To understand what type 2 diabetes is, it is helpful to know some of the body mechanics.
When we eat food, the body turns carbohydrates into blood sugar. The blood sugar moves into the blood stream and the pancreas is triggered to send out insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps unlock the body's cells. Once unlocked, the blood sugar moves into the cells where they use the blood sugar for energy.
In type 2 diabetes the body's cells have a hard time using insulin. In other words, some of the insulin keys aren't working and blood sugar is "locked out." When this happens, blood sugar starts to build up in the blood since it has nowhere to go. The pancreas makes more and more insulin to try to fix the problem, but this can eventually damage and wear out the pancreas.
As the blood sugar rises in the blood stream, if it gets high and stays high for long periods of time it can damage blood vessels and organs. Additionally, you may start to:
- Feel tired - your body isn't getting the energy into the cells.
- Get hungry often - again because your body can't get access to that energy in your blood.
- Be thirsty frequently - the body wants to "wash" out the extra blood sugar through your kidneys
- Use the bathroom often - to allow the body to "wash" out the extra blood sugar
- Lose weight - if the body can't get the energy, you end up "washing" out much of what you eat
- Have blurry vision - higher blood sugar moves fluid into the eye causing a swelling affect to the lens
How you decide to manage your diabetes will be a decision that you and your healthcare provider will make. Often lifestyle changes, like improving the diet, increasing physical activity, getting adequate sleep, managing stress, etc. can be the first plan of action.
By using your DayTwo app, you can take the guesswork out of eating. Talk with your health guide and dietitian about how to tackle any other lifestyle changes you would like to make.