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What is Type 2 Diabetes

Updated on March 18, 2014

Type 2 Diabetes Explained

Diabetes is a problem in the body that causes blood glucose (blood sugar) levels to rise above normal levels; this is also known as hyperglycemia. Type 1 diabetes results from the body (specifically the pancreas) no longer being able to produce the hormone insulin that regulates the blood glucose levels. The more common form of diabetes however is that of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the result of the body no longer being able to properly use insulin. The body, specifically the pancreas produces very little insulin or the body does not respond appropriately to insulin, better known as insulin resistance. When the body isn’t able to produce enough insulin or properly recognize and use the insulin properly, the glucose from processing food is unable to enter the body’s cells to be used for energy. Rather the glucose builds up in the bloodstream which can cause damage to the body and its organs, while also preventing the body to function properly.

Even though type 2 diabetes is more prevalent in the world compared to type 1 diabetes, the causes of type 2 diabetes are less understood than the causes of type 1 diabetes. Understanding the cause of type 2 diabetes continues to be highly important due to the fact that so many people in the world suffer from it. Originally known as adult-onset diabetes, it is now better categorized as insulin resistant diabetes because either the body does not produce enough insulin or it is unable to use the insulin to the fullest extent. In this day and age, more and more children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes negating the name of adult-onset diabetes.

What is Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes in Children

The greatest risk factor for type 2 diabetes in children is being overweight. The obesity epidemic in the US has grown immensely as nearly one out of every five children is considered overweight. An overweight child has a greater chance to develop type 2 diabetes – in fact the changes are more than doubled. Additionally as it is seen in adults, the risk of type 2 diabetes in children displays a positive correlation associated with excess abdominal weight with the obesity pattern increasing the likelihood of insulin resistance and the chance of type 2 diabetes.

Risk Facors for Type 2 Diabetes

Anyone can get Type 2 Diabetes, not just children however it is more prevalent and more likely to occur in people that are obese and overweight. It is believed that type 2 diabetes has a strong genetic link meaning that it tends to run in families. In fact several genes are being currently studied to determine whether there is a relationship to the cause of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes risk factors including the following:

  • Being obese and overweight
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle
  • Do not exercise
  • Female gender
  • Have had gestational diabetes
  • Gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • Have family members who have type 2 diabetes
  • Have prediabetes
  • Have low HDL cholesterol
  • High triglycerides (fat levels)
  • Have high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High alcohol intake

Being a member of certain racial/ethnic groups also have an impact and increased chance for type 2 diabetes. American Indian, African-American, Asian, or Hispanic/Latino all have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites.

Aging is another significant factor that has an increased effect on the risk factor of type 2 diabetes. At age 45, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes begins to rise significantly and even more so after age 65.

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

In regards to controlling type 2 diabetes, one needs to first recognize it. According to the Diabetes Forecast:

Many people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes aren’t aware of it, according to a survey conducted by the American Diabetes Association. Researchers called almost 1,500 people, ages 40 and older, and asked them about health factors related to type 2 diabetes risk, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and physical activity. Seven out of 10 people who had type 2 diabetes risk factors did not realize they were at risk.

Most people with type 2 diabetes will have no symptoms but when symptoms do occur, they vary from person to person and my include the following:

  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss even though you are eating and feel hungry
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and possible vomiting
  • Increase urination
  • Fatigued feeling (weak/tired)
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness/tingling of the hands and/or feet
  • Slow healing sores
  • Infections of the skin, urinary tract or vagina
  • Headaches

Typically, type 2 diabetes is not diagnosed until health complications become present. In most cased, there are no prevalent diabetes symptoms or at most, a gradual development of the above symptoms. About a third of all people that have type 2 diabetes do not know they have the disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

Do you know anyone with type 2 diabetes?

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Type 2 Diabetes Statistics



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    • bigfeet profile image

      Marcus 3 years ago from California

      Take a look at my tumblr:

    • bigfeet profile image

      Marcus 3 years ago from California

      Hi Question&Answer,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Type 2 Diabetes. As it is becoming a bigger epidemic worldwide, the only way to battle it is by arming ourselves with knowledge!

      Thank you for the encouragement and the read!

    • QuestionandAnswer profile image

      Bex Walton 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      Great hub! I think it is extremely important that diabetes is a topic that people know more about. My father was diagnosed with T2D 5 years ago now and it completely turned my family upside down. Probably because none of us really knew what it was or how to deal with it. He's good at looking after himself now, but it would've been nice to be more informed at the start - it would've saved lots of hospital trips.

      Thanks again for the great hub!

    • bigfeet profile image

      Marcus 4 years ago from California

      Hi Married2Medicine,

      Thanks for the encouragement! It feels great to know that people read and appreciate the Hubs I write. I look forward to writing more to get my creative juices flowing!

    • married2medicine profile image

      Funom Theophilus Makama 4 years ago from Europe

      great hub... Hoping to read more creative contents from you. Well said and I just can't agree more.


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      Sally Pe 4 years ago

      Good explanation on T2D! Thanks.