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Article written and designed by Cosimo Simeone, Msc, PgdDip, Bsc, Physiotherapist

Type 2 diabetes is one of the three main kinds of diabetes. The other two are type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes, which happens during pregnancy. Out of these, the type 2 is the most usual one.

You have it, when your body doesn’t handle sugar properly. Sugar, also known as glucose, builds up in the blood over time. This can hurt blood vessels, nerves, and the body’s ability to fight off illness.

Around the world, about 462 million people have it. This means 6.28% of all the people on Earth are living with this condition.

It was once called adult-onset diabetes, but now both kids and adults can get it. It’s more common in older people. However, more kids are getting it these days, often if they’re overweight.

There isn’t a permanent cure for it. But you can manage it by losing weight, eating healthy, and staying active. Sometimes, though, that’s not enough. When that happens, doctors may suggest medicines or insulin shots.

New technologies are helping in improving the care of this disease. In fact, Al can help to detect, predict earlier and also treat it. Before going through how al can do so, I will explain you brefiely the symptoms, and causes and risk factors of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms:

Type 2 diabetes signs can take a while to show up. You might have it for years without realizing it. But when symptoms do appear, they usually are:

  • Feeling more thirsty than usual.
  • Going to the bathroom a lot.
  • Being hungrier.
  • Losing weight without trying.
  • Feeling tired often.
  • Having blurry eyesight.
  • Wounds taking longer to heal.
  • Getting sick more often.
  • Feeling numb or a pins-and-needles sensation in your hands or feet.
  • Seeing darker patches of skin, often around your neck or underarms.

Causes:

Type 2 diabetes occurs when:

  1. Cells resist insulin and don’t absorb enough sugar.
  2. The pancreas can’t make enough insulin.

Being overweight and inactive contributes to these problems.

Insulin’s Role:

Insulin, a hormone from the pancreas, helps sugar enter cells from the bloodstream. When blood sugar drops, the pancreas reduces insulin production.

Glucose’s Role:

Glucose, a sugar from food and the liver, is essential for cell energy. In type 2 diabetes, instead of fueling cells, sugar accumulates in the blood.

Risk Factors:

  • Weight: Being overweight increases risk.
  • Fat Location: Belly fat is riskier than fat on hips and thighs.
  • Activity Level: Less activity, higher risk.
  • Family History: Family members with diabetes raise your risk.
  • Race and Ethnicity: Some groups have higher risks than others.
  • Blood Lipids: High triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol are risky.
  • Age: Risk increases after 35.
  • Prediabetes: High blood sugar can lead to diabetes.
  • Pregnancy-Related: Gestational diabetes and heavy babies increase risk.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: This syndrome also heightens diabetes risk.

Diagnosis:

Doctors usually find out if someone has it by checking their A1C levels. This blood test shows your average blood sugar level over the past few months. Here’s what the results mean:

  • Under 5.7% is normal.
  • Between 5.7% and 6.4% means you might be heading towards diabetes.
  • 6.5% or more on two different tests means you have diabetes.

If you can’t take the A1C test or it doesn’t work for you, there are other tests:

1. Random blood sugar test: A blood sample is taken at any time. If it shows 200 mg/dL or more, and you’re also very thirsty and pee a lot, it might mean you have diabetes.

2. Fasting blood sugar test: You don’t eat overnight, then your blood is tested. Here’s what the numbers mean:

  • Less than 100 mg/dL is good.
  • 100 to 125 mg/dL might mean you’re at risk of getting diabetes.
  • 126 mg/dL or more on two tests means you have diabetes.

3. Oral glucose tolerance test: This one is used less often. You stop eating for a bit, drink something sweet, and your blood sugar is checked over two hours. Here’s how to understand the results:

  • Under 140 mg/dL after two hours is good.
  • 140 to 199 mg/dL might mean you’re at risk of getting diabetes.
  • 200 mg/dL or more after two hours means you likely have diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association suggests that all adults over 35 should get tested for diabetes, especially if they’re overweight or have other risks. Women who had it during pregnancy and people with a family history of diabetes should also get tested.

In addition, your doctor will check your A1C levels a couple of times a year to see how you’re doing. Most people should aim for an A1C level under 7%.

How Artifical intelligence is revolutionizing the diagnosis?

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is changing how we spot Type 2 diabetes earlier than ever before. In the past, doctors had to wait until certain signs appeared to diagnose it. Now, AI tools, like IBM Watson Health, can look at a lot of health data and find early warning signs that doctors might miss.

These AI systems can find small changes in a person’s health data that could mean they’re starting to get it. This is great because it means people can start taking care of their health sooner. For example, Google’s DeepMind can spot patterns that show someone might be at risk and can even predict how the disease might progress.

What’s more, these AI tools are getting easier for everyone to use. Apps on smartphones, made by companies like Glooko and Tidepool, use AI to keep an eye on things like how much you move, your heart rate, and your sleep. This helps people take control of their health and work with their doctors to stop diabetes before it starts.

In simple terms, AI is making a big difference in catching it early. Companies like IBM Watson Health, DeepMind, and others are leading the way.

Treatment:

It involves:

  • Eating well.
  • Exercising often.
  • Losing weight. Check our diet plan very efficient to loose weights quickly.
  • Maybe taking medicines or insulin.
  • Checking blood sugar levels.

The future of type 2 diabetes care with Al:

A recent study using artificial intelligence (AI) has shown the most successful results yet for getting rid of type 2 diabetes. For people with type 2, this means having normal blood sugar levels for three months or more without needing any diabetes medicine.

The researchers tested a new method called Twin Precision Treatment technology (TPT). The TPT uses a system called the Whole-Body Digital Twin Platform. It combines AI and Internet of Things to look at lots of different health data.

Furthermore, they looked at 319 patients, who were around 45 years old on average and had diabetes for about 4 years. Their average A1C, a blood sugar measure, was 9%. When they checked 262 patients after 6 months, they found amazing results. Nearly all of the TPT group got their A1C below 6.5% without medicine or just with metformin.

Moreover, about 84% of them got rid of it, according to the ADA’s rules. Even those who were taking insulin stopped using it within 90 days. The TPT method not only lowered A1C levels but also improved other health measures in 6 months.

Dr. Paramesh Shamanna, the lead researcher, said, “Our study shows that the Whole Body Digital Twin technology could really change how we treat type 2 diabetes. Instead of just using medicine, we could help people get rid of it and live without medications. For this reason, this could improve the lives of many people worldwide who have metabolic diseases.”

The Whole Body Digital Twin is like a digital model of a person’s metabolism. In fact, it gives advice on eating, sleeping, exercising, and breathing based on lots of data from wearable devices. But, researchers say they need to do more studies over a longer time to be sure of these results.

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