When your body can’t make enough insulin or can’t use insulin, it is called type 2 diabetes. Insulin helps the cells in the body absorb glucose, or sugar, for energy. Without insulin, glucose builds up in the blood resulting in high blood sugar.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that has no known cure. It is the most common type of diabetes.
The exact cause of type 2 diabetes is unknown. It seems to run in families. But, it often takes other factors to bring on the disease such as obesity, physical inactivity, or taking certain medicines.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include:
Some people who have type 2 diabetes don’t have symptoms. Symptoms may be mild and almost unnoticeable. Half of all Americans who have diabetes do not know it.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes may look like other conditions or health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
There are several ways to diagnose diabetes. It is best to repeat the tests on a second day to confirm the diagnosis.
A1C. The hemoglobinA1C test measures your average blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months. Diabetes is diagnosed if your A1C is 6.5% or greater.
Fasting plasma glucose (FPG). This test checks your blood glucose levels after 8 hours of fasting. You usually get this test before your first meal of the day. This is called your fasting blood glucose level. Diabetes is diagnosed if your fasting blood glucose is greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl.
Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). For this test, your glucose level is measured before and then after 2 hours after you drink a sugary drink. This test tells your doctor how well your body processes glucose. Diabetes is diagnosed if after 2 hours, your blood glucose is 200 mg/dl or higher.
Random glucose test. This blood test is done at any time of the day. Diabetes is diagnosed if your blood glucose is 200 mg/dl or higher with symptoms of hyperglycemia or hyperglycemic crisis.
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
The goal of treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible without letting them get too low. To do this, you will need to control your blood sugar (glucose). You will also need to check it regularly. Regular physical activity, meal planning, and routine healthcare are also important.
You may be able to control type 2 diabetes with weight loss, exercise, and healthy eating habits. But, in some cases, you will also need either oral or injected medicines or insulin. You will also need to check your feet regularly.
Treatment also includes:
Untreated or poorly controlled diabetes can cause problems with:
This can lead to:
For these reasons, it is important to follow a strict treatment plan.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider: