Type 2 diabetes mellitus accounts for approximately 90 percent of all diabetes. Diabetes manifests itself when insulin produced in the body cannot adequately metabolize the sugar in the blood, causing blood sugar levels to spike.
However, here is a general overview of the typical progression of type 2 diabetes:
- Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. At this stage, individuals may experience symptoms such as increased thirst, fatigue, and frequent urination.
- The initial onset of type 2 diabetes: People with pre-diabetes may develop type 2 diabetes if they do not make lifestyle changes to manage their blood sugar levels. Symptoms may include increased thirst, hunger, fatigue, and frequent infections or wounds that are slow to heal.
- Progression of type 2 diabetes: Over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar levels can cause damage to blood vessels and nerves, leading to complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, neuropathy (nerve damage), and retinopathy (eye damage).
- Advanced stage: If uncontrolled, type 2 diabetes can progress to the point where individuals may require medication and/or insulin therapy to manage their blood sugar levels. At this stage, they are also at a higher risk of developing severe complications, such as heart disease, stroke, amputations, and blindness.
It is important to note that the progression of diabetes can be slowed or prevented through lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight. Early diagnosis and management of type 2 diabetes can also improve long-term outcomes.
Type 2 diabetes patients are at high risk of developing coronary artery disease. The risk is enhanced with high concentrations of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), decreased quantity of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), high blood pressure, high levels of blood sugar, and smoking. (Turner et al., 1989)
People with diabetes are known to have a two-fold higher risk of contracting a wide range of vascular diseases. (Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, 2010)
As the disease progresses, there is a risk of severe short and long-term complications. Blindness, amputations, stroke, cognitive decline, decreased quality of life, and premature death can occur. (Ducat et al., 2014; Kruse et al., 2003; Lin et al., 2008)
Mental disorders caused by diabetes impact the quality of life. Patients often find it difficult to follow their doctor’s recommendations for disease management. (Das-Munshi et al., 2007)
Conventional treatment of diabetes, broadly speaking, is composed of the following:
1. Diet modification
Diabetes is a lifestyle disease. A healthy lifestyle, physical activity, and dietary goals that reduce calorie intake can help improve diabetes risk. Some vital recommendations for older adults with diabetes are moderate leisure-time activity and walking, higher intake of dietary fiber, and consumption of low- fat diet, especially trans fats and easily digestible carbohydrates, cutting down on smoking and reducing central obesity. (Mozaffarian et al., 2009).
Natural solutions for diabetes also focus on lifestyle modification, including diet, exercise, and herbal combinations. These solutions are normally used as adjuncts to conventional treatments. Diabetes, according to Ayurveda, is inherited or acquired by bad lifestyle habits that people learn later in life. They believed that an imbalance in the three doshas, which in Greek medicine would be comparable to ‘humors,’ causes a disease to express itself in the body. A disbalance can bring about metabolic changes in fat and muscle. Imbalances lead to diabetes. Blockages in the urinary system, according to Ayurveda, cause diabetes. Weak urine evacuation makes the patient feel the urge for frequent urination.
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