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What Does Type 2 Diabetes Do To Your Body


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How To Reverse Insulin Resistance

If you have insulin resistance, you want to become the oppositemore insulin sensitive .

Physical activity makes you more sensitive to insulin, one reason why its a cornerstone of diabetes management . Dont wait until youre diagnosed with diabetes to start moving more. The earlier you take action , the better off youll be.

Weight loss is important too, as is avoiding high blood sugar, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep .


These lifestyle changes really work. Talk with your health care provider about how to get started.

Change In Insulin Dose Per 1% A1c Reduction

Using the unadjusted results, individuals required a higher detemir dose compared with those receiving glargine in order to decrease A1c by 1% .

In our pooled analysis, the final insulin doses were lower with glargine than with detemir . The final mean insulin dose per kg for glargine and detemir was 0.45 and 0.59 U/kg, respectively.

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Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes: Whats The Difference

Type 2 diabetes is not the same as Type 1 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make any insulin. In Type 2, your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, and the insulin it is making doesnt always work as it should. Both types are forms of diabetes mellitus, meaning they lead to hyperglycemia .


Type 2 diabetes usually affects older adults, though its becoming more common in children. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but people of any age can get it.

Diabetes And Body Temperature: Managing Cold Numb Or Tingly Feelings

How Uncontrolled Diabetes Damages Your Heart, Eyes ...

When you live with diabetes, its not uncommon to feel cold or numb, especially in your extremities. Your core body temperature is closely tied to your metabolism, and since diabetes wreaks havoc on your metabolic processes, youre bound to sweat, shiver and shake more than the average person.

Part of the problem comes down to your diabetes management, but thats not the only force at play. Circulation, insulin levels, nerve problems, and other lifestyle factors could be interfering with your natural heat regulation.

Find out whats behind your cold, numbness or painful tingling, and take steps to kick-start your internal heating system.

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Is Type 2 Diabetes Serious

Around 90% of people with diabetes in the UK have type 2. It is serious condition and can be lifelong.

If left untreated, high sugar levels in your blood can seriously damage parts of your body, including your eyes, heart and feet. These are called the complications of diabetes. But with the right treatment and care, you can live well with type 2 diabetes and reduce your risk of developing them.

Learn more about diabetes complications.

Tips To Build Body Heat

If your cold extremities can be traced to neuropathy, insulin issues, or poor blood sugar control, the next step is to treat the source of the problem. Cooler weather can make things worse, so you may need to take extra precautions and be more proactive when it comes to warming up your body as winter approaches.

Stay Active

When the thermometer drops and the wind whips against the windows, working out seems easier said than done. However, your diabetes and body temperature will improve, so you should make an effort to get some heart-pumping exercise each and every day. Exercise helps to improve insulin sensitivity and keeps your blood circulating efficiently.


The great thing about exercising is that the effects last much longer than the activity itself. Your metabolism will stay elevated for hours after your workout, and that will keep you energized and warm.

Pack on Some Muscle

Along with cardiovascular exercise, add in some resistance training or light weight training to build muscle. While fat is a good insulator, muscle generates heat since it also revs up your metabolism, building more muscle could make a significant difference in your body temperature.

Get a Good Nights Sleep

Trouble sleeping could account for your chilly feelings, especially if youve gone a few nights without quality sleep. The problem could be traced to problems with the hypothalamus, a region in the brain responsible for regulating body temperature.

Up Your Iron Intake

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Causes Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatments

Never mind the second-place namemore than 90 percent of people with diabetes have Type 2. And a substantial number dont even know they have it. So, what are its giveaway symptoms? How do you avoid complications? Will the right diet help you reverse it? Were here to empower you with clear answers to all your pressing Qs.


In This Article:

Elena Christofides MD, Caroline Apovian MD, and Sharon Bergquist MD

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms and Consequences | How to Fight Type 2 Diabetes

When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood.

  • As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage.
  • As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall.
  • When this happens, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar.
  • This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensure that cells throughout the body, and especially in the brain, have a steady supply of blood sugar.

Carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body cant make enough insulin or cant properly use the insulin it makes.

  • Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating. Over time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production eventually stops.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes

Symptoms of diabetes include

  • numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
  • sores that do not heal
  • unexplained weight loss

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowlyover the course of several yearsand can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Many people have no symptoms. Some people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes-related health problems, such as blurred vision or heart disease.

Non Fasting Blood Sugar Levels

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Diabetes And Brain Health

If you have diabetes, your doctor may screen you for depression or cognitive impairment. Older adults with diabetes are at higher risk for these conditions, compared with others their age who do not have diabetes. Having depression or cognitive impairment can make diabetes self-care challenging.


Your diabetes management plan will cover how to:

  • Track your glucose levels. Very high glucose levels or very low glucose levels can be risky to your health. Your plan will show how often you should check your glucose and how often to get the A1C test. If you are managing your diabetes without taking insulin, you may not need to check your glucose as often.
  • Make healthy food choices. The food you eat affects glucose levels, so its important to learn whats best for you to eat, how much, and when. If you are overweight, work with your health care team to come up with a plan to lose weight.
  • Be active. Walking and other forms of daily exercise can help improve glucose levels in older people with diabetes. Set a goal to be more active most days of the week, and create a plan for being physically active that fits into your life and that you can follow. Your health care team can help.
  • Take your medicines. You should take medicine as prescribed even when you feel good. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects or cannot afford your medicines. Also, let your doctor know if you have trouble taking your medicine or keeping track of your medication schedule.

Faq: Frequently Asked Questions

Diabetes (Pocket Guide)

Is type 2 diabetes genetic?

Over 75% of kids with type 2 diabetes also have a relative with the condition. But this could be due to similar lifestyles in the family rather than genetic factors. Like any condition, some people have a genetic predisposition towards both insulin insensitivity and type 2 diabetes, but the primary factor governing type 2 diabetes is lifestyle.

How often do I need to monitor my blood sugar if I have type 2 diabetes?

You and your healthcare provider should decide when and how often you need to check your blood sugar. You can keep a record in a smart phone app or on paper so you can easily chart your variations. Doctors recommend that diabetes patients get an A1C test at least two times a year.


How has type 2 diabetes changed over time?

Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes because it was diagnosed mainly in adults who did not require insulin to manage their condition. However, because more children are starting to be diagnosed with T2D, and insulin is used more frequently to help manage type 2 diabetes, referring to the condition as adult-onset or non-insulin dependent is no longer accurate or used.

Can type 2 diabetes be cured?

Yes! Your greatest opportunity to reverse type 2 diabetes is early detection and intervention.

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How Do Health Problems From Diabetes Begin

If your diabetes is not well controlled, the sugar level in your blood goes up. This is called hyperglycemia . High blood sugar can cause damage to very small blood vessels in your body. Imagine what happens to sugar when it is left unwrapped overnight. It gets sticky. Now imagine how sugar sticks to your small blood vessels and makes it hard for blood to get to your organs. Damage to blood vessels occurs most often in the eyes, heart, nerves, feet, and kidneys. Lets look at how this damage happens.

Treatment For Low Blood Glucose

If you have type 2 diabetes that’s controlled using insulin or certain types of tablets , you may experience episodes of hypoglycaemia.

Hypoglycaemia is where your blood glucose levels become very low.

Mild hypoglycaemia can make you feel shaky, weak and hungry, but it can usually be controlled by eating or drinking something sugary.

If you have a hypo, you should initially have a form of carbohydrate that will act quickly, such as a sugary drink or glucose tablets.


This should be followed by a longer-acting carbohydrate, such as a cereal bar, sandwich or piece of fruit.

In most cases, these measures will be enough to raise your blood glucose level to normal. You should aim for a hypo to be treated and to recheck your blood glucose level within 15 minutes.

If blood glucose still less than 4mmol/l then repeat the treatment using a fast acting carbohydrate. When your blood glucose returns to normal then have your longer acting carbohydrate.

If you develop severe hypoglycaemia, you may become drowsy and confused, and you may even lose consciousness.

If this occurs, you may need to have an injection of glucagon into your muscle or glucose into a vein. Glucagon is a hormone that quickly increases your blood glucose levels.


You may require input from a health care professional. If the glucagon is not successful, you may require an injection of dextrose into your vein.

