Diabetes - Type 2
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to regulate its blood glucose levels appropriately. Our bodies store glucose and use it as a major source of energy. For glucose to enter the cells insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, must be present. In people with diabetes, the pancreas produces little to no insulin, or the body cells do not respond to the insulin it produces. Glucose stays in the blood, and over time can damage many bodily organs. There are two types of diabetes patients can be diagnosed with:
- Type 1: The pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Typically diagnosed in children and young adults. Patients must monitor blood glucose levels carefully and receive insulin injections.
- Type 2: The most common form of the disease, the body does not use insulin properly. It begins with insulin resistance. Pancreas tries to make extra, but loses the ability to maintain normal blood glucose levels over time. Can affect people at any age, but mostly develops in middle-aged and older people.
- Risk factors for developing diabetes include family history and being overweight. Risk is also increased in certain ethnic groups, and among people with high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Diagnosis. There are several tests for diabetes:
- A1C blood test measures average blood glucose levels over the past three months.
- Fasting plasma glucose test requires 8 hours of fasting and shows how well the body metabolizes glucose.
- Oral glucose tolerance test requires patient to drink something sugary and undergo a blood test 2 hours later.
- Treatment for people with diabetes involves regular monitoring of blood sugar levels. Type 1 requires regular insulin shots, sometimes with an automatic catheter device. First treatment for type 2 involves increasing physical diet and making healthy changes to diet. Some may also need insulin injections or other diabetes drugs.
Diabetes by the Numbers. In 2012, 29.1 million Americans (9.3% of the population) had diabetes.
- About 415 million people worldwide have diabetes, with T2 making up 90% of cases
- 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed each year
- Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United State
- In 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes
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- Jr., MD Robert Ferry. "Diabetes Treatment, Type 1 & 2: Medications, Guidelines & Diet."MedicineNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.