Type 2 diabetes is a disease relating to the body’s ability to produce or use insulin. Normally, the hormone insulin helps your body use glucose for energy. Someone suffering from type 2 diabetes won’t be able to effectively use the glucose, and it will build up, causing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and other health problems. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common obesity-related diseases, with more than 80% of type 2 diabetes cases occurring in individuals who are overweight or obese.
Other Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
- Hypertension. This condition, in which a person has high blood pressure, can put him or her at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
- Family history of diabetes. This may increase chances of developing type 2 diabetes, especially if you have close family history of the disease, such as in a sibling or parent.
- History of gestational diabetes. If you developed gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes occurring in approximately 4% of all pregnancies, you are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on in life.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome. This hormonal disorder affects many aspects of a woman’s health, including menstrual cycle, heart health and the ability to have children. As well, it may put them at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Sedentary lifestyle. For instance, exercising less than three times per week, can make you more likely to develop diabetes.
- Race. Type 2 diabetes is most prevalent in Hispanic/Latino Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders and Alaskan natives.
- Age. While someone can develop diabetes at any age, it’s recommended that persons over age 45 get screened for diabetes since they have an increased risk for the disease.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
If left untreated, it’s possible for type 2 diabetes to lead to serious health problems, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Weight loss
- Blurry vision
Diagnosing and Treating Type 2 Diabetes
Someone with type 2 diabetes may not experience any symptoms at first, and they may even go years without knowing that they have diabetes. If you have one or more risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, it’s important to consult your physician about a diabetes screening. Screening for diabetes is most often done in the form of a blood test to determine blood sugar and glucose levels.
If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, treatment aims to lower your blood glucose levels, reduce symptoms and prevent any additional health problems from developing. Treating diabetes includes:
- Monitoring blood sugar levels
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating a healthy diet
- Being regularly active
- Diabetes medication
- Insulin therapy treatment
Type 2 Diabetes and LAP-BAND
If you have type 2 diabetes and a body mass index (BMI) above 30, you may be a candidate for LAP-BAND surgery. Studies suggest that many comorbidities, including type 2 diabetes, can be improved or resolved after LAP-BAND surgery. Of the people studied, 64% had their type 2 diabetes resolved, while an additional 26% saw an improvement. As well, weight loss surgery, coupled with healthy lifestyle habits, has been shown to prevent or reverse the onset of type 2 diabetes.