Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Type II Diabetes
A few years back we found out that my husband was a Type II Diabetic. The doctor said that he may have had it for a long time and we didn't even know it. As I explained in another post (here), the way we found out was from another doctor's appointment for another issue. We had to go back IMMEDIATELY. They wouldn't tell us over the phone what was wrong. It was very scary at first because we didn't know what to expect. Once we get into the doctor's office, then he explains, "You are a Type II Diabetic." My husband and I were shocked.
What is Type II Diabetes?
Type II diabetics produce insulin, which is a hormone that comes from the pancreas (a gland situated just behind and below the stomach); however, either their pancreas does not produce enough insulin OR the body cannot use the insulin adequately. This is called insulin resistance. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose (sugar, a main source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues) for energy. The liver acts as a glucose storage and manufacturing center. When your insulin levels are low -- when you haven't eaten in a while, for example -- the liver metabolizes stored glycogen into glucose to keep your glucose level within the normal range. In Type II Diabetics, this process works improperly. When there isn't enough insulin or the insulin is not used as it should be, glucose can't get into the body's cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, the body's cells are not able to function properly.
My husband and I also went to a Nutritionist. She told us that my husband has to be careful about his fat intake, because fat will block the glucose from entering the cells.We learned how to read the labels on our food products. If you are diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, you should see a Nutritionist also. It helped me (us) to better understand what my husband needed.
What are some of the Symptoms of Type II Diabetes?
According to the Mayo Clinic:
Increased thirst and frequent urination. Excess sugar builds up in your bloodstream, fluid is pulled from the tissues. This may leave you thirsty. So, you drink - and urinate - more than usual.
Increased hunger. Without enough insulin to move sugar into your cells, your muscles and organs become depleted of energy. This triggers intense hunger.
Weight loss. Despite eating more than usual to relieve hunger, you may lose weight. Without the ability to metabolize glucose, the body uses alternative fuels stored in muscle and fat. Calories are lost as excess glucose is released in the urine.
Fatigue. If you cells are deprived of sugar, you may become tired and irritable.
Blurred vision. If your blood sugar is too high, fluid may be pulled from the lenses of your eyes. This may affect your ability to focus clearly.
Slow-healing sores or frequent infections. Type II diabetes affects your ability to heal and resist infections.
Areas of darkened skin. Some people with type II diabetes have patches of dark, velvety skin in the folds and creases of their bodies -- usually in the armpits. This condition, called acanthosis nigricans, may be a sign of insulin resistance.
One friend had told me that she did experience a change in her vision; vision became blurry, she had excessive thirst, and she had a yeast infection. Whether the last could be part of it, I don't know. But she noticed a change and saw her doctor. Sure enough, she was a Type II.
If you feel any of these symptoms or notice anything different, please see your doctor.
More to come on this subject.
Here's to your health!