Type 2 diabetes , formerly known as adult-onset diabetes, is a form of diabetes that is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance and relative lack of insulin. Common symptoms include increased thirst , frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss . Symptoms may also include increased hunger, feeling tired, and sores that do not heal. Often symptoms come on slowly. Long-term complications from high blood sugar include heart disease, stroke, diabetic retinopathy which can result in blindness, kidney failure, and poor blood flow in the limbs which may lead to amputations . Type 2 diabetes primarily occurs as a result of obesity and lack of exercise.
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Signs and Symptoms Of Diabetes Type 2
Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly. In fact, you can be living with type 2 diabetes for years and not know it. When signs and symptoms are present, they may include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Unintended weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores
- Frequent infections
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck
Type 2 diabetes is primarily the result of the following :
- Cells in muscle, fat and the liver become resistant to insulin. Because these cells don’t interact in a normal way with insulin, they don’t take in enough sugar.
- The pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to manage blood sugar levels.
The reason for this to happen is unknown, but being overweight and inactive are key contributing factors.
Factors that may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes include:
- Weight. Being overweight or obese is a main risk.
- Fat distribution. Storing fat mainly in your abdomen — rather than your hips and thighs — indicates a greater risk. Your risk of type 2 diabetes rises if you’re a man with a waist circumference above 40 inches (101.6 centimeters) or a woman with a measurement above 35 inches (88.9 centimeters).
- Inactivity. The less active you are, the greater your risk. Physical activity helps control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Family history. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases if your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes
- Blood lipid levels. An increased risk is associated with low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “good” cholesterol — and high levels of triglycerides.
- Age. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases as you get older, especially after age 45.
- Prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Left untreated, prediabetes often progresses to type 2 diabetes.
- Pregnancy-related risks. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases if you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant or if you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms)
Potential complications of Type 2 diabetes include:
- Heart and blood vessel disease. Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and narrowing of blood vessels (atherosclerosis).
- Nerve damage (neuropathy) in limbs. High blood sugar over time can damage or destroy nerves, resulting in tingling, numbness, burning, pain or eventual loss of feeling that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward.
- Other nerve damage. Damage to nerves of the heart can contribute to irregular heart rhythms. Nerve damage in the digestive system can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, nerve damage may cause erectile dysfunction.
- Kidney disease. Diabetes may lead to chronic kidney disease or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
- Eye damage. Diabetes increases the risk of serious eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma, and may damage the blood vessels of the retina, potentially leading to blindness.
- Skin conditions. Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
- Slow healing. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections, which may heal poorly. Severe damage might require toe, foot or leg amputation.
- Hearing impairment. Hearing problems are more common in people with diabetes.
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