Type 2 diabetes
is primarily a disorder in which the cells in the body are not responding to the high levels of insulin circulating in the body. The body becomes increasingly resistant to insulin. In end-stage type 2 diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas are not producing enough insulin.
Insulin is a hormone normally produced by the pancreas. This hormone helps your body convert food into energy. Without insulin, glucose (sugar) from the food you eat cannot enter cells, and glucose builds up in the blood. Your body tissues become starved for energy.
Type 2 diabetes, which was formerly called adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. Of the nearly 23.6 million Americans with diabetes, 90%-95% have type 2 diabetes. People usually develop type 2 diabetes after age 45, but it can occur at any age—even during childhood.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of cases of type 2 diabetes diagnosed in children and adolescents. This has been blamed, in part, on the increase in childhood
, resulting from poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle.
Type 2 diabetes occurs because either one or both of the following conditions exist:
Beta cells in the pancreas do not make enough insulin
relative to the demands of the body
Fat, muscle, or liver cells do not respond to the high levels of insulin (called insulin resistance)
Being overweight or obese is the primary cause of insulin resistance, and it increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
The key to minimizing complications is keeping your blood sugar level within a healthy range. When your blood sugar level is not within the ideal range, you can experience the following problems:
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. National Institutes of Health website. Available at:
. Accessed February 11, 2010.
Rosenbloom AL, Silverstein JH, Amemiya S, et al. ISPAD clinical practice consensus guideline 2006-2007. Type 2 diabetes mellitus in the child and adolescent.
Rosenzweig JL, Ferrannini E, Grundy SM, et al. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in patients at metabolic risk: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab.
Skyler JS, Bergenstal R, Bonow RO, et al. Intensive glycemic control and the prevention of cardiovascular events: Implications of the ACCORD, ADVANCE and VA diabetes trials: a position statement of the American Diabetes association and a scientific statement of the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Assocaition.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults.
Ann Intern Med.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a