Diabetes Type 2
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What is Diabetes Type 2?

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Diabetes is on the rise in the United States and around the world. Not coincidentally, it parallels the epidemic rise in obesity. Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, has categories that help to describe its causes and treatment.

The International Diabetes Federation’s data indicates that 285 million people worldwide will live with diabetes in 2010. In the United States other statistics of diabetes nearly 8% of the population or 23.6 million people have diabetes. Those who have pre-diabetes have reached 57 million. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. (ADA)

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The epidemic rise in the prevalence of diabetes is associated with aging populations, cultural and social changes effecting dietary habits, physical activity levels and increasing urbanization. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. Early on in the disease process, the body no longer handles the amount of glucose eaten throughout the day. A combination of factors are involved:

  • The pancreas slowly begins to not produce enough insulin
  • The liver releases glucose when it should not
  • The cells throughout the body cannot take in the glucose to relieve the blood stream of its extra glucose load.

Pre-diabetes is often referred to as borderline diabetes, “a touch of sugar”, impaired glucose tolerance, [insulin...

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The onset of type 2 diabetes is very slow. Abnormal blood glucose slowly increases over time, often over five to ten years. High blood glucose levels are often associated with:

  • increased thirst
  • frequent urination
  • increased hunger
  • fatigue
  • slow wound healing
  • blurred vision
  • frequent and reoccurring infections
  • areas of darkened skin

The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes very often follows the complaint of a sore that does not heal, a change eye glass prescription or medical or dental attention for an infection. Nearly 40% of people with diabetes suffer from depression. Undiagnosed or untreated depression makes diabetes self care and its demands challenging.

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Symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination, reoccurring infections can often be indications of diabetes. However, a formal diagnosis of diabetes is through having a fasting lab blood glucose level over 126 mg/dL; or a random lab blood glucose over 200 mg/dL with symptoms of high blood glucose such as increased thirst,frequent urination, reoccuring infections; or a hemoglobin A1c lab value greater than 6.5%.

A diagnosis of prediabetes is a fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dL - 125 mg/dL.

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