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  Facts About Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (sometimes called non-insulin-dependent diabetes or NIDDM) is the most common form of diabetes. It usually occurs in middle age but can occur at anytime. It is becoming more common in children now because of childhood obesity. Often, there is a family history of diabetes. The most common risk factor is overweight and obesity.

Type 2 diabetes develops slowly, quietly over many years and may not be diagnosed until symptoms arise, many years after the disease has started. Symptoms are related to elevated blood glucose levels. The most common symptoms are increased thirst and urination, unintentional weight loss, fatigue, poor wound healing and increased risk of infections.

Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease syndrome. It involves several tissues and organs such as the liver, pancreas, muscle and fat tissue. Two different problems of metabolism occur in varying degrees to cause the problem. “Insulin resistance” usually occurs before defects in insulin secretion by the beta cell of the pancreas.

The term “insulin resistance” refers to the higher insulin levels, to accomplish do insulin’s job: get blood glucose into the brain and muscle cells.

The body will produce more and more insulin to compensate for this insulin resistance. Eventually the pancreas stops producing enough insulin due to fatigue and a Type 2 diabetic may have to start taking insulin.

Treatment is focused on proper diet, exercise, weight control and medications.

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