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Type 2 diabetes – Symptoms and causes


Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body’s ability to control and utilise sugar (glucose) as a fuel is impaired. Too much sugar circulates in the bloodstream as a result of this long-term (chronic) disease. High blood sugar levels can eventually cause problems with the circulatory, neurological, and immunological systems.

There are basically two connected problems at work in type 2 diabetes.

Your pancreas does not create enough insulin, a hormone that controls the transport of sugar into your cells, and your cells do not respond well to insulin, resulting in decreased sugar intake.

Type 2 diabetes was previously referred to as adult-onset diabetes, however both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can start in infancy or maturity. Although type 2 diabetes is more common in older persons, an increase in the number of obese youngsters has resulted in an increase in type 2 diabetes incidence among children.

Type 2 diabetes has no cure, but decreasing weight, eating healthily, and exercising can help you manage it. If diet and exercise aren’t adequate to control your blood sugar, diabetes medicines or insulin therapy may be required.


Type 2 diabetes symptoms and signs usually appear gradually. In fact, you could have type 2 diabetes for years without realising it. When there are signs and symptoms, they may include:

Thirst increases
Urination on a regular basis
Hunger has increased.
Weight loss that was unintentional
Vision is hazy
Sores that take a long time to heal
Infections that occur frequently
tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
Darkened skin patches, generally in the armpits and neck


Type 2 diabetes is primarily caused by two interconnected issues:

Insulin resistance develops in muscle, fat, and liver cells. These cells don’t take up enough sugar because they don’t interact with insulin normally.

The pancreas does not create enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels in check.

It’s unclear why this happens, but being overweight and inactive are major contributors.


insulin’s mechanism of action

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas gland, which is located behind and below the stomach (pancreas). Insulin controls how sugar is used by the body in the following ways:


The pancreas secretes insulin in response to sugar in the bloodstream.

Insulin is a hormone that circulates in the bloodstream and allows sugar to enter cells.

The level of sugar in your blood decreases.

The pancreas produces less insulin as a result of this decrease.

Glucose’s Function

The cells that make up muscles and other tissues use glucose, a sugar, as their primary source of energy. The following are examples of how glucose is used and regulated:

Food and your liver are the two main sources of glucose.

Glucose is taken into the bloodstream and then transported to cells by insulin.

The liver both stores and produces glucose.

When your glucose levels are low

Such as when you haven’t eaten in a while, your liver breaks down stored glycogen into glucose to maintain a normal glucose level.

This technique does not work effectively in those with type 2 diabetes. Sugar builds up in your bloodstream instead of flowing into your cells. The insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas produce more insulin when blood sugar levels rise. These cells eventually become compromised and are unable to produce enough insulin to meet the body’s needs.


The immune system incorrectly destroys the beta cells in type 1 diabetes, leaving the body with little to no insulin.


Factors that are at risk

The following factors may raise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes:

Weight. Obesity or being overweight is a major risk factor.

The distribution of fat. Fat storage mostly in the abdomen, rather than the hips and thighs, implies a higher risk. If you’re a guy with a waist circumference of more than 40 inches (101.6 centimetres) or a woman with a circumference of more than 35 inches, you’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes (88.9 centimeters).

Inactivity. The lower your level of activity, the higher your danger. Physical activity helps you lose weight by burning glucose for energy and making your cells more insulin sensitive.

History of the family. If your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes, you’re more likely to develop the disease.

Ethnicity and race. People of various races and ethnicities, such as Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, and Pacific Islanders, are more prone to develop type 2 diabetes than white people, for unknown reasons.

Lipid levels in the blood. Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “good” cholesterol — and high levels of triglycerides are linked to an increased risk.

Age. As you get older, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes rises, especially after the age of 45.

Prediabetes is a blood sugar level that is greater than usual but not high enough to be classed as diabetes. Prediabetes often evolves to type 2 diabetes if left untreated.

Risks associated with pregnancy.

If you had gestational diabetes while pregnant or gave birth to a kid weighing more than 9 pounds, you’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes (4 kilograms).

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a kind of polycystic ovary syndrome Polycystic ovarian syndrome, a common illness marked by irregular menstrual periods, excessive hair growth, and obesity, raises the chance of developing diabetes.

Darkened skin patches, generally in the armpits and neck. Insulin resistance is a common symptom of this illness.


Type 2 diabetes affects your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys, among other key organs. Factors that raise the risk of diabetes can also increase the risk of other significant chronic diseases. Diabetes management and blood sugar control can reduce your risk of these consequences and concomitant illnesses (comorbidities).

Diabetes can cause a variety of problems and comorbidities, including:

Diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Diabetes is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and blood vessel narrowing (atherosclerosis).

Nerve injury in the limbs (neuropathy). Over time, high blood sugar can damage or destroy nerves, causing tingling, numbness, burning, pain, or eventual loss of feeling, which commonly starts at the ends of the toes or fingers and spreads higher.

Damage to other nerves. Damage to the heart’s nerves can cause abnormal heart beats. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and constipation are all symptoms of nerve injury in the digestive tract. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by nerve injury in men.

Kidney disease is a condition that affects many people. Diabetic renal disease or irreversible end-stage kidney disease can result in the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Damage to the eyes. Diabetes raises the risk of major eye illnesses like cataracts and glaucoma, as well as damage to the retina’s blood vessels, which can lead to blindness.

Skin problems. Diabetes can make you more prone to skin infections, such as bacterial and fungal infections.

Healing takes time. Cuts and blisters, if left untreated, can turn into dangerous infections that heal slowly. Amputation of the toe, foot, or leg may be necessary if the injury is severe.

Hearing loss is a problem. Diabetes patients are more likely to have hearing issues.

Apnea (sleep deprivation). People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Obesity could be a major contributor to both illnesses. It’s unclear whether treating sleep apnea helps with blood sugar management.

Dementia. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-causing illnesses appear to be linked to type 2 diabetes. Poor blood sugar regulation has been linked to a faster decrease in memory and other cognitive abilities.


Even if you have biological relatives who have diabetes, making healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent type 2 diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, making lifestyle adjustments can help you delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.

Studies show healthy way of life involves the following:

Consuming nutritious foods. Reduce your fat and calorie intake while increasing your fibre intake. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains should be prioritised.

Getting out and about. Aim for 150 minutes or more of moderate to strenuous aerobic activity each week, such as walking, bicycling, jogging, or swimming.

I’m trying to lose weight. The transition from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes can be slowed by losing a little amount of weight and keeping it off. If you have prediabetes, decreasing 7% to 10% of your body weight can help you avoid developing diabetes.

Avoiding prolonged periods of inactivity. Sitting for long periods of time can raise your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Every 30 minutes, try to get up and move around for at least a few minutes.

Metformin (Fortamet, Glumetza, and others) is an oral diabetes drug that can help people with prediabetes avoid developing type 2 diabetes. This is frequently given to obese elderly persons who are unable to control their blood sugar levels by lifestyle adjustments.

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