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Type 2 Diabetes - Risk Factors - Symptoms & Signs - Management - Prevention

Last Updated on Oct 23, 2019
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Diabetes mellitus is an inheritable metabolic disease with serious implications. It can be easily managed through medications, regular exercising and proper diet.


Other Names of Type 2 Diabetes: - Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM), Adult-Onset Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease which makes it challenging for the affected individuals to convert food to energy.

This leads to them having higher than normal levels of blood glucose with very little energy to go about their tasks.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus was common about couple of decades ago among the middle aged and the affluent; however with globalization and the changing lifestyles the disease is now very common in developing countries. India and China together hold the largest number of diabetics with India being known as the Diabetes Capital of the World.


6 million people in the USA have type 2 diabetes. India has a whopping 30 million and more people who are diabetics. According to a WHO estimate released in 1998, India will have the maximum number of diabetics in the world by 2025.

Normally, after a meal, the food consumed is broken down into glucose - which is a variety of carbohydrate referred popularly as ‘sugar’. Glucose is normally transported to different cells of the body to be converted into energy that is required for the cells to perform their functions. This conversion is carried out with the help of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas.

Type 2 diabetes is brought about when the cells in the muscles, liver, and fat tissues fail to utilize insulin effectively. These result in a rise in the blood glucose levels with the cells remaining deprived of energy.


Increased levels of blood glucose eventually damage the nerves and blood vessels leading to severe health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, infections in the gum, and also eye problems leading to blindness.

It is reported that nearly 8 percent of the adults in the USA have type 2 diabetes. Sadly, a good number of them are unaware of it, as they may not have any signs or symptoms.

Type 2 diabetes may occur in pregnant women and it is then called gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). In many of them the disease may clear after delivery. However, these women with previous gestational diabetes (p GDM), are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in their life so much so that GDM is considered an early stage of the disease. It is also known to be an indicator of an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases.


In these modern times it is not uncommon to find children with Type 2 DM, whereas a few years ago only type 1 diabetes occurred in children. Childhood obesity, which is quite rampant among the affluent population, causes insulin resistance which in turn leads to full blown Type 2 DM. The disease causes several complications in children including cardiovascular disease, stroke, Myocardial Infarction (MI) and even sudden death. Renal complications and neuropathy is also common.

Pre-diabetes’ is a condition when the blood glucose level in an individual is greater than normal but lower than the usual diabetes values. This pre diabetic state predisposes an individual to diabetes and heart diseases. So once a person has been declared ‘pre- diabetic’ it is important for him to establish a sensible lifestyle, comprising of healthy diet and moderate exercises, in order to prevent the onset of the disease.

Diabetes is not contagious but can be hereditical in families. It is a serious health condition which can be brought under control by effective management.

What is New in Type 2 Diabetes?

1. Age Old Arthritis Drug may Lower Sugar Levels in Type 2 Diabetic patients

Leflunomide, an arthritis drug may help lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes, finds a new study. It is currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. In this study, Prof Xuilong Xu and colleagues, at the Institute of Comparative Medicine at Yangzhou University, investigated the effects of leflunomide treatment on blood sugar levels of two different type 2 diabetes mouse models. In both models, leflunomide not only normalized blood glucose levels, but also caused cells to start responding to insulin again.

2. Diabetes Induced Nerve Damage can be Detected Early in the Eye

Using a special microscope, the corneal examination can help detect nerve damage early in type 2 diabetes patients."Although there is currently no cure, it's always an advantage to detect changes in the nerves early. Therefore, it's valuable to find a fast and safe diagnostic method," says Professor Olov Rolandsson, at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine, at Umea University, who was responsible for the study.

3. Warm Baths may Have Benefits Similar to Exhaustive Jogs

Hot water baths may have benefits similar to normal exercising say jogs, finds a new study. These hour-long baths can also help prevent type 2 diabetes. Although cycling burnt more calories than the bath, The bath surprisingly burnt calories equivalent of a 30-minute walk.Dr. Faulkner said: "The overall blood sugar response to both conditions was similar, but peak blood sugar after eating was about 10% lower when participants took a hot bath compared with when they exercised.

