Type II Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent
diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), your body's main source of fuel.
Type 2 diabetes is often preventable, but the condition is on the rise — fueled largely by the current obesity epidemic.
When you have type 2 diabetes, your body is resistant to the
effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar into your cells — or your body produces
some, but not enough, insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. Left uncontrolled, the consequences of type 2 diabetes can
Type 1 diabetes is a similar, although
much less common, condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
There's no cure for type 2 diabetes, but there's plenty you can do to manage —
or prevent — the condition. Start by eating healthy foods, including physical activity in your daily routine and maintaining
a healthy weight. If diet and exercise aren't enough, you may need diabetes medications or insulin therapy to manage your
Type 2 diabetes symptoms may seem harmless at first. In fact, you can have type 2 diabetes
for years and not even know it. Look for:
- Increased thirst and frequent urination. As excess
sugar builds up in your bloodstream, fluid is pulled from your tissues. This may leave you thirsty. As a result, you
may drink — and urinate — more than usual.
- Extreme hunger. Without enough insulin to move
sugar into your cells, your muscles and organs become depleted of energy. This triggers intense hunger that may persist even
after you eat.
- Weight loss. Despite eating more than usual to relieve your constant hunger, you may lose weight. Without the energy sugar supplies,
your muscle tissues and fat stores may simply shrink.
- Fatigue. If your cells are deprived of sugar, you may become tired and irritable.
- Blurred vision. If your blood sugar level is too high, fluid may be pulled from your tissues — including the lenses of your
eyes. This may affect your ability to focus.
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections. Type
2 diabetes affects your ability to heal and fight infections. Bladder and vaginal infections can be a particular problem for
Some people who have type 2 diabetes have patches of dark,
velvety skin in the folds and creases of their bodies — usually in the armpits and neck. This condition, called acanthosis
nigricans, is a sign of insulin resistance.
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