About Type 2 diabetes
There are more than 34 million Americans who have diabetes and continue to struggle and cope with this horrible disease constantly. Approximately 90% of these people have Type 2 diabetes. In most cases, Type 2 diabetes develops in people who are over 45 years old. You are not alone. It is very important to remember that diabetes is basically a progressive disease. This means that diabetes usually changes as time goes by. So, there are many possible symptoms to diabetes.
What Are Some Causes of Type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is more likely to develop if you are not living a healthy, physically active lifestyle and are overweight or obese. Too much weight can cause an insulin resistance and this condition is very common in people with Type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is the most common cause of Type 2 diabetes.
Certain genes may be a possible cause of Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has a tendency to run in families and even occurs quite often in these following ethnic/racial groups:
- African Americans
- Alaska Natives
- American Indians
- Asian Americans
- Native Hawaiians
- Pacific Islanders
Pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer, can be a cause of Type 2 diabetes. This disease, or associated trauma, can harm beta cells or cause them to be less able to produce the necessary insulin. Even if a damaged pancreas is removed, diabetes is almost certain to occur due to the beta cell loss.
There are certain situations in which specific medicines and prescriptions can affect or even harm beta cells. When this condition occurs, the way insulin should function is disrupted. Some of these medicines include:
- anti-seizure drugs
- psychiatric drugs
- niacin (a certain type of vitamin B3)
- drugs to treat HIV
- pentamidine (a drug used for treating a certain type of pneumonia)
- glucocorticoids (medications to treat inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, lupus, and ulcerative colitis
Statins, which are taken to reduce LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol levels, may slightly increase the chance that diabetes will develop. The “other side of the coin” in this matter presents a situation where statins can significantly assist in protecting from heart disease or a stroke. Always check with your doctor.
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Men with Type 2 Diabetes
There are some very unique challenges that men with Type 2 diabetes may face in their lifetimes. These challenges may include low testosterone and sexual issues. Matter of fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13.6 percent of adult men in the United States have been positively diagnosed with diabetes. This compares to 11.2 percent of women diagnosed in the United States. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), men also have a tendency to be not as healthy as women over the course of their lifetimes. Let’s look at the low testosterone and sexual issues relating to men and Type 2 diabetes.
Low testosterone: According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), men with Type 2 diabetes have a “double risk” for having low testosterone. Any drop in the hormone testosterone may lead to symptoms such as muscle loss, depression, low energy, and sexual problems. These sexual problems my include erectile dysfunction (ED).
Erectile Dysfunction (ED): According to a report published in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Obesity: Targets and Therapy in 2014, men with diabetes are three times more likely to experience Erectile Dysfunction (ED) than men who do not have diabetes. When high blood sugar levels damage small blood vessels or nerves, ED can occur. Also, some diabetes medications can even cause sexual side effects, such as Erectile Dysfunction.
Urologic Issues: Nerves that control you bladder can be damaged due to high blood sugar levels. As a result, an overactive bladder or urinary tract infection may develop. Men with Type 2 diabetes may experience nerve retention, which is a condition where nerve damage may lead to incomplete or even infrequent urination.
The Early Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Recognizing any early signs or symptoms of this chronic condition called Type 2 diabetes can lead to quick treatment, which can reduce any more possible risks or complications. Following is a list of early signs and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes and the risk factors for developing this condition:
- Frequent urination: With high blood sugar levels, the kidneys attempt to remove any excess sugar by “filtering” it out of the blood.
- Increase in thirst: The frequent urination may result in the body losing additional water. Eventually, this may lead to dehydration and an increased thirst.
- Feeling hungry more often: Diabetes often causes a person to receive inadequate energy from the food that is eaten. The digestive system breaks down this food into a “simple sugar” called glucose, which the body uses as fuel. A person with diabetes does not have enough of this glucose transfer from the bloodstream into the body’s cells. As a result, a person with Type 2 diabetes often feels hungry more often, regardless how long it has been since the last meal.
- Reduced strength and loss of muscle mass: An unexplained reduction in muscle strength or loss of muscle mass may be visual signs of higher sugar levels and possibly diabetes. If these sugar levels do remain high for extended periods of time, the body will begin to break down muscle and body fat for energy.
Common Myths and Misconceptions Concerning Type 2 Diabetes
Although there are many “truths” about Type 2 diabetes, there also exists many myths and misconceptions regarding Type 2 diabetes. Below is a short list of some of those myths and misconceptions:
- Eating too much sugar is the cause: Consumption of sugar alone is not always the cause of Type 2 diabetes. As a matter of fact, a diet consisting of high-calorie levels does not necessarily include any significant amounts of sugar.
- Type 2 diabetes only affects overweight and obese people: Although there is proven research that a relationship between Type 2 diabetes and obesity exists, approximately 12.5 percent of all adults with Type 2 diabetes are NOT overweight or obese.
- People will always know when they have Type 2 diabetes: It is very possible for a person to have Type 2 diabetes and not be aware of it.
- Diabetes is not a serious condition: Complications relating to diabetes include eye problems, kidney disease, skin problems, bone and joint disorders, and stroke/heart disease.
Type 2 Diabetes Is a Serious and Deadly Disease
Type 2 diabetes can lead to significant complications. Having a healthy diet, which may include SOME types of sugar, and being physically active, can effectively combat any risks of diabetes. Although there is currently no known cure for diabetes, effective lifestyle changes can and will aid in controlling and preventing Type 2 diabetes in men.
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