Diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus Type 2)

Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is formally known as diabetes mellitus type 2, and is often referred to as “T2DM.”  It is the most common form of diabetes -- an estimated 90% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

People with type 2 diabetes have difficulty processing insulin,1 a substance your body produces to process glucose2, an energy source for your body’s cells.

This causes a condition called “insulin resistance,” which leads to high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia).  High blood sugar levels occur when cells release excess glucose into your bloodstream, resulting in a wide range of symptoms.

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Type 2 diabetes symptoms include:

  • Inability to focus
  • Bloating
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Skin discolouration (acanthosis nigricans)
  • Increased appetite

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, early signs of type 2 diabetes include increased thirst (polydipsia), frequent urination (polyuria), weight loss or weight gain, fatigue, sleepiness or low energy, blurred vision, frequent infections, “tingling” sensation in your hands and/or feet, slow healing of cuts and bruises, and erectile dysfunction.3

However, people with type 2 diabetes may show no symptoms at all.4

Type 2 Diabetes and Your Overall Health

Type 2 diabetes increases your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, cholesterol imbalance, sleep apnea, fatty liver disease, and certain cancers.5  Long term effects of type 2 diabetes include strokes, impaired vision or blindness, kidney failure, or amputation due to poor blood flow to the limbs.

Consult your doctor if you think you may have type 2 diabetes.  Your doctor will administer a diabetes test or “blood sugar test” before making a diagnosis.

Early type 2 diabetes diagnosis is extremely important, as it increases your chances of developing a diabetes management strategy that works for you.

Type 2 Diabetes Causes

There are several causes of type 2 diabetes.

Lifestyle factors like inactivity and poor diet can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  People who are obese or overweight are also more likely to become diabetic .

Type 2 diabetes is also genetic – if you have a family history of this disease, you may be at greater risk.

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Some people with type 2 diabetes may be able to manage their condition through exercise, diet, and better control of their body weight.6

There are a range of medications for type 2 diabetes, but these may not be effective for everyone.  Type 2 diabetes studies are extremely important, as they help develop better, more effective treatments.


1 http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/living-with-type-2-diabetes

2 Ibid.

3 http://www.diabetes.ca/about-diabetes/signs-and-symptoms

4 Ibid.

5 http://www.physiciansweekly.com/diabetes-comorbidities-management/

6 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/basics/definition/con-20031902

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