4. Exact Cause of Type 2 Diabetes Identified

Insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose levels were found to be not the cause of type 2 diabetes. But, the high levels of the metabolite MG (methylglyoxal) is the exact of the disease. The elevated levels of the metabolite MG (methylglyoxal) is not the consequence but rather the cause of type 2 diabetes.

5. First Interoperable Continuous Glucose Monitoring System Approved

The first fully interoperable continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM) has been approved by the The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The interoperable CGM helps determine the levels of blood sugar in children who are two years and older and adults with diabetes.

Click Here to Download "Diabetes Wallet Card"

Causes and Risk Factors

There are so many myths regarding the causes of diabetes. One is that eating too many sweets or carbohydrate –rich food leads to diabetes. This is not true but the fact remains that both these types of food lead to obesity which is one of the main causes for diabetes.

Another myth is that stress leads to diabetes. This again is not true. But stress can affect the immune system which can trigger type 2 diabetes. Besides, stress can aggravate the existing symptoms in someone with diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is caused when:-

  • The body receptors that respond to insulin fail to do so (insulin resistance). This may send the wrong signal to the insulin-producing pancreatic cells, which produce excessive insulin
  • The insulin that is produced is abnormal and is therefore substandard and non- functional
  • There is not enough insulin available

Risk Factors include -

  • Increasing age
  • Fairly inactive lifestyle –exercise fewer than 3 times a week
  • Obesity
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pancreas -damaging illnesses
  • First degree relative with diabetes
  • Ethnicity –If you are American Indian, African American,, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Alaska Native or Pacific Islander.
  • Blood pressure is increased to 140/90 mm Hg or above.
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels –
    • HDL “good” cholesterol level is below 35 mg/dL
    • or triglyceride "bad cholesterol" level is above 250 mg/dL.
  • History of cardiovascular disease.
  • Certain medications such as -
    • beta blockers,
    • steroids,
    • oral contraceptives,
    • thiazide diuretics,
    • and phenytoin sodium
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS in women.
  • Tuberculosis in adults.
  • Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) detected during previous testing
  • Insulin resistance associated illnesses such as acanthosis nigricans, which is characterized by dark, velvety rash around the neck or armpits.
  1. Childhood Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
    Tamara S. Hannon, MD, Goutham Rao, MD, Silva A. Arslanian, MD
    Published online August 1, 2005
    PEDIATRICS Vol. 116 No. 2 August 2005, pp. 473-480 (doi:10.1542/peds.2004-2536)
  2. Diabetes India - (http://diabetesindia.com/)

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Latest Publications and Research on Type 2 Diabetes

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i was tested for type 2 a few months ago and every thing fine so why now am i having a screening test again> what are the chances?? i an going to the toilet more often,i want to eat all the time,and i am taking cold sores on my mouth more often..please help


My PP sugar value is 159.Can anyone tel me,whether iam diabetic ? Do i need to go for any further diabetic test?


hi, I am from INDIA.1ST THING ,I WANT TO SAY THANKS TO THIS BLOG TO GIVE VERY IMP TIPS FOR ALL DIABETIC PEOPLE.what ever has been mantioned above is almost the True fact of human body.little bit of self dicipline AND little bit of carefullness in eating habbit can reduce 80% of chances of gettin victim of sugar disease.untill now i have never com across any one who has got cured with diabetes after starting tablets or insulin.infact ihave seen people getting cured by other means of medication with combination of doing exercise and walking..i have been helping people to reduce sugar and with gods wish and with patient cooperation many of them have managed to stop tables.drinking of lot of water and herbal medicine does help people to clear toxins and reduce sugar level.unless person doesn't follow strict rules its very difficult to reduce sugar.if person doesn't controll sugar in proper time period, then there is lot of health problem expected from feat to head.so be active keep eye on your weight,food habits.do little exercise to release your energy which reduces sugar. thank you sb

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