Type 2 diabetes

Noninsulin-dependent diabetes; Diabetes - type II; Adult-onset diabetes; Diabetic - type 2 diabetes; Oral hypoglycemic - type 2 diabetes; High blood sugar - type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there is a high level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.

Type II diabetes

Over the past several years, our collective diets have grown unhealthier, and our waistlines have expanded as a result. Doing so, we're putting ourselves at risk for a number of diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is serious stuff, if it's not treated, it can lead to some pretty dangerous complications, including nerve and kidney damage. The good news is you can often avoid type 2 diabetes and its complications. You need sugar, or glucose, to keep your body running. Normally when you eat, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which moves the sugar from food out of your blood and into your cells, where it can either be used for energy, or stored. But if you have type 2 diabetes, this system doesn't work as well as it should, in part because your cells have a harder time responding to insulin. As a result, sugar builds up in your blood. Why is that a problem? Well, that excess sugar can damage organs like your eyes and kidneys, and it can lead to complications like nerve damage and heart disease. Diabetes complications could leave you blind, lead to amputation of your toes or feet, and maybe even kill you. You can help prevent diabetes complications by keeping good control over your blood sugar, but first you need to know that you have type 2 diabetes. Sometimes it can be hard to tell because you may not have any symptoms at first. Being very thirsty, tired, or having to go to the bathroom a lot may be pretty good clues that you might have developed diabetes. Blurry vision might also be a clue. Your doctor can confirm it with a blood test. Once you know that you have diabetes, it's your job to keep it under control. You'll need to check your blood sugar at home and talk to your doctor about how to lower it with diet, exercise, and possibly medicine. To avoid serious complications, you'll need to see not just one doctor, but a team of health care professionals. That includes a podiatrist to check your feet, an ophthalmologist to check your eyes, and a dentist for cleanings and exams. Because type 2 diabetes increases your risk for heart disease, you'll also need to see your primary care doctor regularly to have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides checked, and to make sure your kidneys are working as well as they should. Like any other disease, it's better to avoid getting type 2 diabetes then to have to treat it. If you're at risk because you're overweight or over age 45, ask your doctor for a blood sugar test at your next check-up. If you have already developed diabetes, you can help avoid complications by staying on top of your health, checking your blood sugars, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and seeing all of your specialists on schedule. Make your doctor a partner in your care. Call right away if you have any problems, like numbness or tingling in your legs or feet, blurry vision, extreme thirst, weakness, or fatigue.

Pancreas
Diabetes and exercise

A person with type 2 diabetes can use exercise to help control their blood sugar levels and provide energy their muscles need to function throughout the day. By maintaining a healthy diet and sufficient exercise, a person with type 2 diabetes may be able to keep their blood sugar in the normal non-diabetic range without medicine.

HbA1c

If you have diabetes, it's important to keep tight control of your blood sugar. The Hemoglobin A1c test, or HbA1C test, is one way to find out if you are in control. Hemoglobin is an important part of the red blood cell. Red blood cells live about three months. During the life of a red blood cell, sugar molecules, also floating around in your blood, tend to want to stick to the hemoglobin of your red blood cells. Identifying these sugar molecules allows us to get an approximate three-month average of how high persons blood sugars have been. The HbA1c test helps us diagnose a patient suspected of having diabetes and monitors the blood sugar of a diabetic patient. Now, how do we screen for diabetes? If your doctor suspects you have diabetes, your physician will order this simple blood test. A normal HbA1c level is less than 6.0%, which is a three month blood sugar average of around 126 milligrams per deciliter, written like this in your lab results. (126 mg/dl). A HgbA1c level of 5.7 to 6.4% means you are pre-diabetic or borderline-diabetic. If your HgbA1C is 6.5% or higher, you are considered to be a diabetic. That correlates roughly to a 3-month blood sugar average of 140. So, if you are a diabetic, what level should your HbA1c be? Through a combination of a good diabetic diet that controls for carbohydrates, proteins, fats and calories, the American Diabetes Association currently recommends a HbA1C goal of less than 7%. I should also point out that the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends an even stricter control of diabetes - with a recommended goal of less than 6.5%. What we do know is diabetes causes permanent and irreversible damage to the nerves, blood vessels and body organs, like your eyes, kidneys, heart and also your feet. So, it's critical to get and keep your diabetes under good control to avoid serious long-term health problems. People often ask -- How often should a hemoglobin A1C test be done IF you are a diabetic? Since the HbA1c Test reflects 3 months of control, I recommend getting checked every 3 months to let you, and your doctor know how you're doing. Remember, if you have diabetes, keeping good control of your blood sugar reduces your risk for long-term health problems, like Eye, heart, kidney problems, and even stroke. See your doctor for HbA1c tests every 3 months; you'll be glad you did.

Diabetic foot care

People with diabetes are prone to foot problems because the disease can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves, which may result in decreased ability to sense a trauma to the foot. The immune system is also altered, so that the person with diabetes cannot efficiently fight infection.

Diabetic emergency supplies

An individual with diabetes should wear or carry I.D. information (such as an alert bracelet) that emergency medical staff can find. A sugar source, such as glucose tablets or raisins should be carried in case blood sugar levels become too low.

