What is it?
Type 2 diabetes is an impairment in the way the body regulates and uses sugar (glucose) as a fuel. This long-term (chronic) condition results in too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream. Eventually, high blood sugar levels can lead to disorders of the circulatory, nervous and immune systems.
What are Causes?
In type 2 diabetes, there are primarily two interrelated problems at work. Your pancreas does not produce enough insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — and cells respond poorly to insulin and take in less sugar.
Type 2 can be in childhood or as an adult. Obesity and diet play an important role. Obesity in children is causing a rise in childhood type 2 Diabetes
What Can Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?
There's no cure for type 2 diabetes, but losing weight, eating well and exercising can help you manage the disease. If diet and exercise aren't enough to manage your blood sugar, you may also need diabetes medications or insulin therapy.
How is it Diagnosed? Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed using the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Results are interpreted as follows:
- Below 5.7% is normal.
- 5.7% to 6.4% is diagnosed as prediabetes.
- 6.5% or higher on two separate tests indicates diabetes.
Random blood sugar test
Blood sugar values are expressed in milligrams of sugar per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles of sugar per liter (mmol/L) of blood. Regardless of when you last ate, a level of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher suggests diabetes, especially if you also have signs and symptoms of diabetes, such as frequent urination and extreme thirst.
Fasting blood sugar test.
A blood sample is taken after an overnight fast. Results are interpreted as follows:
- Less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is normal.
- 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is diagnosed as prediabetes.
- 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests is diagnosed as diabetes
The American Diabetes Association recommends routine screening with diagnostic tests for type 2 diabetes in all adults age 45 or older and in the following groups:
- People younger than 45 who are overweight or obese and have one or more risk factors associated with diabetes
- Women who have had gestational diabetes
- People who have been diagnosed with prediabetes
Diabetes affects your heart, kidneys and blood vessels.
Take steps to know your A1C or fasting blood sugar levels.
Your health care provider will repeat the test A1C levels at least two times a year and when there are any changes in treatment. Target A1C goals vary depending on your age and other factors. For most people, the American Diabetes Association recommends an A1C level below 7%.
If you're diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor or health care provider may do other tests to distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes — since the two conditions often require different treatments.
Here is to good health!