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What is Type 2 Diabetes?



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What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes mellitus. It is also known as adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin dependent diabetes, in a reference to two of its frequent distinguishing characteristics.

Like type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is not curable, but it can be managed with the assistance of a doctor and some work on the part of the patient. Being diagnosed with the condition can be frightening, but a doctor should be able to refer patients to support groups and other forms of assistance so that they can cope with the condition.

Diabetes mellitus is a condition which is caused by a lack of insulin production in the body, or an inability to process insulin properly. Insulin is the compound which allows sugar to be absorbed and used by the body. Without insulin, sugar builds up in the bloodstream, starving the cells of energy and potentially leading to serious medical problems such as blindness, kidney failure, nervous system problems, and heart attacks.

Because this condition can become fatal, patients should not ignore the symptoms and risk factors of diabetes. Pets are also susceptible, so responsible pet owners should keep an eye on the health of their companion animals as well.

In the case of type 2 diabetes, the onset of diabetes tends to be slow, which can make it difficult to identify. Some common symptoms include lethargy, hunger, thirst, and frequent urination. A doctor can perform a test to determine whether the cause of these problems is diabetes. Fortunately for patients, type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through diet and exercise, especially among at risk groups.

It appears that Native Americans, Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and people of Asian or African descent may be more at risk for type 2 diabetes than others. These individuals seem to have genetic precursors for the disease, which can be activated by inactivity or excessive food consumption. For these reasons, at risk individuals need to be especially careful to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and see a doctor for frequent checkups. If the condition is identified early, it is much more treatable.

A mild case of type 2 diabetes can often be controlled with diet and exercise. Prescription medications may also be used to address the condition. In more severe cases, supplemental insulin may be needed, making the term “noninsulin dependent” diabetes a bit of a misnomer.

Diabetes is a condition in which the body fails to make or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone the body uses to convert starches, sugar, and other food products into energy for the body to use to allow it to function properly. The four major types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2, gestational, and pre-diabetes.

World-wide, diabetes affects huge numbers of people. In the United States alone, over 6% of the population – roughly 18 million people – are diabetic. While the exact causes remain a mystery, researchers have discovered certain symptoms. These symptoms include extreme thirst and hunger, frequent urination, blurred vision, weight loss, fatigue, and irritability.

For people with Type 1 diabetes, insulin must be taken every day. A diabetic will generally administer the insulin shot using a syringe or have someone else administer the shot for him. This type is more common in Caucasians and in people who live in colder climates.
Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled by monitoring the food one eats and by partaking in regular physical exercise. Some Type 2 diabetics may also need to take insulin shots or pills to regulate their blood sugar levels. Obesity is a major factor in developing this form. If a person has an unhealthy diet of fatty food and exercises infrequently, he or she may be walking a path that will lead directly to this disease.

Pregnant women who become diabetic during their pregnancy have what is called gestational diabetes. This form of the disease affects approximately 4% of all pregnant women in the United States. Women who become diabetics during their pregnancy are likely to have a family history of the condition. Obesity again may play a factor.

Pre-diabetes is simply a term for an individual who has blood glucose levels higher than normal. People with this condition are not quite at diabetic levels, but are more likely to develop the disease.

Though children of diabetics will not necessarily inherit the disease from their parents, research has shown that these children are more likely to get it than children of non-diabetics.

Diabetes is a serious disease which can lead to heart problems, strokes, loss of limbs due to poor circulation, and death.

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What is Type 2 Diabetes?



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