Type 2 diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, a chronic disease that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to metabolize a normal glucose level in the blood or cannot produce insulin at all. This condition can have serious health effects, such as heart disease, kidney disease and circulatory problems. Information on Type 2 diabetes can help you to recognize the symptoms and seek medical help to prevent these problems.

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes differs from Type 1 diabetes in that it is an adult-onset disease. Type 1 diabetes is generally found in childhood and is a severe form of diabetes in which regular injections of insulin are required. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled through dietary measures, medication and with insulin injections.

Type 2 Diabetes Causes

Heredity is a known cause of Type 2 diabetes. If a family member has had it, there is high likelihood that you will develop the condition. Age is also a known Type 2 diabetes cause. People over the age of 45 are susceptible to the disease as are women who have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy. These women often develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Obesity is a known Type 2 diabetes cause, and doctors recommend maintaining weight within the normal range to prevent the onset of this condition.

What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Symptoms of this condition include increased thirst, increased urination, feelings of hunger, fatigue and frequent skin, urinary and vaginal infections. Sores that take a long time to heal can also be a symptom.

Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes

If you experience any of the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes such as frequent thirst or frequent skin infections, see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. The physician will generally order a blood glucose tolerance test to determine your body’s ability to metabolize sugar in your bloodstream. This test will tell him if your body is resistant to insulin or is not producing insulin at all. Urine tests can also tell the physician about excess glucose in the bloodstream.

Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes

The first line of treatment for Type 2 diabetes is changes in diet. The removal of animal fats, excess carbohydrates and sugary treats can help to normalize blood sugar. Exercise is generally recommended to help reduce glucose in the bloodstream. Medications are available to help regulate glucose levels in the body. Severe cases may require regular insulin injections.