Adult Onset Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is often referred to as adult onset diabetes for the simple reason that most Type 2 Diabetes diagnoses occur in the adult years. Unlike Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes is not an autoimmune disease. Rather than destroying the cells that produce insulin, in Type 2 Diabetes, the body shows a resistance to this insulin and the cells ignore the insulin that is produced.
Like Type 1 Diabetes, there is no known cause for Type 2 Diabetes and there is no known cure. Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic condition, which means that it is a long-term disease that cannot be cured, but that can be managed. Once you are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, it is important that you begin a plan to successfully manage the symptoms of the disease as quickly as possible in order to avoid or delay other complications and illnesses that can derive from untreated diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes can in people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds. However, there are some groups that are at higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes, such as African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos.
Obesity is one of the many factors that can contribute to the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. While obesity does not cause the disease, the presence of more fatty tissue can cause the cells to become more resistant to the insulin that your body naturally produces.
Inactivity can also make the risk of contracting Type 2 Diabetes higher. Exercise and physical activity helps you to control your weight as well as uses up glucose as energy, which helps to make your cells more sensitive to insulin.
Family history and age can also play an important role in the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. The risk of Type 2 Diabetes increases if you have a parent or sibling who has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. The risk also increases as you age, simply because people tend to get less exercise, lose muscle mass, and gain weight all of which contribute to the cells becoming more resistant to the insulin that your body produces.
Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Prevented?
There are many contributing factors to Type 2 Diabetes. Even if diabetes runs in your family, there are certain lifestyle choices that can help to reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes or to help reduce the risk of other complication and illnesses that can be a result of Type 2 Diabetes.
One of the most important prevention tools is a healthy diet. A healthy diet consists of foods that are low in fat and calories and includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Sweets do not have to be totally avoided, however should be consumed in small quantities and should be a part of a diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Regular exercise is also an important prevention tool. Since obesity is one of the most common risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes, a regular exercise routine combined with a healthy diet not only reduces your risk of obesity and the onset of Type 2 Diabetes symptoms, it also reduces your risk of other illnesses and diseases. Regular exercise also helps to maintain good muscle tone and good blood flow, both of which help your body to function properly and aid in the prevention and recovery of many illnesses and diseases.
While Type 2 Diabetes is a serious and long-term illness, and can result in life-threatening complications, a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes does not have to be a death sentence. Proper education and management of the disease can increase your chance of living a long healthy life and it starts with maintaining a healthy lifestyle as early in life as possible. Type 2 Diabetes is a serious, yet manageable disease. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important things you can do in the prevention and management of Type 2 Diabetes.
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