Many people ask their doctor, what is diabetes type 2, especially when their doctor runs a blood test and discovers they have higher than normal blood sugar levels.
Diabetes type 2 is the most common type of diabetes, “In adults, type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes” (1). Because it historically has occurred mainly in adults, it has been referred to as adult-onset diabetes; however, young people are increasingly being diagnosed with this disorder.
To properly answer what is diabetes type 2 cause, you must first understand the relationship between an important hormone called insulin and your blood sugar level.
Insulin is produced in the pancreas and it is secreted into your digestive system when you eat sugar or a carbohydrate. Insulin’s job is to move these foods, which all get broken down to sugar, from your digestive system to your bloodstream and then to your body cells where they can be used or stored as energy.
In diabetes type 2, you develop insulin resistance, a disorder in which your body cells resist insulin. Your need for insulin rises due to this resistance and over time your pancreas loses its ability to produce it.
Symptoms of diabetes type 2 include:
Symptoms of diabetes type 2 develop gradually over time and this can make them difficult to detect. Nearly one-third of the people with this disease are unaware of its presence.
If left untreated, diabetes type 2 can lead to serious health complications including blindness, damage to the kidneys and nervous system, heart and blood vessel disease.
The goal of treatment is to control your body’s blood sugar level. Many people who discover they have diabetes type 2 can control their blood sugar through diet and exercise, and by managing their weight. Some may require oral medication, while a smaller number of people will require insulin administered through injection or a pump.
(1) National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (2007). National diabetes statistics, 2007. Retrieved from http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/statistics/