Type 2 Diabetes is also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Unlike its Type 1 counterpart, people with Type 2 diabetes are able to produce insulin and therefore there is no need for insulin injections.
The problem is, either they have developed a resistance to insulin or their pancreas has stopped functioning properly. As a result, people with Type 2 diabetes can also experience excessively high blood sugar or blood glucose levels. Unlike Type 1 diabetes however, the risk of complications among Type 2 diabetics can be greatly reduced or prevented through proper diet, adequate exercise and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.
The Onset and Risks
Recent studies conducted by the American Diabetes Association reveal that about 90% to 95% of diagnosed diabetic cases are Type 2. In the past years, Type 2 Diabetes is considered as adult-onset diabetes because the disease tends to occur when a person reaches his/her later years. Today however, statistics show that even adolescents and children as young as 9 years old can develop Type 2 diabetes.
This staggering finding is blamed on unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle – the kind of lifestyle that most adults and children lead today. The popularity of fast foods, junk foods and pre-processed food products are said to be the culprit of the increasing cases of Type 2 Diabetes. Obesity and being overweight are often linked to pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
In fact, according to the ADA (American Diabetes Association), there are about 45 million Americans who have a pre-diabetes condition which means they are at a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes at some point in their lifetime. Unfortunately, most people are not even aware that they have Type 2 Diabetes until a serious and life-threatening complication manifests. The most common complications associated with diabetes are heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney failure, blindness, dental diseases, nervous system damage, sexual dysfunction, etc.
Signs and Symptoms
What are the signs and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes that you should be aware of? The most obvious signs and symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, unusual thirst and hunger, unexplained weight loss, irritability, fatigue, wound that are slow to heal, bruises and infections, numbness of the limbs, and a sudden change in vision. Some of these symptoms may be similar to the symptoms that manifest other diseases. That is why, a proper medical testing and diagnosis is really necessary.
In some instances, people with Type 2 Diabetes may not show any obvious symptoms at all. In this case, the only way to know whether you have diabetes or not is through regular check-up and blood testing to be sure if your blood sugar level is at a normal range.
Being aware that you have this condition can make a big difference in preventing the possible complications that may result from diabetes. Although there is still no cure for diabetes, self-management, proper nutrition, and adequate physical activity plays a big role in keeping diabetes under control.