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.
People with type 2 diabetes cannot make enough insulin in their body (a hormone that helps control the amount of glucose or sugar in the blood), or their body does not use the insulin it makes.1
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:
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.2
However, people with type 2 diabetes may show no symptoms at all.
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.3 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.4
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.