Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease in which a person has high blood sugar or glucose levels. Glucose is the main energy or fuel source for our body’s cells. Insulin helps our body’s cells take in the glucose from our bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes can result because the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or due to an inability of the body's cells to recognize insulin. Therefore lack of insulin or the inability of cells to recognize insulin results in increased or high blood glucose levels. Early symptoms may include an increased thirst and hunger, weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing sores or increased infections, and darkened areas of skin.
Rates of type 2 diabetes have gone up recently, especially in younger people, as obesity rates have also increased. Other risk factors include fat distributed mainly in the belly, inactivity, family history, race, and age. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels for an extended period of time can cause damage to blood vessels, the kidney, nerves, eyes, feet, skin and mouth, hearing, and greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and heart attack. There's no cure for type 2 diabetes, but you may be able to manage the condition by eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. If diet and exercise aren't enough to manage your blood sugar well, you also may need diabetes medications or insulin therapy. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, talk with your doctor about treatment options. Support groups are also a good source of information and support.