Understanding Type 2 Diabetes: The basics?

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes:

The Basics By Diana Clayton, RDN, CDE According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. In 2010, 21 million people in the United States had been diagnosed with this disease and another 7 million were undiagnosed.

Despite its prevalence, many people still don’t fully understand what it is or how it’s different from other types of diabetes. We asked experts at Joslin Clinic to help us clear up some common misperceptions about type 2 diabetes and share basic facts on diagnosis and treatment:

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes – also called noninsulin dependent – occurs when either the body does not produce enough insulin to maintain a proper blood glucose level, or when cells have become resistant to the effects of insulin. In either case, the result is the same: too much glucose in the bloodstream.

Why do people get type 2 diabetes?

Many things contribute to developing this disease, including being overweight and lack of physical activity. Genes also play an important role. Type 2 diabetes often develops gradually over many years; you’re more likely to develop it if your parent(s) had it.

How common is type 2 diabetes?

This type of diabetes occurs most often in older adults and is more prevalent among Mexican Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, and some Asian-American populations. How do I know if I have type 2 diabetes?

The symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes are:

increased thirst; frequent urination; extreme hunger; dry mouth; nausea; vomiting; weight loss (unintentional); fatigue; blurred vision; sores that do not heal; slow-healing wounds or frequent infections. If you experience two or more of these symptoms, consult your doctor for a test to determine whether you have the disease which usually occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels in the blood.

How is my diagnosis made?

Before making a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes, your doctor will first eliminate the possibility of another health problem by reviewing family and medical history; personal habits such as smoking or alcohol use; medications you may be taking; and other risk factors such as high blood pressure.

They will also perform a physical exam and ask about symptoms you may have. Your doctor may also order some blood tests to determine glucose levels in your body and whether you have ketones, which are acids that build up in your body when it metabolizes fat instead of glucose for energy.

What’s my treatment?

Different types of diabetes require different treatments: It is important not to take on too much change at once, but rather make one or two changes at a time, working with your healthcare team to monitor results.

Treatment for type 2 diabetes usually includes lifestyle changes that include diet, exercise, and weight loss. Your healthcare team will work closely with you to develop a meal plan that fits your personal preferences, enables you to meet your blood glucose targets, and helps you lose weight if you need to. You may also require medications in addition to lifestyle changes to control your blood glucose levels.

Causes of type 2 diabetes:

type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that develops when the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar) or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. type 2 diabetes usually occurs in adults and is often associated with obesity.

The main risk factors for type 2 diabetes are:

long term stress obesity lack of physical activity family history of diabetes cigarette smoking high blood pressure genetics race/ethnicity age gender hypertension (high blood pressure) polycystic ovary syndrome acanthosis nigricans(darkening patches on the skin, especially in folds) sickle cell anemia pancreatitis thyroid disease liver disease kidney disease Cushing syndrome psoriasis fibromyalgia choline deficiency tobacco use what are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

the common signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes are: frequent urination excessive thirst fatigue hunger unexplained weight loss unusual tingling, numbness, pain in hands or feet blurred vision confusion erectile dysfunction(problems getting or keeping an erection) sometimes with no other symptoms.

If you feel any of these symptoms for more than a few weeks, talk to your doctor about getting tested for diabetes. most people who have type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it until the disease has progressed substantially. however, the earlier it’s diagnosed and treated, the better your chances are for preserving brain function. type 1 is not associated with obesity but still requires insulin injections to be regulated.

Type 2 diabetes risk factors:

obesity lack of physical activity family history of diabetes cigarette smoking high blood pressure genetics race/ethnicity age gender hypertension (high blood pressure) polycystic ovary syndrome acanthosis nigricans(darkening patches on the skin, especially in folds) sickle cell anemia pancreatitis thyroid disease liver disease kidney disease Cushing syndrome psoriasis fibromyalgia choline deficiency

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes symptoms:

Although type 1 and type 2 diabetes both involve insulin issues, they have very different symptoms. Type 1 usually develops rapidly – for weeks – and its symptoms are generally pretty severe. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes

URINE:

Frequent urination is dangerous because it can lead to dehydration (increased thirst) and increase the risk for urinary tract infections, both of which are more common in people with type 1 diabetes than in the general population. Weight loss is another possible symptom of type 1 diabetes.

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