The following paper is about type two
diabetes and how it affects those diagnosed. I was unable to talk to members of
my family about health-related topics. Both of my parents have passed away
along with my grandparents. However, I am aware that my grandmother on my mom’s
side had type 2 diabetes, so I decided to do my paper over this particular
topic since it is the only background knowledge I have. I am also familiar with
many individuals in my life who have type two diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be
deadly but totally reversible.
In this research paper I will discuss a
bit about the history of type 2 diabetes, causes, risk factors, symptoms, and
ways to overcome type 2 diabetes. I have provided research from articles and
journals have will cite my findings on the final page.
Diabetes mellitus type 2 (also known as type 2 diabetes) is a long-term metabolic disorder that is
characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of
insulin. This disorder has become very common in our society over the
years. There are over 320 million people in the United States. Of that, 30
million have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. “The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 90 percent of people
around the world who have diabetes have type 2.” (health line)
Diabetes was actually
very rare before the twentieth century. Many
doctors and physicians suggested that it was linked to over-eating and the
affluence. Diabetes, for a great deal of time, was classified into
insulin-dependent and non-insulin dependent varieties. Finally, the distinction
between insulin sensitivity and insulin resistant diabetes was made in the 1930’s,
but the terms type 1 and type 2 diabetes were not adopted until the 1970’s. (historical
As you can see, this is a fast-growing issue. While the number
of children that have type 2 diabetes is very low, because of many factors, it
may be on the rise. In the most basic terms, diabetes is a disorder that
affects the way your body handles glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar within
Your pancreas makes
insulin and allows the glucose (sugar) to be used for energy from the foods you
eat. Everyone makes insulin, however, the cells of those people with type 2
diabetes don’t use it like they should. This is what most people and health
professionals would call insulin resistance. In the beginning, your pancreas
will try to make more insulin, so that the glucose goes into your cells.
When this doesn’t happen,
it builds up and starts to go into the blood stream. This can be very
dangerous. So, as you can see, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or it
resists insulin. This is a very complex process and it is crucial to understand.
There are many factors as
to how someone can become a type 2 diabetic. The two most important and main causes
are genetics and lifestyle. While it may be hereditary for some people to inherit
diabetes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will have diabetes. This only informs
us that we are more prone to the condition, and that we need to make better
choices to help offset this disorder.
It is very important that
as someone who’s genetic make-up states that your pre-exposed to type two
diabetes, you need to get ahead of it and fight it in key ways. These lifestyle
choices that could send you over the edge and become a type 2 diabetic
are: lack of exercise, poor dieting
habits, and being overweight (endocrine web). I have watched numerous people in
my life follow bad eating habits and suffer the consequences. One of my closest
friend’s mother was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
I once watched her talk
about how horrible type two diabetes is, while she continued to eat a kit Kat
bar. To reverse type 2 diabetes, you must be willing to put in the work. The
force of poor lifestyle choices and genetics is what leads to insulin
resistance. While insulin resistance is the number one cause for type 2
diabetes, its not the only cause.
In some cases, people literally do not
make enough insulin within their body. While researchers are looking very
closely at this, they have yet to find the reasoning behind this. Another cause
of type 2 diabetes is age. The older we become, the more susceptible we are.
Researchers have found that, as we get
older, we are more susceptible of getting type 2 diabetes. Many people worldwide
are diabetic, or pre-diabetic, and don’t even realize it. It is ascending to
one of the leading causes of death in the world.
cause of type 2 diabetes is that your “good” cholesterol levels might
be too low. It’s too low if it’s less than 40 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter).
(webmd). Or your triglyceride level might be too high. It’s too high
if it’s over 150 mg/dL. Also, if you have
had diabetes during your pregnancy than you are definitely more
likely to have these issues. The condition (called gestational diabetes)
or delivering a baby over 9 pounds can make you more likely to get type
two diabetes can also be a concern for women who have PCOS. PCOS is polycystic
ovary syndrome and deals with issues involving infertility. Type two diabetes
also seems to be associated with or more sensitive to certain ethnic groups. Researchers
have found that people who are Hispanic, African-American, Native American, or
Asian American have a higher risk of becoming a type 2 diabetic.
There are numerous
symptoms foretelling that someone may be diabetic, and that they need to seek a
professional’s opinion. Some of these symptoms include: “Fatigue: Your body isn’t getting the energy it needs
from the food you’re eating, so you may feel very tired. Extreme thirst: No matter how much you drink, it feels like you’re still
dehydrated. Your tissues (such as your muscles) are, in fact, dehydrated
when there’s too much glucose (sugar) in your blood. Your body pulls fluid
from the tissues to try to dilute the blood and counteract the high glucose, so
your tissues will be dehydrated and send the message that you need to drink more. This
is also associated with increased urination.
Frequent urination: This is related to drinking so much more
in an attempt to satisfy your thirst. Since you’re drinking more, you’ll
have to urinate more. Additionally, the body will try to get rid of the
excess glucose through urination.
Extreme hunger: Even after you eat, you
may still feel very hungry.
That’s because your muscles aren’t getting the
energy they need from the food; your body’s insulin resistance keeps glucose
from entering the muscle and providing energy. Therefore, the muscles and
other tissues send a “hunger” message, trying to get more energy into the body.
