An Introduction to Type 2 Diabetes

Miranda Frankenbach

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes is negative feedback. This means that your endocrine system uses hormones to regulate your body functions to bring it back to normal. (2.1.3) Insulin is one of these hormones. Insulin is produced by the body to help cells take in this blood glucose. This glucose is then used as an energy supply. Without insulin, your body cannot take in glucose. There are signal molecules in your body. When a signal molecule binds with a receptor, a reaction occurs. (2.1.2) In Type 2 Diabetes, the insulin receptors in your body have either been overused, or do not recognize the signal, so the glucose channels in your cell do not open to allow the blood glucose into the cells.

What Happens When I Am Diagnosed?

If your testing shows high blood sugar levels in your urine, or you have noticed frequent urination, you will be sent to take a GTT (Glucose Tolerance Testing) test. The GTT test measures the amount of sugar in your blood plasma. This test shows how your body utilizes sugar. If your GTT comes back with elevated levels of blood glucose, then you are often sent to take an insulin test. Insulin testing can determine if you have Type 1 or Type 2, while GTT Testing can only determine if you have Diabetes or not. (2.1.1)

What Foods Should I Eat?

Diabetics should eat foods that are low in saturated fats, carbohydrates, sugars, and sodium. Proteins that are low in sat. fats like fish, turkey, nuts, beans, or whole grains are a good option. Along with that, you should eat whole grains and non-starchy vegetables such as greens. If you have a sweet craving, try fresh fruits that are low in sugars, such as cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Foods with monounsaturated fats are good, also.

What Foods Should I Avoid?

Diabetics want to monitor carbohydrate and sodium amounts. White grains such as white bread, rice, and pastas are high in carbs. Try to stay away from full-fat dairy products and starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, and peas. Syrupy and high-sugar fruits along with fruit juices can also be dangerous. Fats should be avoided, as well. Especially saturated fats such as butter, cheese, and fried foods, as well as trans. fats.

What Is Life Like With Diabetes?

In an interview with Gregory Frankenbach, a 49 y/o male with Type 2 Diabetes, he shares with us what it's like to live with Diabetes. At the age of 43, Greg was diagnosed, with his brother and mother being diabetic as well, and his sister pre-diabetic. When he was diagnosed, Greg's doctor sent him to have A1C and a GTT tests done. At this time, his symptoms were blurred vision, frequent urination, thirst, and irritability, and his blood sugar levels were at 550. After his diagnosis, Greg has had to make dietary changes, along with taking oral medications and check his blood sugar at least once a day, every day. He does not have to take insulin, but his medicines have had to have been changed several times. Greg has to take an A1C test every 3 months, as well. After his diagnosis, Greg thought that he could eat whatever he wanted, but soon after, his weight increased quickly. Not long ago, he made the decision to join Weight Watchers and get a FItBit in order to get his weight under control. Since then, Greg has been feeling better, and has been participating in a healthy lifestyle. Since his diagnosis, Greg has had to become aware of his eating habits, and he was concerned about his two children developing the disease, as well.
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Greg Frankenbach, 2013

What Can I Do About My Diabetes?

After your diagnosis, find doctors that can help with your treatment plan. For example, You may want to consult with a dietician, an endocrinologist, and a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator). A Dietician advises people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or to achieve a specific health goal. Dietitians can help you create a meal plan, help you lose weight, track your blood sugar, count carbs, and read food labels. Melanie Haskins is a dietician located here in Kansas City. An Endocrinologist does diagnostic evaluations to view the long term effects of deficiency or excess in hormone output. They can help with severe diabetic complications, especially in the pancreas. Leland Graves III is a diabetic specialist here in KC. CDEs can teach or care for diabetics. They can be nurses, dietitians, doctors, pharmacists, podiatrists, or even counselors. In Kansas City, Angela Knaack is a CDE specializing in classes about diabetes.