Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and affects millions of Canadians. The onset is usually after the age of 40, although in recent years, the incidence has been rising in younger people. In type 2 diabetes, the body either produces insufficient insulin and/or is unable to use it effectively.
Our bodies need insulin in order to move glucose from the blood stream into the cells. Glucose is the body’s main fuel. It comes from the digestion of carbohydrates in foods, and gives us energy.
When glucose is unable to reach the cells, it cannot do its job and builds up in the blood stream. Over time, this can lead to harmful complications, ranging from heart disease and kidney disease to foot sores and eye disease. It’s the reason why diabetes management is so important.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes do not start as suddenly as symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Symptoms many not show up for many years meaning the disease may have been hurting the body before a person realizes it. When symptoms do appear, they are often the same as the symptoms of type 1 diabetes; such as,
- intense thirst,
- frequent urination,
- blurred vision
and can also include
- frequent infections and
- numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
You can learn more about symptoms in this article.
Although it is not known for sure what causes type 2 diabetes, heredity and unhealthy lifestyles resulting in obesity are contributing factors. Click here to see other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured but it can be controlled. Your diabetes healthcare team will help identify healthy management levels for you, together with a recommended treatment program. This will include type 2 recommendations for healthy eating, regular physical activity, and regular blood glucose monitoring, often in conjunction with medications.