Weight loss: You may be eating more but still losing
weight. Since your body isn’t getting energy from food, it turns to
muscles and fat and starts to break them down to create energy. That will
cause you to lose weight. Infections: The effects of type 2 diabetes
make it harder for your body to fight off an infection, so you may experience
frequent infections. Women may have frequent vaginal (yeast) and/or
bladder infections. That’s because bacteria can flourish when there are
high levels of glucose in the blood.
Slow wound healing: Similar to the body’s inability to fight
off infections, it might take longer for wounds (even small cuts) to heal. The
high blood glucose level affects how well the white blood cells (which are in
charge of healing wounds) work. Blurry vision: In an
attempt into the blood to counteract the high blood glucose level, your
body may pull fluid from the eyes. You may have trouble focusing then,
leading to blurry vision.” (endocrine web symptoms) While these are the most common symptoms, you may not
experience these. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is time for a checkup.
Steps to Change
While in past years doctors have recommended
a diet plan that they thought was beneficial to helping reverse type 2 diabetes.
“Foods to eat for a type 2 diabetic diet include complex carbohydrates such
as brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, beans, and
lentils. Foods to avoid include simple carbohydrates, which are processed, such
as sugar, pasta, white bread, flour, and cookies, pastries.
Foods with a low
glycemic load (index) only cause a modest rise in blood sugar and are better
choices for people with diabetes. Good glycemic control can help in preventing long-term
complications of type 2 diabetes.” (medicine net). However, in recent years,
doctors are finding new nutritional guidelines to help people with type 2 diabetes
and hopefully, help reverse it in total. This new way of eating is called a
ketogenic diet or ketogenic life style.
Also, many diabetic patients take insulin
injections and regulate their blood and glucose levels multiple times a day. “Insulin
is the most common type of medication used in type 1 diabetes treatment. It’s
also used in type 2 diabetes treatment. It’s given by injection and comes in several
types. The type of insulin you need depends on how severe your insulin
depletion is.” (healthline).
This diet is very
new to the public, but doctors have been researching and doing studies on this
way of eating for quite some time. Some doctors recommended a more manageable
diet though. Some doctors recommended just doing a low-carb diet instead of a
ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet consists of 20 grams of (Net) carbs a day. This
is a method of eating that takes fat for fuel instead of carbs. A low carb diet
can be anything under one hundred grams of carbs a day.
The ketogenic diet is a high- fat,
adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to
treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces
the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrate. Normally, the carbohydrates
contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around
the body and is particularly important in fueling brain – function. (Wikipedia.org
This diet seems to
help reverse many things though. Women with PCOS, eating this diet, have
started getting pregnant, its great for epilepsy, thyroid issues, and even type
2 diabetes. “Recently, a trial conducted by Stephen Phinney
and Jeff Volek, of The
Art and Science of Low Carb, showed
the positive effects of a low-carbohydrate diet……This particular trial
provides evidence that a low-carb diet can improve blood sugar levels and
facilitate weight loss in adults with type 2 diabetes. In almost 60% of
participants, medication was decreased or stopped altogether.” (sweetlife).
I have been eating
a ketogenic diet for almost a year. It has helped with weight loss, but I started
this diet for many health benefits. I have esophagitis and, so I have many
flare ups and digestion issues. Since starting this way of eating, my issues have
I still take my medication
and always listen to my doctor, but this way of eating has truly helped me and
guided me to not let food control my life. Food is necessary for survival not
for pleasure. This is something I have struggled with that I am working on every
While I am aware
that my grandmother suffered from type 2 diabetes, I am not certain if this is
a genetic and hereditary condition for my family. This fresh look on type 2
diabetes makes me want to go get my blood work done and see if it is in my
genetic makeup. If it was in my genetic makeup to be pre-disposed to type 2
diabetes I believe it would be okay. I am already taking huge steps to be a
more healthy/ active individual. I do not see me allowing myself to become a diabetic
and letting food control my life.
Overall, type 2
diabetes is a very serious condition and should not be taken lightly. While
ways to help maintain type 2 diabetes are changing and people are learning more
about this process it could be so beneficial to our future. Those 30 million
people in the United States that are currently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,
could literally have the condition reversed in as little as three months and
off all medication if only the information was available to them.
There are many
ways to help offset type 2 diabetes. It is not something that people have to
live with if only they new the information and tools was readily available to
them. Low carb or ketogenic eating is so beneficial to so many different
conditions. It is worth doing the research and learning all the angels.
As you can see
from my work cited page, there are many researchers and doctors who believe in
this treatment. What could be easier, taking tons of medication everyday or
literally changing your life style and diet? So many professionals are agreeing
that a low carb diet is the number one way to reverse type two diabetes.
In all, if your genetic
makeup is pre-exposed to type 2 diabetes, it is very important that you keep
yourself at your healthiest and most fit. There are numerous signs to becoming
a prediabetic. If you believe you are experiencing these symptoms you will need
to speak to your doctor right away. Always listen to your doctor and read up on
recent studies that are in progress. Something as easy as a low carb diet could
literally save your life.