Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, or "adult-onset diabetes," typically affects adults over age 40. With Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or the body does not effectively use the insulin that is produced. 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2. The primary risk factors are:

- Family history of diabetes
- Obesity
- Certain ethnic groups - African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Aboriginal Americans are at highest risk.

In addition to these risk factors, Type 2 diabetes is prevalent in people who have a sedentary lifestyle, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides (fats) or a history of diabetes during pregnancy. About 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. About 89% have two or more controllable risk factors such as smoking, obesity and hypertension.


In non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), symptoms include:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Excess weight
- Drowsiness
- Blurred vision
- Tingling and numbness in hands and feet
- Skin infections
- Slow healing of cuts, particularly on the feet
- Itching

Self-Care for Type 2 Diabetes

Adults with diabetes can pretty much care for themselves. With their health professional's advice, adults can give themselves insulin injections, take other medications, follow careful diets and in general live lives circumscribed to varying degrees by their condition. Diabetes isn't always a severely debilitating disease: one Colorado resident with Type 2 diabetes has climbed several of the state's higher mountains.

However, living with Type 2 diabetes, or caring for someone with the condition, is stressful. Because Type 2 diabetes is a late-onset condition, the lifestyle habits and patterns that must change are well-entrenched and difficult to change.

The cornerstones of treatment for Type 2 diabetes are diet, exercise, and weight control. If the person with Type 2 diabetes is scrupulous about following advice, these therapies alone may well be enough to control the disease without insulin or oral hypoglycemic drugs, though some people may need both.

Self management of Type 2 diabetes is vital.  If management of Type 2 diabetes is not looked after, long term complications will increase risk. Maintaining an optimal selection of nutrients through nutrition management, along with appropriate caloric intake can help to keep a healthy desirable body weight. The individual with diabetes should have balanced meals and snacks at regular times accompanied by regular exercise.

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