Type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness that is a result of the body’s insulin not functioning correctly. It was formerly called adult-onset or insulin-dependent. It is also the most common kind of diabetes accounting for about 90 percent of all diabetes cases. Type 2 diabetes can also cause obesity and high cholesterol.
About 6 percent of the population suffers from diabetes while about one-third of those who do have it, do not know about it. Insulin is a chemical that is released by the body to control blood sugar levels. It allows glucose to enter cells where it is used for daily functions. When blood glucose cannot be absorbed into cells, the energy cannot be expended and is then expelled through the kidneys. It starts as some of the body’s cells develop a resistance to insulin. This causes the liver to function without control, so it continues to release glucose.
Without the cells picking up glucose high levels of glucose in the blood persist, which is a condition called hyperglycemia. Some symptoms are excessive thirst, urinating frequently, and hunger. Fatigue can also be a sign of diabetes. Diabetic ketonacidoses can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes. This is when the cells do not get enough glucose and begin to burn fat. When the cells burn fat for energy it results in the release of waste products, know as ketones.
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High levels of ketones in the body can produce large amounts of acid, and if not tended to, will cause a person to go into a coma or can possibly be fatal. Diabetes is usually diagnosed by testing blood glucose levels. These tests tell doctors if the body is using insulin correctly by detecting how much glucose stays in the blood stream. Most doctors recommend daily exercise and strict diets to treat type 2 diabetes.
Medication is also an option for those who cannot overcome diabetes with just diet and exercise. There is no single cause of type 2 diabetes but there are many contributing factors that can put one person at risk for the disease. These include being over age 40, being overweight, and have a family member who suffers from diabetes. Also descendents from Hispanic, Asian, and African heritage are also at greater risk.
Canadian Diabetes Association web About/Facts Index. asp MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia web.