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- Type 2 Diabetes FAQs
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- Type 2 diabetes facts
- What is type 2 diabetes?
- What is the difference between type 2 and type 1 diabetes?
- What causes type 2 diabetes?
- What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?
- What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
- How is type 2 diabetes diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for type 2 diabetes?
- Do people with type 2 diabetes have to take insulin?
- Type 2 diabetes medications
- Type 2 diabetes diet
- Exercise for type 2 diabetes
- What are the complications of type 2 diabetes?
- What if I have type 2 diabetes and become pregnant?
- Can type 2 diabetes be prevented?
- What is the life-expectancy for someone with type 2 diabetes?
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It is a chronic disease in which blood sugar can no longer be regulated. There are two reasons for this. First, the cells of the body become resistant to insulin. Insulin works like a key to let glucose move out of the blood and into the cells where it is used as fuel for energy. When the cells become insulin resistant, it requires a lot of insulin to move the glucose into the cell, and too much of it stays in the blood. The other part type 2 diabetes is that, over time, the pancreas can't make enough insulin.
What is the difference between type 2 and type 1 diabetes?
- In type 2 diabetes, blood sugar can be reduced with diet, exercise, and oral medications that either make the body more sensitive to insulin or help the pancreas release more insulin.
- In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot make any insulin and people have to depend on injections of insulin to lower blood sugar.
- Over time, people with type 2 diabetes can also require insulin. This happens when the pancreas "wears out."
What causes type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetics and unhealthy lifestyle habits.
- Some ethnic groups have a higher inherited incidence of type 2 diabetes. African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific islanders are all at increased risk for type 2 diabetes.
- Other causes of type 2 diabetes are unhealthy
lifestyle habits including
- eating too much sugar and carbohydrates,
- not exercising enough, and
- being under chronic high stress.
What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include
- age (being over age 45),
- being overweight or obese,
- having a family history of diabetes,
- being a member of a race or ethnic group with a genetic predisposition for type 2 diabetes,
- having had prediabetes or gestational diabetes, or
- having other metabolic syndrome conditions such as high blood pressure, low HDL or "good" cholesterol, or high triglycerides.
Other risk factors include
- being sedentary (not exercising or being physically active),
- watching more than 2 hours of TV per day.1
- People who drink soda, either sugar-sweetened or diet, are at 26%-67% increased risk of type 2 diabetes.2, 3
- Economic stress also is a risk factor. People who live in the lowest-income circumstances have two and a half times greater the risk of developing diabetes.4