Type II Diabetes
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that is characterized by hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in the context of insulin resistance or relative lack of insulin. Type 2 diabetes has a significant impact on the health, quality of life, and life expectancy of patients. Exercise, diet, and weight control continue to be essential and effective means of improving glucose homeostasis. However, lifestyle management measures may be insufficient, rendering conventional drug therapies necessary in many patients. In addition to adverse effects, drug treatments are not always satisfactory in maintaining normal sugar levels and avoiding late stage diabetic complications.
Type 2 diabetes common treatment approaches include:
- Medications and insulin therapy
The decision about which medications are best depends on many factors, including patient’s blood sugar level and any other health problems he has. The doctor might combine drugs from different classes to help control the blood sugar in several different ways.
- Bariatric surgery
Patients with type 2 diabetes and a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35 may be candidates for weight-loss surgery. Blood sugar levels return to normal in over 50 percent of people with diabetes, depending on the procedure performed. Surgeries that bypass a section of the small intestine have more of an effect on blood sugar levels than do other weight-loss surgeries. Drawbacks to the surgery include cost, and there are major risks involved, including a risk of death.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A crude population measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in meters). A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. Obesity is a major risk factor for a number of chronic diseases, including type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders and cancer.
Obesity, as well as its related diseases, is largely preventable simply by making a healthier choice of foods and regular physical activity. However, in certain situations the doctor may recommend other treatment methods:
- Prescription weight-loss medication
Weight-loss medications may be recommended if other methods of weight loss haven't worked for the patient and he/she meets one of the following criteria:
- BMI of 30 or greater.
- BMI greater than 27, when the patient also has medical complications of obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.
Keep in mind, though, that medication is unlikely to work without additional lifestyle changes.
Bariatric surgery (weight-loss surgery) offers the best chance of losing the most weight, but it can pose serious risks. The surgery may limit the amount of food that the patient is able to comfortably eat, decrease the absorption of food and calories, or both.
Weight-loss surgery for obesity may be considered when other methods to lose weight haven't worked and the patient meets one of the following criteria:
- Extreme obesity with a BMI of 40 or higher
- BMI of 35 and other serious weight-related health problem
Weight-loss success after surgery depends on the commitment of the patient to making lifelong changes in his/her eating and exercise habits.
Type II Diabetes is one of the major comorbidities related to obesity, when roughly 85% of obese adults also suffer from it.