Know the basics
What is diabetes mellitus type 2?
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose). With diabetes mellitus type 2, your body either resists the effects of insulin, which is a hormone that enable your body to regulate the level of glucose, or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.
There is no effective cure for diabetes mellitus type 2, but you can manage the condition by eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. If diet and exercise aren’t enough to manage your blood sugar well, you also may need diabetes medications or insulin therapy.
How common is diabetes mellitus type 2?
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is more common in adults, however, the number of children cases are increasing due to childhood obesity. The World Health Organization reports the following statistics:
- The 2014 global prevalence of diabetes was about 9 percent for adults.
- About 90 percent of people with diabetes have diabetes mellitus type 2.
- Diabetes caused about 1.5 million deaths worldwide in 2012.
- About half of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke.
- Diabetes is also a leading cause of kidney failure.
However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
What are the symptoms of diabetes mellitus type 2?
Signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus type 2 often develop gradually. In fact, you can experience diabetes mellitus type 2 for years and not know it. Some common signs and symptoms might include:
- Increased thirst and frequent urination: Excess sugar building up in your bloodstream causes fluid to be pulled from the tissues. This may leave you thirsty. As a result, you may drink – and urinate – more than usual.
- Increased hunger: Without enough insulin to move sugar into your cells, your muscles and organs become depleted of energy. This triggers intense hunger.
- Weight loss: Despite eating more than usual to relieve hunger, you may lose weight. Without the ability to metabolize glucose, the body uses alternative fuels stored in muscle and fat. Calories are lost as excess glucose is released in the urine.
- Fatigue: If your cells are deprived of sugar, you may become tired and irritable.
- Blurred vision: If your blood sugar is too high, fluid may be pulled from the lenses of your eyes. This may affect your ability to focus.
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections: Diabetes mellitus type 2 affects your ability to heal and resist infections.
- Areas of darkened skin: Some people with diabetes mellitus type 2 have patches of dark, velvety skin in the folds and creases of their bodies — usually in the armpits and neck.
When should I see my doctor?
Early diagnosis and treatment can stop this condition from worsening and prevent another medical emergency, so talk to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent this serious condition.
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
What causes diabetes mellitus type 2?
Diabetes mellitus type 2 develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin. Actually, why this happens is unknown, although genetics and environmental factors, such as excess weight and inactivity, seem to be contributing factors.
What increases my risk for diabetes mellitus type 2?
You seem to have a higher risk of diabetes mellitus type 2, if you own some condition listed below:
- Weight: Being overweight is a primary risk factor for diabetes mellitus type 2. The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin. However, you don’t have to be overweight to develop diabetes mellitus type 2.
- Fat distribution: If your body stores fat primarily in your abdomen, your risk of diabetes mellitus type 2 is greater than if your body stores fat elsewhere, such as your hips and thighs.
- Inactivity: The less active you are, the greater your risk of diabetes mellitus type 2. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Family history: The risk of diabetes mellitus type 2 increases if your parent or sibling has diabetes mellitus type 2.
- Race: Although it’s unclear why, people of certain races – including blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans – are more likely to develop diabetes mellitus type 2 than whites are.
- Age: The risk of diabetes mellitus type 2 increases as you get older, especially after age 45. That’s probably because people tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as they age. But diabetes mellitus type 2 is also increasing dramatically among children, adolescents and younger adults.
Diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is diabetes mellitus type 2 diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects that you may experience this condition, the physical examination will be performed, and some tests will be ordered by your doctor. Some diagnostic testing may include the following:
- A hemoglobin A1C test is also called a glycosylated hemoglobin test. It measures average blood glucose levels for the previous two or three months. You don’t need to fast for this test, and your doctor can diagnose you based on the results.
- You need to fast for eight hours before having a fasting plasma glucose test. This test measures how much glucose is in your plasma.
- During an oral glucose tolerance test, your blood is drawn before and two hours after you drink a dose of glucose. The test results show how well your body deals with glucose before and after the drink.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will provide you with information about how to manage the disease.
How is diabetes mellitus type 2 treated?
Fortunately, you can effectively manage diabetes mellitus type 2. Your doctor will tell you how often you should check your blood glucose levels. The goal is to stay within a specific range.
Your doctor will also explain how to recognize the early symptoms of blood sugar that’s too high or too low and what to do in each situation. Your doctor will also help you learn which foods are healthy and which foods aren’t.
Not everyone with diabetes mellitus type 2 needs to use insulin. If you do, it’s because your pancreas isn’t making enough insulin on its own. It’s crucial that you take insulin as directed. There are other prescription medications that may help as well.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage diabetes mellitus type 2?
Follow these tips to manage diabetes mellitus type 2:
- Include foods rich in fiber and healthy carbohydrates in your diet. Eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help keep your blood glucose levels steady.
- Eat at regular intervals.
- Only eat until you’re full.
- Control your weight and keep your heart healthy. That means keeping refined carbohydrates, sweets, and animal fats to a minimum.
- Get about half an hour of aerobic activity daily to help keep your heart healthy. Exercise helps to control blood glucose, too.
Following these useful tips may help you to avoid diabetes mellitus type 2:
- Diet: Your diet should be high in nutrient-rich carbohydrates and fiber. You also need heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids from certain kinds of fish and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Dairy products should be low in fat. It’s not only what you eat, but also how much you eat that matters. You should be careful about portion sizes and try to eat meals at about the same time every day.
- Exercise: Diabetes mellitus type 2 is associated with inactivity. Getting 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day can improve your overall health. Try to add in extra movement throughout the day, too.
- Weight management
You’re more likely to develop diabetes mellitus type 2 if you’re overweight. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting daily exercise should help you keep your weight under control. If those changes aren’t working, your doctor can make some recommendations for losing weight safely.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Diabetes mellitus type 2. http://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes. Accessed January 5, 2017.
Diabetes mellitus type 2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/home/ovc-20169860. Accessed January 5, 2017.
Diabetes mellitus type 2. http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-2-diabetes-guide/type-2-diabetes#2-3. Accessed January 5, 2017.
Review Date: February 10, 2017 | Last Modified: March 9, 2017