Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, previously known as adult onset diabetes, is a disease in which blood sugars are too high. This is because the body is resistant to insulin, a hormone that lowers blood sugars by moving sugar from the bloodstream into the cells. Due to this resistance, the pancreas then makes more insulin to try to keep up, but eventually won’t be able to.
Very high blood sugars can cause symptoms like frequent urination, extreme thirst and hunger, weight loss and blurry vision. However, many people with type 2 diabetes don’t experience symptoms at all. Elevated blood sugars are still a concern, though, as over time they can do damage to the body. This damage can cause issues such as heart attack or stroke, or other complications like kidney disease, neuropathy (pain and/or numbness in feet or hands), eye problems, and sexual dysfunction.
While there is no one specific cause for type 2 diabetes, there are certain risk factors that make developing the disease more likely. Risk factors include:
Overweight and obesity
History of prediabetes
History of gestational diabetes
High risk race and ethnicity including African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, and Pacific Islander
Age (the higher the age the greater the risk)
High blood pressure
Abnormal cholesterol levels
People with Type 2 diabetes may treat their diabetes in a variety of ways such as diet and exercise, oral medications, insulin or other injectable medications. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, so what used to work well may not be enough in the future. Also, what works for one person with diabetes, might not be a good plan for someone else – everyone’s diabetes in different. It is important to be open to all potential options for lowering blood sugars, including insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common type of diabetes, with 90-95% of Americans with diabetes having type 2. There is no cure for diabetes, but are there are ways it can be successfully managed.
For information on type 1 diabetes, read my blog post: Type 1 Diabetes