1 AnswerType 2 diabetes is a very serious condition requiring major lifestyle changes over the long term. It is associated with being overweight and having hypertension and cholesterol problems. Type 2 diabetes is a poly-pharmacy condition requiring multiple medications to keep these important medical problems under control. In addition, these type 2 problems are often silent, which means people feel no different whether their blood pressure, cholesterol or glucose levels are well-controlled or not. The lack of symptoms, even when they are poorly controlled, results in many people feeling no sense of urgency to take their medications. It takes a lot of motivation to take a handful of prescription medications and/or injections a couple of times every day, not to mention the high cost for some of these drugs.
1 AnswerDr. Michael Breus, PhD , Psychology, answeredWe've seen a great deal of research that indicates a strong link between sleep disorders and Type 2 diabetes. Now there's evidence that this link may be genetic. A new study reveals scientists have found a relationship between a gene associated with the "sleep hormone" melatonin, and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
A group of researchers from France, Canada and the UK have discovered a link between the risk of Type 2 diabetes and several mutations in the body's melatonin receptor gene, a gene known as MTNR1B. Working with a group of 7,632 European women -- 3,186 of whom already had Type 2 diabetes -- researchers found:
- 40 different -- and rare -- mutations to the melatonin receptor gene associated with varying degrees of increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- 4 of these rare mutations actually caused a total loss of function in the melatonin receptor gene
- Analyzing these 4 mutations in an additional 11,854 people, researchers found that the presence of any single one was associated with a significantly increased risk of Type 2 diabetes -- a risk as much as six times higher than average.
1 AnswerRealAge answered
More than 85% of people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Losing even a little of the extra weight can help improve insulin sensitivity. (In people who have prediabetes -- a state in which blood glucose is elevated but not high enough to be diabetes -- losing just 5% to 10% of your body weight with diet and exercise helps reduce the risk of progressing to full-blown diabetes.) Ask your doctor for specific weight-loss programs that have helped other diabetes patients. "People know intuitively what they need to do to lose weight," says Melinda Maryniuk, RD, CDE, director of clinical education programs for the Joslin Center in Boston. "But they're often more successful if they have support from a program like Weight Watchers, or just having your doctor check in."
1 AnswerDr. Ronald Tamler, MD , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
Making healthy lifestyle changes can often, but not always, be enough to manage type 2 diabetes. I predict that 15 years from now, we will know about many different variations of type 2 diabetes. Certain kinds are totally preventable and can be managed with diet and exercise, while others will progress to requiring more medication, but the patient’s lifestyle can make a huge difference in how much medication is required and how well the diabetes is controlled.
1 AnswerDr. Andrea Pennington, MD , Integrative Medicine, answeredType 2 diabetes currently affects about 27 million Americans and is one of the fastest-growing diseases in the nation. A report published by UnitedHealth Group's Center for Health Reform and Modernization estimates that over half of the U.S. population will have diabetes or prediabetes by the year 2020.
1 AnswerDr. Mehmet Oz, MD , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answeredFood is fuel. Your body breaks down (or "metabolizes") the food you eat, turning it into glucose, a type of sugar, which then travels through the bloodstream to be used by your cells for energy and for growth. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps your cells digest that glucose, taking it from the blood and breaking it down. But in people with type 2 diabetes, either the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, or the cells are unable to use the insulin it produces (insulin resistance). When this occurs, glucose builds up in the blood, gets stored as fat, and overflows into the urine.
2 AnswersMs. Ashley Koff, RD , Nutrition & Dietetics, answeredMillions of Americans are increasingly getting diagnosed as insulin insensitive or resistant, a prelude to diabetes as well as a key sign that the body's energy equations are out of balance. Here's the short story on how it happens: If you overconsume refined or poor quality carbs, your glucose level will rise sharply, but soon fall back quickly. (Note: Other issues could also be at play, such as deficiencies of necessary nutrients; not enough chromium, for example, can inhibit insulin absorption.)