Childhood obesity

You may have heard of the childhood obesity epidemic. But is it real? And if it is real, how important is it? And the answer is yes, it's very real. Up until about 1988, kids' weights in the United States were pretty constant over the years. But since 1988, they've been skyrocketing. And that's important for a few reasons. One of them is that what ever our weight is today, people tend to gain weight gradually over time. So if you're already overweight as a child that sets you up to be really overweight as an adult. And all the more so as a child because when kids, before puberty especially, are putting on extra weight, they tend to make new fat cells. Whereas adults, when they're getting overweight, tend to have the fat cells they already have get larger. People who make more fat cells during childhood find it easier to gain even more weight as an adult and harder to lose weight. So kids are setting habits in their metabolism and even the structure of their bodies as a child. Childhood obesity is a big problem. But it's not just because of the way fat looks. It's a health problem as well. In fact a ticking time bomb. When I started in pediatrics not that long ago, it was rare to see some of the common conditions of middle age in children. Things like high blood pressure, or abnormal blood sugar, waist size over 40 inches, abnormal cholesterol. Those things were really rare in kids. But in a recent study, about two-thirds of American high schools students already had at least one of those. Two-thirds. They use to call something juvenile diabetes and there was adult onset diabetes, the kind that you get often from being overweight. Well now, what use to be adult onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes, is more common by age 9 because of the obesity epidemic. It is a ticking time bomb. The good news is that it's never easier than today to start to make a difference in a child's life.

15/15 rule

To treat low blood sugar the 15/15 rule is usually applied. Eat 15 grams of carbohydrate and wait 15 minutes. The following foods will provide about 15 grams of carbohydrate; 3 glucose tablets; half a cup (4 ounces or 120 milliliters) of fruit juice or regular soda; 6 or 7 hard candies; or 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of sugar. After the carbohydrate is eaten, the person should wait about 15 minutes for the sugar to get into their blood. If the person does not feel better within 15 minutes, more carbohydrate can be consumed. Their blood sugar should be checked to make sure it has come within a safe range.

Starchy foods

Carbohydrates are found in starchy or sugary foods, such as bread, rice, pasta, cereal, potatoes, corn, fruit, fruit juice, cookies, candy, soda, and other sweets. Other possible sources include peas, milk, and yogurt.

Diabetic blood circulation in foot

People with diabetes are at risk for blood vessel injury, which may be severe enough to cause tissue damage in the legs and feet.

Low blood sugar symptoms

Symptoms such as weakness, feeling tired, shaking, sweating, headache, hunger, nervousness and irritability are signs that a persons blood sugar is getting dangerously low. A person showing any of these symptoms should check their blood sugar. If the level is low (70 mg/dL), a sugar-containing food should be eaten right away.

Glucose in blood

After being diagnosed with diabetes, the first goals are to eliminate the symptoms and stabilize your blood glucose levels. The ongoing goals are to prevent long-term complications and prolong your life. The primary treatment for type 2 diabetes is exercise and diet.

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (such as acarbose) decrease the absorption of carbohydrates from the digestive tract, thereby lowering the after-meal glucose levels.

Biguanides

Biguanides (Metformin) tell the liver to decrease its production of glucose, which lowers glucose levels in the bloodstream.

Sulfonylureas drug

Oral sulfonylureas (like glimepiride, glyburide, and tolazamide) trigger the pancreas to make more insulin.

Thiazolidinediones

Thiazolidinediones (such as rosiglitazone and pioglitazone) help insulin work better at the cell site. In essence, they increase the cell's sensitivity (responsiveness) to insulin.

Food and insulin release

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to increased glucose levels in the blood.

Monitoring blood glucose - series - Using a self-test meter

Set up the meter according to the specific directions that come with your meter. Get the supplies ready, including a new test strip and disposable lancet. Place the lancet into the lancing device.

Insulin production and diabetes

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is necessary for cells to be able to use blood sugar.

Over the past several years, our collective diets have grown unhealthier, and our waistlines have expanded as a result. Doing so, we're putting ourselves at risk for a number of diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is serious stuff, if it's not treated, it can lead to some pretty dangerous complications, including nerve and kidney damage. The good news is you can often avoid type 2 diabetes and its complications. You need sugar, or glucose, to keep your body running. Normally when you eat, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which moves the sugar from food out of your blood and into your cells, where it can either be used for energy, or stored. But if you have type 2 diabetes, this system doesn't work as well as it should, in part because your cells have a harder time responding to insulin. As a result, sugar builds up in your blood. Why is that a problem? Well, that excess sugar can damage organs like your eyes and kidneys, and it can lead to complications like nerve damage and heart disease. Diabetes complications could leave you blind, lead to amputation of your toes or feet, and maybe even kill you. You can help prevent diabetes complications by keeping good control over your blood sugar, but first you need to know that you have type 2 diabetes. Sometimes it can be hard to tell because you may not have any symptoms at first. Being very thirsty, tired, or having to go to the bathroom a lot may be pretty good clues that you might have developed diabetes. Blurry vision might also be a clue. Your doctor can confirm it with a blood test. Once you know that you have diabetes, it's your job to keep it under control. You'll need to check your blood sugar at home and talk to your doctor about how to lower it with diet, exercise, and possibly medicine. To avoid serious complications, you'll need to see not just one doctor, but a team of health care professionals. That includes a podiatrist to check your feet, an ophthalmologist to check your eyes, and a dentist for cleanings and exams. Because type 2 diabetes increases your risk for heart disease, you'll also need to see your primary care doctor regularly to have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides checked, and to make sure your kidneys are working as well as they should. Like any other disease, it's better to avoid getting type 2 diabetes then to have to treat it. If you're at risk because you're overweight or over age 45, ask your doctor for a blood sugar test at your next check-up. If you have already developed diabetes, you can help avoid complications by staying on top of your health, checking your blood sugars, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and seeing all of your specialists on schedule. Make your doctor a partner in your care. Call right away if you have any problems, like numbness or tingling in your legs or feet, blurry vision, extreme thirst, weakness, or fatigue.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Support Groups

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention