Diabetes: The Basics Part TWO

This is Part Two of a series of three Posts. Part Two is a continuation of the FAQ about Type 2 Diabetes. Part Three will cover Gestational Diabetes.

Blog Nov. 1 stop

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Genes and environment can play a role in causing type 2 diabetes mellitus. To learn more please go to


What are the first warning signs of type 2 diabetes?

The “classic” signs of type 2 diabetes which lead people to see their doctor generally includes excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, numbness or tingling of extremities, weight gain and fatigue. However, these signs generally show up once someone has already developed diabetes. There are more subtle warning signs that can develop years earlier.

The most common early signs of type 2 diabetes can be fatigue and weight gain, but also surprisingly include symptoms of low blood sugar as well. Signs of low blood sugar generally develop when someone hasn’t eaten for a few hours, and include symptoms like nausea, light-headedness, severe hunger and irritability. This occurs due to a drop in blood sugar between meals, often caused by overproduction of insulin in people who have become insulin resistant. Interestingly, people can experience some of these symptoms, like hypoglycemia and irritability, before they even have a large elevation in their glucose or Hemoglobin A1c. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed, you should consider seeing your doctor and getting a blood test for diabetes.

How do I know if I have diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed in a number of ways. These include a fasting glucose of > or = 126 mg/dL, a hemoglobin a1c of 6.5% or greater, or elevated glucose on an oral glucose tolerance test. In addition, a random glucose of >200 is suggestive of diabetes.

However, there are a number of signs and symptoms that suggest type 2 diabetes and should make you consider getting a blood test. These include excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, numbness or tingling of extremities, weight gain and fatigue. Other possible symptoms include erectile dysfunction in men and irregular periods in women.

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes mellitus are as varied as they are unpleasant. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned in this post, it would be advisable to seek medical attention.

For example, one might notice an increase in urination. A hallmark feature of type 2 diabetes is an elevated glucose (sugar) level in the blood. When blood glucose levels are high, the kidney struggles to filter the excess glucose out of the urine. The urine thus contains more glucose than it should, and this leads to higher volumes of fluid leaving the body through the urine. This is often accompanied by an increase in thirst.

Additionally, type 2 diabetes makes it difficult for the body’s organs to receive dietary fuel in the form of glucose. And when the body’s organs aren’t getting the energy they need to perform as they should, this can lead to fatigue and hunger.

Type 2 diabetes also makes it harder for the body to heal. This can lead to more frequent infections and slow-healing wounds.

Elevated blood glucose levels from type 2 diabetes can lead to blurry vision. Vision can improve as blood glucose levels decrease.

These particularly worrisome symptoms warrant seeking medical attention immediately:

  • very severe dehydration and
  • a significant impairment of one’s ability to think and speak clearly.

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes in women?

In general, men and women have similar symptoms of type 2 diabetes. These include excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, numbness or tingling of extremities, weight gain and fatigue. However, there are some additional symptoms in women that may signal possible type 2 diabetes. These include frequent vaginal yeast infections or urinary tract infections. High blood glucose levels make infections more common and difficult to treat. While there are obviously many possible cause for these infections, patients experiencing recurrent or severe infections should consider evaluation for diabetes.

Another frequent issue seen in women with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).This syndrome is thought to be connected to insulin resistance, a key component of diabetes, and common symptoms of PCOS include irregular menstrual periods, acne, pelvic pain, and infertility.

In addition, it is important to note that women with a history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy have an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. If you have a history of gestational diabetes and have any of the symptoms listed here, it is a good idea to have a blood test for diabetes.

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes in men?

In addition to the commonly discussed symptoms for both men and women, another issue discussed less frequently is erectile dysfunction.

How can you prevent type 2 diabetes?

One of the most important first steps one can take to prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is to reach out to a primary care provider.

A growing body of evidence shows that a well-formulated ketogenic diet can improve and even reverse T2DM. The diet significantly lowers blood sugars. Please see the related post on the best diet for type 2 diabetes.

One medication, metformin, has been shown in multiple studies to be effective at preventing the onset of T2DM. Metformin is both inexpensive and without long-term safety concerns.

