What many don't know: Type 2 diabetes can be prevented. And even after initial diagnosis, it is possible to treat the disease successfully without medication.
You are affected by diabetes or have a relative who suffers from diabetes?
Learn everything you need to know about causes, symptoms and treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2 in this article.
Diabetes: A widespread disease
More than 7.5 million people in Germany are diabetic. However, diabetes does not only affect the patients themselves, but also their relatives and attending physicians. Diabetes is a multifaceted disease and affects many areas of life – diet, leisure, professional life, vacations or family. About 90% of people affected by diabetes suffer from so-called type 2, a chronic metabolic disease.
Since until the end of the 1980s almost exclusively older people were afflicted with it, the epithet "adult-onset diabetes" has become established. Today, this term is no longer relevant, since the lifestyle and diet of today can promote the occurrence of diabetes type 2 even in adolescence or young adulthood. In addition to this form, there is also type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease. It is often referred to as juvenile diabetes, which manifests in childhood and adolescence.
About 5% of all people with diabetes develop type 1 diabetes. Other rare forms, such as gestational diabetes, genetic diabetes or drug-associated diabetes play a rather minor role in Germany.
Type 2 diabetes: Causes
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a disease that affects carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. This is caused by impaired insulin secretion by the b-cells in the pancreas or a decreased insulin action in the body cells.
Special factors play an important role in its development:
android fat distribution (too much fat in the abdomen and liver)
In this case, the effectiveness of the insulin is continually reduced over a long period of time and the cells no longer respond fully. Insulin has the task, as a so-called key, to open the cells of the body and to bring in the sugar that is in the blood. If the insulin can no longer act sufficiently, the reduced influx of glucose (sugar) leads to a backlog in the blood.
Consequently increased blood sugar, which in turn sends a permanent stimulus to the pancreatic b-cells to produce more insulin. However, the exhausted b-cells can no longer respond to this stimulus, which leads to a reduced and slower release of insulin. As a result, blood glucose remains constantly elevated without being noticed. Increases over time.
This process can take months to years, but those affected do not notice signs of Type 2 diabetes. In most cases, the initial diagnosis is made by chance in the course of a general practitioner's examination or a blood sample taken before an operation. In a few cases, type 2 diabetes is only recognized in an emergency as hyperosmolar coma.
Diabetes type 2: symptoms
The body of the affected person very quickly gets used to the constant elevated blood sugar level. But sugar is hyperosmolar, which means it binds water. So when the body tries to dilute the elevated glucose levels in the blood, it needs the water from the cells to do so. Over time, the body "dries up," even if those affected drink plenty of fluids. Classic manifestations of dehydration are, in addition to constant thirst mainly fatigue, exhaustion, concentration problems or irritability.
the kidney has the task of excreting only waste products and filtering important nutrients from the urine and returning them to the body. From the so-called "renal threshold" The kidney can no longer reabsorb glucose into the body and releases it into the urine. Urine glucose" is one of the fastest non-invasive detection methods for diabetes.
Other diabetes type 2 signs include hunger pangs, itching, poorly healing wounds, or hyperosmolar coma. This is a medical emergency that fortunately occurs only rarely. In the process, the kidney collapses and releases the sugar from the blood within 24 hours with about 8 to 12 liters of urine from. The result is a high degree of exsiccosis, a "dehydration", which is accompanied by disturbances of consciousness or coma and must be treated with intensive care.
Consequences of diabetes type 2
Much worse are the Late effects, associated with diabetes mellitus type 2. Since the sugar crystals are larger than some blood vessels, they deposit on the walls of the blood vessels and clog them up. Particularly fine, vulnerable and thin vessels are in the eyes, heart, feet, kidney and skin. Therefore, diabetes type 2 consequences are particularly noticeable in later years as pAVK, myocardial infarction, maculapathy, nephropathy, erectile dysfunction, diabetic neuropathy or diabetic foot syndrome.
This Concomitant diseases make it difficult for those affected to live independently and are in most cases the main reason for premature disability, need for care, walking and visual impairments or dialysis.
How to get treatment?
In many cases, it is possible to have type 2 diabetes treated in a rehabilitation clinic without medication especially if the patient has not yet suffered any serious sequelae. In the case of advanced insulin resistance, medication must be used to support the patient. The most important goal is always the self-management.
The success of the treatment and positive disease management are closely associated with reduced medication use, reduced secondary diseases, fewer emergencies, less disability, reduced need for long-term care and improved quality of life. However, since the treatment of diabetes is very comprehensive, it is almost always specialized hospital or a rehabilitation clinic is carried out.
Here, for example, patients learn how to Recognizing and treating blood sugar fluctuations, which diet is sensible, how to incorporate exercise into their daily routine or how to deal with concomitant diseases. Special diabetologists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, podiatrists and diabetic care nurses offer patients and their relatives the opportunity to deal intensively with diabetes 2 as part of their inpatient stay and to integrate it into their lives in the best possible way. They then help to link up with a diabetes specialist in the patient's catchment area and support the independence and personal responsibility of those affected and their relatives.
Can diabetes type 2 be prevented?
If sufferers aim for a diabetes type 2 diet, incorporate exercise into their daily routine, and focus on a healthy lifestyle pay attention, it is possible, even without medication, to reduce the symptoms of diabetes, delay the onset of diabetes in old age and avoid its long-term consequences.
Many physicians even talk about the fact that it is possible to eliminate the direct influencing factors and thus prevent diabetes 2.
This involves balanced and varied diet diet, the pursuit of normal weight, well dosed and age adapted Movement and adequate Stress Management. Of course, there is no guarantee that a person will remain free of diabetes for the rest of his or her life. But by eliminating the main causes of type 2 diabetes – obesity, lack of exercise and alcohol – people can also outsmart genetics and hormones.