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Type 2 Diabetes

About Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in the U.S. accounting for 90-95% of diabetic cases. Having type 2 means that your pancreas is no longer producing insulin in proper quantities and your body is not able to use the insulin produced efficiently enough to keep your blood glucose levels at a normal level.

With type 2, your pancreas makes extra insulin when your cells start to become insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle, fat, and liver tissues are unable to use the insulin effectively any more. Over time medication is required to keep blood glucose levels under control.

Statistics of Type 2 Diabetes

Almost 30-million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with diabetes. Every year 1.4 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in the U.S.; more than one out of every 10 adults over 20 years of age has diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes Cause and Risk Factors

The exact reason or cause of type 2 diabetes is not clear, however type 2 has been associated with numerous risk factors which include:

  • History of sustained hyperglycemia, prediabetes, and/or gestational diabetes
  • Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG) or Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)
  • Being overweight
  • Little to no regular physical activity
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Age (generally over 45 years of age)
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormally high cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Eating an unhealthy diet
  • Diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Race and ethnicity – type 2 more common in African Americans, Asian Americans, Latin Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

The most common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include:

  • Urinating frequently, especially at night – the kidneys try to rid the body of excess sugar through urination
  • Excessive thirst – frequent urination dehydrates the body
  • Sores or cuts that will not heal with increased chance of developing an infection
  • Weight Loss – dehydration and loss of large amounts of sugar calories being flushed out in your urine before your body can use them cause weight loss
  • Excessive hunger – you may feel hungry as you lose your energy (sugar) calories in your urine before calories are metabolized for energy
  • Blurry vision – high levels of blood glucose affect vision and ability to focus
  • Feeling fatigued – your body’s energy sources (glucose or sugar) is flushed out in your urine
  • Areas of darkened skin, called acanthosis nigricans, typically found in body creases and folds may be a sign of insulin resistance

 

Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes

The two goals of type 2 diabetes care and treatment are to day-to-day wellness and prevention or delay of long term health problems. These goals can best be achieved by:

  • Regular checking of blood glucose levels
  • Taking medication as prescribed to keep glucose levels within normal ranges
  • Plan for healthy eating and food choices
  • Being physically active
  • Get an A1C test at least 2x/year to track control of glucose levels
  • Keep weight under control and within a good range for height and age
  • Modify eating patterns for a healthy life-style
  • Join a weight loss, diabetes support group, or exercise group to help stay on track

 

Type 2 diabetes cannot be reversed, but it can be managed so that those affected can live long healthy lives if they keep their blood glucose levels within a normal range.