Diabetes is a serious condition that needs management and care. There are various types of diabetes but Type 1 and Type 2 are the most common. Here is what you need to know about Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. Approximately 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide are Type 2. Type 2 diabetes causes blood glucose levels to rise higher than normal. Your body doesn’t use insulin properly and at first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it, but over time, your body is not able to keep up.

Symptoms of diabetes

The symptoms of diabetes may gradually appear or surface without much notice and can be mild and hard to pinpoint. According to the American Diabetes Association, “of the 29 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes, 8 million are undiagnosed.” General warning signs of diabetes include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Irritable behavior
  • Blurred vision
  • Yeast infections
  • Dry or itchy skin

Warning signs specifically related to Type 2 diabetes are persistent infection, a slow-healing cut or sore, heart problems, numbness or tingling in your feet, and nausea and vomiting.

Who is at risk for Type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes can surface at any time but risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include:

  • Age 45+
  • Overweight
  • Inactive
  • Smoker
  • Family history of diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • History of insulin resistance
  • Abnormal triglyceride or HDL cholesterol levels

Treatment and care

An important part of managing diabetes is maintaining a healthy weight through an exercise plan and a well-balanced diet. Drinking just one can of soda per day can raise the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 22%.

Diet

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean proteins and whole grains
  • High fiber
  • Diet low in fat and calories
  • Limited saturated fats, sugars and refined carbs

Exercise

  • Regular aerobic exercise
  • Walking, swimming or biking
  • 30+ minutes per day

Treatment of Type 2 diabetes primarily involves monitoring your blood sugar and lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, but if necessary, medication and/or insulin can be used to help treat the disease.

If untreated or badly managed, you’re at risk for mental health issues, eye and skin complications, heart problems, hypertension, hearing loss, gum disease, neuropathy, infection, stomach issues, stroke, infection, erectile dysfunction and more.

If you believe that you are experiencing any symptoms of diabetes, visit your doctor immediately to get tested and discuss a plan for your health.