What is Type 2 Diabetes – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

If you are asking the question "What is type 2 diabetes", then you may have already been diagnosed with the condition or have a loved one who was told they developed diabetes.

The number of people diagnosed with this disease is growing every year; in fact, the current type 2 diabetes statistics show that "23.6 million children and adults in the United States—7.8% of the population—have diabetes" (1). Perhaps the most alarming growth has been type 2 diabetes in children.

What is type 2 diabetes caused by?

The causes of type 2 diabetes have much to do with the lifestyle habits of individuals. While not everyone who suffers from diabetes is overweight, inactive and eats a nutritiously poor diet, these factors have been proven to play a significant role in the development of the disease.

Unlike type 1 diabetics, if you have type 2 diabetes you can produce insulin from the pancreas; however, the amount may be too little or your body may resist the effects of the insulin and be unable to use it properly.

This improper use of insulin causes sugar to build up in your blood instead of being distributed to the cells leaving your cells without energy and you with high blood sugar levels.

What is type 2 diabetes symptom profile?

It is not uncommon for a person to live with type 2 diabetes and not know they have the disease. This is because many people develop no symptoms, while in others the symptoms develop so slowly over a long period of time that they go undetected. Often, the first indication that diabetes is present is when a person has a routine test done.

Diabetes type 2 symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
  • Itchy skin
  • Cuts or sores that do not heal quickly
  • Recurring and slow healing infections
  • Blurry vision
  • Some may experience an increase in thirst, urination and appetite

What is type 2 diabetes - treatment options?

Now that we understand the answer to the question, what is type 2 diabetes, you are likely wondering if reversing type 2 diabetes is possible. While there is no medical cure currently available for type 2 diabetes, you can often manage the disease through lifestyle changes and in some cases medications.

By following a proper diabetes type 2 diet that involves meal planning to include healthy foods in the right amounts and coupling that with regular exercise, weight control and working closely with your doctor, you can avoid potentially serious health complications such as blindness, heart attacks, and kidney and nervous system damage.

Having to face the question of what is type 2 diabetes can be intimidating but with the right information and careful management of your blood sugar levels, you can go on to lead a happy and productive live.

(1) American Diabetes Association (2010). Diabetes Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/

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