WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS?
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic condition in which the body is not able to properly regulate blood sugar levels. Either the body isn’t producing enough insulin, and/or it is resistant to the insulin. As insulin is involved in regulating your blood sugar levels, T2DM causes poor regulation of blood sugar levels.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS?
- Poor diet
- Low physical activity levels
- Abdominal fat
- Genetic predisposition
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES?
- constant hunger
- Increased thirst
- a lack of energy
- weight loss
- excessive thirst
- frequent urination
- dry mouth
- itchy skin
- blurry vision
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE LONG TERM COMPLICATIONS OF T2DM IF BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS AREN’T WELL CONTROLLED?
- yeast infections
- slow-healing cuts or sores
- dark patches on your skin, a condition known as acanthosis nigricans
- foot pain
- feelings of numbness in your extremities, or neuropathy
- kidney disease
- eye disease
- a higher risk of heart attack or stroke
- erection problems
- nerve damage, which may result in traumatic injury and infection, possibly leading to limb amputation
HOW IS DIABETES DIAGNOSED?
Your blood glucose levels can be assessed in a variety of different ways. These may include different types of blood glucose testing. From the results you may be diagnosed as prediabetic or with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
HOW IS DIABETES TREATED?
Diet; increasing amount of slow release carbohydrate, decreasing refined carbohydrates/high sugar food, trans fats and saturated fats.
Regular Exercise; It is recommended that patients with T2DM or pre-diabetes accumulate a minimum of 210 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise or 125 minutes per week of vigorous intensity exercise with no more than two consecutive days without training
Medication; medication can be very effective at controlling blood sugar levels and your doctor will work with you to find the right medication for you.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF EXERCISING?
Exercise is unsafe for uncontrolled T2DM. An Exercise Physiologist will assess your conditions, physical functioning and blood glucose levels and work with you to design an exercise program tailored to you.
Studies have show that targeted physical activity and nutritional goals together have been highly successful in preventing the onset of T2DM.
Moderate intensity exercise increases your insulin sensitivity and decreases your blood glucose levels for up to 2-48 hours.
Both cardiovascular exercise (walking, riding, swimming, kayaking etc.) and strength exercises (weight training, squats, bench push ups etx.) are beneficial for improving your control of your blood sugar levels. As diet changes for treatment of T2DM often involve low caloric intake; strength training is really important to maintain your strength and muscle.
Regular exercise also improves body composition, decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease and improves your physical function.