What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), or adult-onset diabetes, is the most common form of the disease accounting for 90% of all cases.
Therefore when people talk about “diabetes” they are often referring to Type 2 DM.
It is an endocrine disorder that is caused by the body becoming desensitized or resistant to the effects of the hormone insulin.
The beta cells of the pancreas still make plenty of insulin, unlike in type 1 diabetes, however the insulin that it is producing becomes less effective at what it is supposed to do.
As already explained, insulin basically allows glucose to leave the bloodstream and enter into cells, where it is used to generate energy that the cell can use.
In type 2 diabetes, more insulin is required than usual in order to do this, so the pancreas has to work very hard to produce extra insulin to compensate.
Type 2 Diabetes occurs almost exclusively in adulthood and is strongly linked with overweight and obesity.
It is extremely unusual for a child to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as it takes time for insulin resistance to develop, however, it does happen and this is due to the unhealthy lifestyles of many children and adolescents today.
There are 20 million people in the US alone who suffer from Diabetes, which is almost 8% of the population!
Signs & Symptoms of Diabetes
- Excessive urination
- Excessive thirst
- Blurry vision
- Weight loss
- Lethargy and fatigue
Effects of Diabetes on the Body
Glucose has an extremely destructive effect on the blood vessels in the body.
If glucose levels remain elevated over a period of years this can seriously damage your arteries and veins.
The organs that are affected first are those with very delicate vessels, such as those of the kidney.
This can lead to a diabetes related condition known as diabetic nephropathy, which can cause high blood pressure and eventually kidney failure.
The eye is another organ that is commonly affected. When this occurs it is known as diabetic retinopathy.
The vessels of the eye are exceptionally delicate and that is why blindness is a common problem in diabetic patients.
In addition to kidney disease and blindness, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) also occurs, which increases the risk of heart attacks, aneurysms and strokes