Type 2 Diabetes

By Anonda Martinez

Risk Behaviors

Weight- Cells become more resistant to insulin the more fatty tissue present.

Inactivity- Less activity increases risk. Physical activity helps maintain body weight, uses glucose as energy, and makes cells more sensitive to insulin.

Family History- Risk increases if a parent or sibling has diabetes. 

Race- It's unclear as to why, but African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Native Americans are at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes.

Age- Risk increases as people get older. Elderly people tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as they age. Type 2 diabetes is also increasing among children, adolescents and young adults.

Gestational Diabetes- Occurs in pregnant women. Increases risk of developing prediabetes and eventually type 2 diabetes. Giving birth to a baby over 9 lbs also increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Polycystic ovary syndrome- Having polycystic ovary syndrome increases the risk of diabetes.

High blood pressure- Having blood pressure over 140/90 is connected to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels- Low levels of lipoprotein,or good cholesterol, you have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Triglycerides are a type of fat carried in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.


Symptoms of type 2 diabetes vary depending on how high one's blood sugar is elevated. Common symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, the presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscles and fat when not enough insulin is available), fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, slow-healing sores, and/or frequent infections.

Recommended Treatment

Healthy eating- Center the diet on more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cut down on animal products, refined carbohydrates, and sweets. It's the best eating plan for the entire family. Sugary foods are okay every once in a while. A registered dietitian can help create a meal plan that fits certain health goals, food preferences, and lifestyle.

Physical activity- Exercise lowers blood sugar level by moving sugar into the cells, where it's used for energy. Exercise also increases sensitivity to insulin, which means the body needs less insulin to transport sugar to the cells. Most importantly, make physical activity part of a daily routine. If not active for a while, start slowly and build up gradually.

Monitoring blood sugar- Blood sugar levels can sometimes change unpredictably. Help from a diabetes treatment team can teach how blood sugar levels change in response to food, physical activity, medications, illness, alcohol, stress. A doctor will likely recommend regular A1C testing to measure average blood sugar level. A1C testing better indicates how well the diabetes treatment plan is working. An elevated A1C level can signal the need for a change in the insulin regimen or meal plan.

Insulin therapy- Many people with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes also need insulin therapy. Insulin can't be taken orally to lower blood sugar because stomach enzymes interfere with insulin's action. Often insulin is injected using a fine needle and syringe or an insulin pen. An insulin pump may also be an option.

Oral or other medications- Other oral or injected medications are prescribed . Some diabetes medications stimulate the pancreas to produce and release more insulin. Others inhibit the production and release of glucose from the liver, which means less insulin is needed to transport sugar into the cells. Some block the action of the stomach or intestinal enzymes that break down carbohydrates or make tissues more sensitive to insulin.

Prevention Tips

Healthy foods- Choose foods lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try to keep them in a variety to avoid boredom.

More physical activity- Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Go on a daily walk. Ride a bike. Swim laps. Just get it in.

Lose excess pounds- Losing 7 percent of one's body weight can help reduce the risk of diabetes. To keep weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits. Remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy, and improved self-esteem can cause motivation.

Blood sugar checks at least once a year help make sure type 2 diabetes doesn't develop.

Mah Sources

"Diabetes." Diabetes - Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/basics/definition/con-20033091

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Public - 11/28/16, 2:58 PM