- Glucose is a type of sugar that comes from the food we eat and circulates
in the blood.
- Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose enter the body's cells, where the
sugar is used for fuel.
- People with type 2 diabetes are resistant to the insulin that is produced
in their body. As the resistance increases, glucose is no longer pushed from
the blood into the cells. The body can't get the fuel it needs and the level
of glucose in the blood becomes too high.
- Factors that increase the risk of getting type 2 diabetes include obesity,
an unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and a family history of the disease.
- Type 2 diabetes generally develops unnoticed for years, and symptoms (like
frequent urination, excessive thirst, and hunger) may or may not appear.
Often, diabetes is diagnosed during a routine medical check-up from a blood
test when no symptoms are present.
- Diabetes can be successfully treated. With proper management, people with
diabetes can live full, healthy lives. However, if left undiagnosed and untreated,
type 2 diabetes, over time, can cause serious medical consequences.
- Weight loss, dietary change, and increased exercise are the initial steps
necessary to manage diabetes.
- Diabetes pills and/or insulin may be used to manage and control blood sugar
levels if diet and exercise alone are not enough.
- Other important components of diabetes management include blood glucose
monitoring and meal planning.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur for those taking diabetes pills
or insulin. Learning the proper treatment is essential to treat these episodes
if they occur.
- Long-term complications of diabetes include heart disease, stroke, foot
problems, eye problems and kidney disease. Keeping blood glucose under good
control can significantly reduce the risk and severity of these medical problems.
- People with diabetes should get regular checkups including hemoglobin tests
every 6 months as long as their condition is going well. The result of this
test should be below 7%. If people are not meeting their goals, or if therapy
has changed, people should get tested quarterly.
- Cholesterol levels should be checked periodically. LDL-cholesterol levels
should be under 100mg/dl.
Review Date: 5/1/2006
Reviewed By: Alan Greene, M.D., F.A.A.P., Department of Pediatrics, Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine; Chief Medical Officer, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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