Type 2 diabetes develops during the course of a person’s lifetime. It is the type that used to be called "adult-onset diabetes," though that term was dropped as more and more children started developing the disease. It differs from type 1, however, in that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease present from a very young age. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include being thirsty unusually often and wounds that heal notably slowly, as well as increased appetite and fatigue.
A consequence of the differences between the types of diabetes is that type 2 diabetes is preventable. It generally strikes smokers and people who are overweight, sedentary, or both. In addition, chronically elevated blood sugar often progresses to diabetes. It is particularly important for people to take preventative measures if hey carry fat in the abdomen as opposed to other parts of the body, if they are over 45, or if they have a family history of type 2 diabetes. Prevention means losing weight, getting active, quitting smoking, and adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to the diet.
Another possible preventative measure is to get sunshine. Recent research suggests that vitamin D, which is create in the human body in response to sunlight, does not have any effect on diabetes. However, sunlight does seem to be beneficial in other ways, researchers said. In addition ti making vitamin D, sunlight triggers the release of nitric oxide in the skin, which has a beneficial effect on diabetes. In fact, a topical cream that includes nitric oxide was found to have a similar effect.
In another study, a blue light was found to enhance the effectiveness and precision of certain diabetes medications. In fact, the medication is activated or deactivated by the light, making it easier to calibrate dosage. Although diabetes medication is necessary to prevent blood sugar levels from getting too high, there is a risk of the medication working too well, causing blood sugar to be dangerously low. New patients are particularly prone to this problem. With the light-activated medication, there would be more tolerance in dosing, since the drug could be activated only when and to the extent needed.