Diabetes: causes and symptoms
Type 2 Diabetes Also known as “non-insulin dependent diabetes”, type 2 diabetes is characterized by the presence of excess blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
We also speak of middle-aged diabetes because this disease generally appears after 40 years with a peak between 75 and 79 years (unlike type 1 diabetes which appears from childhood). However, it also affects younger people, more and more often elsewhere, including adolescents and even children.
How does type 2 diabetes develop?
A disease that remains silent for many years, diabetes is preceded by a decrease in the sensitivity of the body’s cells to insulin (the hormone regulating blood sugar) called insulin resistance. . This drop in sensitivity is often due to the presence of “visceral fat” (in the belly) and too much sedentary lifestyle.
Because of this insulin resistance, the cells of the pancreas that produce this hormone must secrete more and more insulin to try to compensate for the decline. This vicious circle continues until exhaustion: the pancreas can no longer synthesize enough and the blood sugar level remains chronically high.
This prolonged hyperglycemia can have long-term harmful effects on the body, but it is often not detected until the damage has started because the symptoms do not start until a late stage.
What are its symptoms?
As the disease develops slowly and symptomatically, symptoms arrive very late. Here are the main ones:
- Increased thirst and urination: prolonged hyperglycemia causes an accumulation of sugar in the blood which leads to a disturbance in the osmotic balance of the body. The kidneys will thus filter the blood much more to try to eliminate the excess sugar, which increases the need for water, and pushes to drink and urinate more than usual.
- Increased hunger: the tissues no longer receive sugar and lose energy, this triggers a feeling of intense and chronic hunger.
- Fatigue: the cells no longer receive the necessary energy and therefore tire more quickly.
- Blurry vision.
- Difficulty healing / recurrent infections.
- Dark skin area (Acanthosis nigricans): some people have dark, velvety spots in the folds of the skin (most often in the armpits and neck).
What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?
Poor nutrition can lead to type 2 diabetes, however these are other factors:
- Overweight / obesity: people who are overweight, especially when the fat mass is preferentially located in the abdomen, hips and thighs are more at risk to develop diabetes.
- Genetics: a family history of type 2 diabetes increases the risk of being affected by this disease.
- Age: after 40, the risk increases more.
- Sedentary lifestyle: a sedentary lifestyle accompanied by a high consumption of calories promotes the occurrence of type 2 Diabetes.
What are the complications of type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes can be easy to ignore, especially in the early stages. But a chronically high or poorly controlled blood sugar level eventually affects many organs: heart, liver, kidneys, eyes, blood vessels …
The complications of diabetes develop gradually, they can be disabling or even put the patient’s life in danger.