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Diabetes Health Center

Type 2 Diabetes

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What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

Although it is more common than type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is less well understood. It is likely caused by multiple factors and not a single problem.

Type 2 diabetes can run in families, but the exact nature of how it's inherited or the identity of a single genetic factor is not known.

What Are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes vary from person to person but may include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and occasional vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling of the hands or feet
  • Frequent infections of the skin, urinary tract, or vagina

 

How Is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed?

If your health care provider suspects type 2 diabetes, he or she will first check for a high blood sugar level in your blood. In addition, he or she may look for sugar or ketone bodies in your urine.

Tests used to diagnose type 2 diabetes include a fasting plasma glucose test, a casual or random plasma glucose test, or a hemoglobin A1c level.

You will also need to check your blood sugar levels regularly.

Complications Associated With Type 2 Diabetes

If your type 2 diabetes isn't well controlled, there are a number of serious or life-threatening problems you may experience, including:

  • Retinopathy . People with type 2 diabetes may already have abnormalities in the eyes prior to the diagnosis of diabetes. Over time, more and more people who initially do not have eye problems related to the disease will develop some form of eye problem. It is important to control not only sugars but also blood pressure and cholesterol to prevent progression of eye disease. Fortunately, the vision loss isn't significant in most people.
  • Kidney damage . The risk of kidney damage increases over time, meaning the longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk. This complication carries significant risk of serious illness -- such as kidney failure and heart disease.
  • Poor blood circulation and nerve damage. Damage to nerves and hardening of the arteries leads to decreased sensation and poor blood circulation in the feet. This can lead to increased infections and an increased risk of ulcers, which heal poorly and can in turn significantly raise the risk of amputation. Damage to nerves may also lead to digestive problems, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on September 03, 2014
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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