Type 2 Diabetes

  • Medical Author:
    Erica Oberg, ND, MPH

    Dr. Erica Oberg, ND, MPH, received a BA in anthropology from the University of Colorado, her doctorate of naturopathic medicine (ND) from Bastyr University, and a masters of public health (MPH) in health services research from the University of Washington. She completed her residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in ambulatory primary care and fellowship training at the Health Promotion Research Center at the University of Washington.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

Type 2 Diabetes Warning Signs

Early Symptoms of Diabetes

Symptoms of diabetes can be similar in type 1 diabetes, typically diagnosed in children and teens, and type 2 diabetes, which most often occurs in adults. Early symptoms of any type of diabetes are related to high blood and urine glucose levels and include

  • the increased need to urinate,
  • an increase in thirst,
  • dehydration, and
  • hunger.

Type 2 diabetes facts

  • Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which cells cannot use blood sugar (glucose) efficiently for energy. This happens when blood sugar gets too high over time, and the cells become insensitive to insulin.
  • There are two types of diabetes mellitus, type 1 and type 2. The difference between the two are in type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still makes insulin, but the cells cannot use it very efficiently. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot make insulin due to auto-immune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells.
  • Causes of type 2 diabetes are
  • Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include
    • having family members with diabetes,
    • being overweight,
    • being sedentary including watching more than 2 hours of TV per day,
    • drinking soda, and
    • consuming too much sugar and processed food.
  • Because symptoms of type 2 diabetes are sometimes subtle. The major symptom is often being overweight. Other symptoms include
    • excess thirst,
    • urinating a lot,
    • gaining or losing weight unintentionally,
    • dark skin under armpits, chin, or groin,
    • fatigue, and
    • unusual odor to urine.
  • Often there are no specific symptoms until blood tests are done
  • Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed by a blood test for blood sugar. In type 2 diabetes a blood sugar level more than 125 when fasting or more than 200 randomly is diagnostic for diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes is treated with diet and lifestyle changes such as cutting out certain foods like sugar, bread, and pasta. It is also treated with a number of medications. Metformin (Glucophage) is usually the first medication to be tried.
  • Complications of type 2 diabetes include
  • Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by
    • following a healthy low glycemic load diet,
    • staying physically active, and
    • getting regular medical screenings.
  • The prognosis for a person with type 2 diabetes is estimated to be a life expectancy of 10 years less. However, good blood sugar control and taking steps to prevent complications is shortening this gap and people with type 2 diabetes are living longer.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2015

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Diabetes Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

  • Type 2 Diabetes - Experience

    Please share your experience with type 2 diabetes.

  • Type 2 Diabetes - Causes

    If known, what caused your type 2 diabetes?

  • Type 2 Diabetes - Symptoms

    What symptoms did you have before you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes?

  • Type 2 Diabetes - Medications

    What medications do you take for type 2 diabetes and have they been effective in managing the disease?

  • Type 2 Diabetes - Diet

    What foods have you found helpful in managing your type 2 diabetes?


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors