carbohydrate food sources like rice and pastries.
    Good dietary habit.jpg
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  4. 4
    Medication for prediabetes.
    If your doctor diagnoses you with prediabetes, that means you're borderline diabetic and your blood sugar is higher than the recommended range. Your doctor might also prescribe you a medication such as Metformin (glucophage) to keep your blood sugar within a normal range and limit the amount of sugar your liver produces. When combined with the proper diet and lifestyle changes, your odds of developing full diabetes are greatly reduced.
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1. US National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health

2. American Diabetes Organization

3. Harvard School of Public Health


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  1. US National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health
  2. American Diabetes Organization
  3. Harvard School of Public Health

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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Shelley, Maria, Lynn

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