Diabetes is a condition that makes it difficult for the body to use or store glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar that cells use for energy. It comes from food, and is also created in the liver. Glucose travels through the body in the blood. A hormone called insulin helps to moves the glucose from the blood into cells. Insulin also helps to move glucose into the liver for storage if there is more in the blood than the body needs.
Diabetes can lead to a buildup of glucose in the blood. This form of diabetes is the most common type in adults. Medication, lifestyle changes, and monitoring can help control blood glucose levels.
Type 2 diabetes is often caused by a combination of factors. A main factor is that the body becomes resistant to insulin. This means there is insulin in the body, but the body cannot use it properly. Insulin resistance is often related to excess body fat. The body may also begin to make less insulin than is needed.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in people who are aged 45 years and older, but can develop in children. It is also common in younger people who are obese and belong to at-risk ethnic groups. Other factors that increase the chance of type 2 diabetes include:
Prediabetes—impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose
—combination of high cholesterol, high blood glucose, high blood pressure, and obesity with higher amounts of fat around the abdomen
Excess weight or
obesity, especially if there are higher amounts of fat around the abdomen
Check the level of glucose in the blood with a blood glucose meter. Checking blood glucose levels
during the day can help you stay on track. It will also help the doctor know if treatment is working. Keeping track of blood glucose levels is especially important for those taking insulin. Insulin can cause a very low level of blood glucose.
Regular testing may not be needed if diabetes is under control and insulin is not being taken. Talk with the doctor before stopping blood sugar monitoring.
may also be done at the doctor's office. This is a measure of blood glucose control over a long period of time. Doctors advise that most people keep their HbA1c levels below 7%. Individual goals may be different. Keeping HbA1c in the goal range can help lower the chance of complications.
can make good management more difficult. It also increases the risk of other complications. Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities that last at least two weeks require a call to the doctor. Depression is treatable. Counseling can help better manage depression and diabetes.
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American College of Endocrinology. Comprehensive Type 2 Diabetes Management Algorithm 2017. Endocr Pract. 2017 Feb;23(2):207-238.
American Diabetes Association Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes of Diabetes Mellitus.
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Symptoms & Causes of Diabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
website. Available at:
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/symptoms-causes. Updated November 2016. Accessed August 25, 2017.
Diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated July 25, 2016. Accessed August 25, 2017.