When this happens, you experience a true energy low. At the same time, you usually experience a craving for more carbohydrates to bring your blood sugar back up, which will offset the general feeling of malaise characterized by shakiness, fatigue, brain fog, and dizziness that go with low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. Habitual energy imbalances like this set off a repetitive pattern of quick rises and drops in blood sugar levels, which can challenge your pancreas and liver. Both of these organs manage insulin -- our body's chief energy hormone, which gets released from the pancreas upon eating and escorts glucose out of the blood and into the tissues. As you can imagine, when this pattern repeats itself over time, your whole body's energy metabolism can begin to falter, and soon enough you might find yourself in a prediabetic state on the road to diabetes. The good news about gaining control over this chaos is that it can be as simple as gaining control of your diet and related lifestyle risk factors like excess weight and smoking.
1 AnswerDr. Robert J. Hedaya, MD , Psychiatry, answeredCaught and treated early, insulin resistance is reversible in more than 90% of patients, and there is a clear improvement in well-being associated with this reversal. To get to the foundation of the problem, you must do a diagnostic work-up, to identify and deal with the layered factors which promote insulin resistance and diabetes. Factors to be assessed include:
1. Cortisol -- levels which are too high, (as might be the case in anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and psychotic disorders) cause insulin to be elevated, and increase appetite. Cortisol can be reduced easily enough by either supplements or medications, as well as psychotherapeutic methods (e.g., biofeedback, certain therapies, body work etc).
2. Female and male hormones -- low levels of testosterone result in lowered lean body mass (therefore lower metabolic rate), lower energy and vitality. High levels of estrogens (e.g. with potent birth control pills) can also cause weigh gain, albeit in a different pattern of distribution.
3. Stress -- many people over eat when tired, angry, frustrated, bored, lonely; Becoming mindful of your sense of hunger before eating, can, over time, reduce unconscious habitual stress eating. Identifying the situations which make you stressed and problem solving them when possible can help reduce stress eating. Keeping a daily log (what you ate, when you ate it, and situations in which you over-ate) will definitely raise consciousness.
4. Lifestyle -- getting adequate sleep (7-9 hours for most people), moderate exercise 4-5 times per week will reduce the tendency to eat highly processed foods in an out of control manner when you are tired.
5. Inflammation and toxins -- inflammation due to infection, or toxins in your environment can cause weight gain, as a hormone called Leptin can rise to unusual levels. Irvingia Gabonensis has been shown to help reverse leptin elevation and therefore help with appetite reduction and weight loss.
6. Nutritional deficiencies (e.g., chromium, vanadium, thiamine) can lead to trouble handling carbohydrates in the body.
7. Calorie restriction -- the hardest part of the program is to reduce calories, but with the above measures, perhaps a support group (e.g. weight watchers, over-eaters anonymous, food addicts anonymous), you can do it.
1 AnswerAmerican Diabetes Association answeredDoctors believe that tight control can prevent complications in people with type 2 diabetes. Most people with type 2 diabetes do not take insulin. You may be wondering how you can achieve tight control without it.
One way is to lose weight. Shedding excess pounds may bring your glucose levels down to normal. The key to losing weight and keeping it off is changing your behavior so that you eat less and exercise more. Your doctor should work with you to find an eating and exercise plan you can stick to. Even if you don't need to lose weight, exercise is helpful in controlling your blood glucose levels. It makes your cells take glucose out of the blood.
You will need to check your blood glucose regularly. You should decide with your doctor how often. Once a day or even once a week may be enough for some people with type 2 diabetes. If exercise and good eating habits are not enough to keep your glucose under control, you doctor may prescribe pills. And if these don't work, you may need to take insulin. People with type 2 diabetes should talk to their doctors before starting tight control.
2 AnswersAmerican Diabetes Association answeredThese days, eating sweets isn't "cheating"-- it's a choice. People with diabetes can eat sweets and still keep their blood glucose (sugar) levels on track. These options are all available for sweetening your foods:
- sugar and other sweeteners with calories (such as honey and brown sugar)
- reduced-calorie sweeteners (such as isomalt and sorbitol)
- low-calorie sweeteners (such as aspartame and sucralose)