Your diabetes care team can advise you on how to avoid a hypo and what to do if you have one.

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How Insulin Impacts Your Body Temperature

Recent research has uncovered a link between insulin and temperature: insulin seems to work as an internal thermostat, helping to raise your core body temperature by triggering the burning of brown fat cells.

Since insulin heats up the body, its no surprise that many type 1 diabetics have a low core body temperature in fact, a body temperature below 97 degrees is one of the earliest signs of the disease. It follows that the elevated insulin levels associated with type 2 diabetes should warm your body rather than cool it. However, its not quite so straightforward.


One theory behind the chill of type 2 diabetes centers on how long your insulin has been elevated. Chronically high insulin could exhaust the circuits that trigger the fat burning process, so the heat is never created.

Since your body still needs heat for important metabolic reactions to take place, it begins to store insulating fat instead of burning fat. Extra fat on your body interferes with blood circulation, and that can leave your arms, legs, fingers, and toes feeling particularly cold.

Are Some People More Likely To Develop Type 2 Diabetes Than Others

Type 2 Diabetes | Insulin Resistance | Your Body Hates This!

A person who has a highly inflammatory diet and carries excess adiposity around their central organs is more likely to get type 2 diabetes, says Dr. Christofides. Excess weight and obesity are risk factors for type 2 diabetes, but how your body stores and manages weight can also be an early indicator of risk.

Research has shown that people who carry too much fat around their middle are more prone to health risks such as type 2 diabetes. Certain communities also show a greater propensity for developing type 2 diabetes, including people who are Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous.

Factors that can put you at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes include:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Family history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • A diet high in processed foods and added sugars
  • History of heart disease or stroke
  • Elevated triglyceride levels in your blood
  • Higher waist to hip ratio
  • Systemic inflammation

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Being Overweight Or Obese

You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight or obese with a body mass index of 30 or more.

Fat around your tummy particularly increases your risk. This is because it releases chemicals that can upset the body’s cardiovascular and metabolic systems.

This increases your risk of developing a number of serious conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.

Measuring your waist is a quick way of assessing your diabetes risk. This is a measure of abdominal obesity, which is a particularly high-risk form of obesity.

Women have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if their waist measures 80cm or more.

Asian men with a waist size of 89cm or more have a higher risk, as do white or black men with a waist size of 94cm or more.

Exercising regularly and reducing your body weight by about 5% could reduce your risk of getting diabetes by more than 50%.

Read about measuring your waist size

Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes

There is no single cause of type 2 diabetes but some factors can put you at greater risk. They include:

  • being age 40 or over
  • being overweight
  • having a family member who has diabetes
  • having had gestational diabetes
  • having given birth to a baby that weighed more than 4 kg at birth
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol or other fats in the blood or
  • member of a high-risk ethnic group.

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Tests To Do Every Year

  • A by an or . High blood sugar levels from diabetes can damage your eyes. This test can find problems early, such as diabetic retinopathy. If you do not have any signs of diabetic retinopathy, your doctor may recommend less frequent exams, for example, every 2 years.
  • A for signs of problems. Nerve damage in your feet makes it hard to feel an injury or infection. Take off your socks each time you see the doctor to be sure you both remember to check your feet.
  • A , to check for protein. If protein is found, you’ll have more tests to help guide the best treatment. Protein in the urine can be a sign of kidney damage .
  • A and . This test is used to screen for kidney disease.
  • A . This test looks for damage to the liver.
  • A test. Women over 50 years old or anyone with high cholesterol should have this test.

Favorite Resource For Diet Advice

The Surprising Ways Diabetes Affects Your Health

Giving up some of the foods you once loved is arguably the biggest bummer about receiving a diabetes diagnosis. But with this Harvard-affiliated organizations expert diet guidance, you dont have to.

For more on “bad” foods you can eat in a diabetes diet, check out our article “5 ‘Bad’ Diabetes Foods You Can Enjoy in Moderation.”

Want to get involved? The IDF, which reaches 168 countries, makes it easy with their advocacy network page. Youll find different organizations that you can work with to help propel diabetes research, legislation, and awareness.

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