WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES?

Type 2 diabetes is a form of disease characterized by high blood glucose (blood sugar), insulin resistance, and a relative lack of insulin. Blood glucose is your primary source of energy coming from the food you eat. After a meal, the insulin in your body helps glucose get into your cells to be used[1].  A person with type 2 diabetes does not make enough insulin or does not use insulin in the body well. In turn, too much glucose stays in the blood.

According to the Mayo Clinic[2], a health provider who diagnoses or treats type 2 diabetes is typically the following: internalists, general practitioners, family physicians, endocrinologists, podiatrists, and ophthalmologists. Here are some general facts about type 2 diabetes:

  1. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes when compared to type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes, diabetes LADA, diabetes insipidus, and other forms of diabetes.
  2. Approximately 27 million to 28.5 million Americans have type 2 diabetes[3].
  3. Several risk factors for type 2 diabetes include[4]:
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Increased fat distribution in the abdomen rather than other areas like hips and abdomen
  • Decreased daily physical activity
  • Genes and family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Older age although type 2 diabetes is increasing rapidly among children, teens, and young adults
  • Race
  1. If you are overweight, losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes[5].
  2. It is possible to manage type 2 diabetes by controlling your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and quitting smoking if you smoke[6].

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