Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

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Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus


Type 2 diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas (an organ in the abdomen) produces insufficient amounts of the hormone insulin and/or the body's tissues become resistant to normal or even high levels of insulin. This causes high blood glucose (sugar) levels, which can lead to a number of complications if untreated. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic medical condition that requires regular monitoring and treatment. Treatment includes lifestyle adjustments, self-care measures, and sometimes medications. Fortunately, these treatments can control blood sugar levels in the near-normal range and minimize the risk of developing diabetes-related complications. In Europe, about 90 percent of all people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes (Rosenthal et al, 1998).

Facts on Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot properly store and use fuel for energy. The body's main fuel is a form of sugar called glucose, which comes from food (after it's been broken down). Glucose enters the blood and is used by cells for energy. To use glucose, the body needs a hormone called insulin that's made by the pancreas. Insulin is important because it allows glucose to leave the blood and enter the body's cells. Diabetes develops when the body can't make any or enough insulin, or when it can't properly use the insulin it makes. For some people with diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin. In these cases, insulin is still produced, but the body does not respond to the effects of insulin as well. Whether from not enough insulin or the inability to use insulin properly, the result is high levels of glucose in the blood, or hyperglycemia (Debono & Cahcia, 2007).

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Over 90% of people with diabetes have the type 2 kind. Type 2 diabetes is also called noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult onset diabetes. Although children may have type 2 diabetes, it more commonly starts after age 30 and becomes more common with age. About 15% of people over 70 have type 2 diabetes. Some people do not have diabetes, but do not handle glucose as well as normal. This is called impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Up to 40% of people with IGT will eventually develop type 2 diabetes (Rosenthal et al, 1998).

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, either the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body does not use it properly. No one knows the exact cause of type 2 diabetes, but it's more likely to occur in people who:

are over 45 years of age

are overweight

have a family history of diabetes

developed gestational diabetes during a pregnancy

have given birth to a baby that is more than 9 lbs

Symptoms and Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes may not have symptoms for years or decades, but as the disease progresses, symptoms develop. People with type 2 diabetes may have the following signs and symptoms (Bassuk, Shari ...
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