Learn more at https://blog.virtahealth.com/prevent-type-2-diabetes/

What foods cause type 2 diabetes?

There is scientific evidence that suggests that certain foods like refined grains and sugary beverages are associated (that is, they tend to go hand-in-hand) with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.

There is a strong association between obesity and developing type 2 diabetes, but not all obese people will develop diabetes.

Obesity, like type 2 diabetes, can be caused by any combination of a number of genetic and environmental factors. Diet and exercise can be modified to prevent obesity.

What is the best diet for type 2 diabetes?

The scientific evidence in support of a well-formulated ketogenic diet to improve the health of folks living with type 2 diabetes is so compelling that the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes recently issued a consensus report in which they acknowledge the value of a low-carbohydrate diet to help people living with type 2 diabetes.

Can a ketogenic diet reverse type 2 diabetes?

Insulin resistance is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes and manifests as carbohydrate intolerance. Like other food intolerances, the most logical and effective approach to managing carbohydrate intolerance is to restrict sugars and starches to within the individual’s metabolic tolerance.

A well-formulated ketogenic diet can prevent and slow down progression of type-2 diabetes, and it can actually resolve all the signs and symptoms in many patients, in effect reversing the disease as long as the carbohydrate restriction is maintained.

Learn more about carbohydrate intolerance at https://2healthyhabits.wordpress.com/2019/10/18/underlying-causes-of-type-2-diabetes/

How do I manage my medications if I make dietary changes to improve my diabetes?

We strongly recommend that patients with type 2 diabetes consult a medical professional before making dietary changes. Changing your diet, particularly changing to the well-formulated ketogenic diet can be incredibly powerful in improving blood sugar and even reversing type 2 diabetes.

However, because of the rapid blood sugar and blood pressure improvements that are seen, it is very important that you have medical supervision while making dietary changes. This is particularly important in patients taking medications like insulin or sulfonylureas, which can cause dangerously low blood glucose.

In addition, newer diabetes medications such as SGLT-2 inhibitors, can lead to a dangerous condition known as “euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis,” in which patients can have normal blood glucose but dangerous changes in the acidity of their blood.

In addition, due to the rapid improvements that are often seen in blood sugar, it is important to have close monitoring of your biomarkers. This can be difficult for most clinics to provide, but is part of the continuous remote monitoring that is part of the Virta treatment. They sometimes adjust medications multiple times in one day, and often need to be proactive in reducing medications to avoid dangerous low blood sugars.

Does cinnamon help treat type 2 diabetes?

Cinnamon has been extensively studied without showing consistent results.

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

What is diabetic neuropathy?

Elevated blood sugars can damage nerves, usually first in the legs and feet. Read more at https://blog.virtahealth.com/diabetic-neuropathy/

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy can develop when a patient living with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has high blood sugars that damage the blood vessels in the retina. Read more at https://blog.virtahealth.com/diabetic-neuropathy/

Can I reverse diabetic neuropathy, nephropathy, or retinopathy with a ketogenic diet?

We have many anecdotes of reversal of neuropathy, retinopathy, and nephropathy in people with T2D following a well-formulated ketogenic diet but there are not objective data (i.e. published peer-reviewed studies) to provide evidence that this is true.  Learn more by watching the in this link https://blog.virtahealth.com/reverse-diabetic-neuropathy-nephropathy-retinopathy-keto/

What are diabetic foot problems?

There are many complications (problems) that can happen to the feet when a person is diagnosed with diabetes. These include problems with the nerves, problems with the blood vessels, and problems with healing. Read more at https://blog.virtahealth.com/diabetic-foot/

What is the treatment for diabetic foot problems?

Checking your feet on a daily basis and avoiding injuries to your feet are the best way to prevent diabetic foot problems. Keeping good control of your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels also helps slow the progression of nerve and blood vessel damage that causes diabetic foot problems. It is also best to have your feet checked by your physician or podiatrist (foot doctor) at least once a year

Read more at https://blog.virtahealth.com/treatment-diabetic-foot/

The source of this information is the Virta Health website. Here is the link, please copy and paste it into your address bar


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Author: 2healthyhabits

My goal in life is to experience the exuberance of true good health by returning my body to the healthy state it was meant to have.

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