TYPE 2 DIABETES
Type 2 Diabetes
When you have type 2 diabetes, your body has a difficult time using the insulin you produce. This is called insulin resistance. With insulin resistance the cells of your body do not easily recognize your insulin. If the insulin is not recognized, the door will not open and allow sugar to move from the blood into the cell. Sugar remains in the blood leading to higher than normal blood sugars.
Who gets type 2 diabetes
Anyone can develop diabetes. However, people that have a family history of diabetes are more likely to develop it. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes also increases as people become older, sedentary, or overweight. Ethnic background is also an important factor. Native Americans, Latinos, African Americans and Asian Americans are at greater risk for diabetes. Also, people who develop diabetes while pregnant (called gestational diabetes) are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
People of any age can get type 2 diabetes, though it usually appears in adults. However, type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing in children and adolescents.
Federal statistics estimate that 18.2 million children and adults in the United States — 6.3 percent of the population — have diabetes. While an estimated 13 million of these have been diagnosed with diabetes, 5.2 million are estimated to have type 2 diabetes and not know it. Most people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. An estimated 41 million people in the U.S have pre-diabetes. 40% of adults in Michigan between the ages of 40 to 74 have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes, is a condition that occurs when one has higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. (Research shows that if action is taken to control glucose levels, those with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.)
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes:
- Family history of diabetes
- Over 45 years old
- African American, Asian American, Hispanic, Native American or Pacific Islander heritage
- History of gestational diabetes or having a baby weighing over 9 pounds
- Having high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure
Signs of type 2 diabetes:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Increased appetite
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slowly healing infections or wounds
- Pain, numbness or tingling in the feet
Progression of type 2 diabetes
For those with a family history of type 2 diabetes, weight gain and an inactive lifestyle can increase insulin resistance. As insulin resistance increases your body fights to maintain normal blood sugars. It does this by increasing the amount of insulin made in the pancreas. During this phase you may develop pre-diabetes (glucose intolerance). The extra insulin helps for awhile but eventually your pancreas becomes tired and can no longer produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugars. At this point you may be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The pancreas of people with type 2 diabetes over time will naturally lose its ability to produce insulin. Therefore it is expected that you may move from controlling diabetes with meal planning and exercise to adding oral medications and possibly insulin. REMEMBER, it is most important to maintain normal blood sugars whether you need to add oral medication and or insulin to meal planning and physical activity.
Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes:
- Fasting blood sugar: 126mg/dl or greater on two seperate occasions
- Random blood sugar: 200mg/dl or greater with symptoms (increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss)
- Blood sugars after a 2 hour oral glucose tolerance test: 200mg/dl or greater
Treatment for type 2 diabetes
Treatment for type 2 diabetes focuses on keeping your blood sugars a close to normal as possible. This is the best way to prevent the complications of diabetes. The components of diabetes care include:
- Glucose Monitoring
- Meal Planning
- Physical Activity
- Medication (Pills or insulin if needed)
How type 2 diabetes affects your life
You can live a long, healthy life if you keep your diabetes in good control. Diabetes care needs to be an important part of your life, so you can do everything else you want to do in your life. Work with your health-care team to develop a self-care plan that works for you.
Last revised July 2009, Adult Diabetes Education Program