Diabetes: Learning about Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes: Learning about Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes: Learning about Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes: Learning about Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes: Learning about Type 2 Diabetes

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What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is a condition that affects how your body metabolizes its primary source of fuel — sugar (glucose).

The body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — or doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain healthy glucose levels.

There's no cure for type 2 diabetes, but there are ways to lower blood sugar. Help manage your condition by eating well, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and monitoring your blood glucose levels. You may need medications or insulin therapy if diet and exercise don't control your blood sugar. 

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes you can’t control:

Genetics: Some people have a genetic predisposition, or a family tendency, to develop type 2 diabetes.

Race: People of certain races have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the prevalence of diabetes among Filipinos aged between 20 to 79 years old is 7.1% in 20211.

Age: While everyone, including children, is at risk for type 2 diabetes, the risk increases significantly in people older than 40.

Type 2 diabetes risk factors that can be changed:

Excess weight:
Weighing more than recommended is one of the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. While losing weight is a challenging proposition for most people, it is one of the most powerful actions you can take.


Minimal physical activity:
The human body is designed to move, to be active every day. Physical activity helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and also helps people with the disease control their blood sugar levels. People who stay active and keep their muscles working are more likely to have cells that allow the insulin "key" to unlock the "door" permitting the glucose to enter.


Unhealthy eating:
The most common unhealthy eating habits are eating processed foods with lots of carbohydrates and little fiber content. Processed food is any food that has been manufactured in a way that changes its original state. Eating healthy foods and exercising can help improve your health and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.


Stress hormones can result in elevated blood glucose levels when stimulated or when your body reacts to being threatened. Having a positive attitude and practicing relaxation skills can help your stress management.

Some of the complications of type 2 diabetes:

Heart disease
When you have type 2 diabetes, you are at risk of heart disease. Your blood sugar can affect and damage the nerves that control your heart.


Loss of vision
Diabetes can cause eye problems. One of the conditions that can affect your vision is called retinopathy, which is damage to the retina's blood vessels caused by high blood sugar levels.


Kidney disease
High blood sugar from diabetes can cause damage to your kidney's blood vessels.


Foot problems
Nerve damage to the feet can be caused by uncontrolled blood sugar levels, excess weight, and high cholesterol.

You can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by having a healthy lifestyle change such as:

1. Exercising - start walking for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week.

2. Losing weight - by losing 5 to 7% of your body weight, you may be able to reduce the chances of getting diabetes.

3. Eating healthy foods - choose the right foods to reduce your calorie intake.

1 Philippines Diabetes Report (2000-2045), International Diabetes Federation; https://diabetesatlas.org/data/en/country/157/ph.html

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