Taking control of the Type 2 Diabetes Stigma
What is type 2 diabetes?
People with type 2 diabetes do not make or use insulin correctly.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates the movement of blood glucose, or sugar, into cells, which use it as energy.
When sugar cannot enter cells, this means:
- too much glucose collects in the blood
- the body’s cells cannot use it for energy
It's time to kick that stigma
Type 2 diabetes is not a lifestyle disease, people don't just 'bring it upon themselves' like many media outlets may like to portray. It's not from poor diet choices or as a result of laziness and likewise there's no miracle cure by taking up keto, taking a special supplement or running around the block everyday.
After fasting for 8 hours a doctor may confirm a diabetes diagnosis if the patient's blood sugar levels is equal to or exceeds 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl).
It is found that symptoms of high blood sugar appear gradually in type 2 diabetes. As such noticing any symptoms in the early stages isn't very common, but when a person does experience symptoms they may notice:
- Increased thirst and frequent urination. Excess glucose built up in the bloodstream will result in the body extracting fluid from tissues. This in turn can lead to excessive thirst and the need to drink and urinate more.
- Weight Loss: The body will start burning fat and muscle for energy when there is too little insulin. This in turn causes weight loss.
- Increased Hunger: In Type 2 Diabetes the cells aren't able to access glucose for energy. With the muscles and organs low on energy it's extremely likely to feel hungrier than usual.
- Tiredness/Fatigue: When cells in the body lack glucose the body in turn becomes tired. Fatigue is common and hinders the daily life of a person with type 2 diabetes.
- Infections/Sores: It takes the body longer to recover from infections and sores when the blood circulation is poor. There also may be other nutritional deficits.
- Blurred Vision: Temporary blurred vision can be the result of swelling when high blood glucose causes fluid to be pulled from the lenses of the eyes.