ExtendSnacks Resource Page for Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the body has trouble either producing or using insulin.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the body use glucose from food for energy. All food we eat eventually breaks down to glucose (sugar), which is the body’s main source of energy.
Left untreated, the consequences of type 2 diabetes can be life threatening –excess blood glucose builds up in the bloodstream which slowly damages the body’s cells and nervous system over time.
When blood sugar is properly managed, it is completely possible to live a normal and healthy life with diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes often need to take pills or insulin, eat healthier, and increase physical activity (some people with type 2 diabetes may manage with a combination of diet and exercise alone.)
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes - over 26 million Americans have type 2 diabetes. That’s over 7.8% of the total United States population. (Reference 1).
Type 2 diabetes was once known as “adult-onset diabetes”; however, that term is no longer used because of the increasing number of children who develop type 2 diabetes. The rise in type 2 diabetes among children is primarily due to inactivity and unhealthy eating.
Type 2 Diabetes Causes
The exact cause of Type 2 diabetes is unknown, although it is clear that excess weight and physical inactivity are common causes of type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, the process that regulates insulin and blood glucose is not working properly. The result is consistently high blood sugar levels, which may produce some type 2 symptoms.
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
At first, type 2 diabetes may be symptomless.
In fact, you may have had diabetes for years before noticing any of the below type 2 symptoms:
• Increased thirst and frequent urination.
When excess blood sugar builds up in the bloodstream, it pulls liquid away from other parts of the body in an effort to lower blood sugar. As a result, you may feel thirstier than normal. This can lead you to drink more, and as a result, you’ll end going to the bathroom more than often than usual.
• Increased appetite.
Because your body is having trouble using insulin effectively to provide cells with the energy they need, your muscles and organs signal to the body that they need more energy. Those signals then trigger you to eat more in an effort to compensate.
• Unexpected weight loss.
Even though excess weight is a common cause of diabetes, sometimes people with type 2 diabetes may unexpectedly lose weight. That’s because the body begins to use alternative sources of energy that are stored in muscle and fat. As a result, calories are lost as excess glucose is released in the urine.
If your cells are not getting enough glucose this can affect your mood. You may become tired or irritable.
• Blurred Vision.
Consistently high blood sugar can also pull fluid away from the lenses of your eyeballs. This can affect your ability to see detail or focus clearly.
• Slow healing wounds or frequent infections.
• Areas of darkened skin.
Some people with diabetes may develop dark patches of skin, usually on the neck, or in creases of the body like armpits, knees, and knuckles. This condition is called “acanthosis nigricans”. It occurs because excess insulin spills over into the skin and causes abnormal growth, as well as coloration. (Reference 2)
Type 2 Diabetes Tips
There are several things you can do to help manage type 2 diabetes.
The most important thing is to manage blood sugar levels through a combination of healthy eating and increased physical activity.
Extend Nutrition Snacks are designed to help stabilize blood sugar for up to 9 hours, this makes them a perfect snack for people experiencing type 2 symptoms.
Tip #1 – Set a weight loss goal.
Most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should set a goal to lose 5-7% of their body weight.
Extend Nutrition snack-foods can help you lose weight, their unique formula has been clinically proven to help reduce calorie consumption by 21% compared to a typical snack. This helps prevent hunger from wreaking havoc on your weight loss plan.
Tip #2 - Make healthier food choices every day.
It is important to choose the right foods that can help manage your blood sugar. You should eat a balanced diet and keep track of your caloric intake.
Generally, you should look for foods that are Low Glycemic, Low Fat and/or Low Calorie. Also, look for foods that contain healthy amounts of protein and fiber, both of which can help you feel full without raising your blood sugar levels.
Tip #3 – Add physical activity to your daily routine.
Sometimes it can seem like a daunting task to get more active, especially if you’re feeling tired or fatigued due to out of control blood sugar. But, it is extremely important to increase activity for people with type 2 diabetes; and even a small increase in activity can have great benefits.
Try to find an activity you enjoy that you can participate in for 30 minutes on most days of the week, such as an evening walk. You can also do small things, like park further away in parking lots, and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
As you increase physical activity, it can help improve blood sugar control and can also help increase your resting metabolic rate, which promotes weight loss. (Reference 3)
*The information provided above is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.
(Reference 1) National Institutes of Health http://report.nih.gov/NIHfactsheets/ViewFactSheet.aspx?csid=121
(Reference 2) Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/type-2-diabetes/DS00585/DSECTION=symptoms
(Reference 3) National Diabetes Education Program http://www.ndep.nih.gov/media/lose-weight-lower-your-risk.pdf