Type 2 Diabetes
I. What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that causes your blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise too high which can result in significant health problems (see section V.)
II. What causes Type 2 diabetes?
Although the exact cause is not known, the following risk factors are associated with the development of the disease:
*Overweight and obesity *High blood pressure Family History Genetics
Race & ethnicity Age
*Physical inactivity *Abnormal cholesterol
History of prediabetes or gestational diabetes
* indicates risk factors affected by your lifestyle decisions and choices
III. How does Type 2 diabetes develop?
After you eat, your body breaks down the food and releases it into the blood stream as glucose (sugar). As the blood glucose level rises, the pancreas (an organ) releases insulin (a hormone) into the blood stream to help move the glucose into body cells to be used for energy.
People with Type 2 diabetes may have trouble making enough insulin to move the glucose out of the blood stream into the cells and/or the body cells may not allow the glucose to enter and be used for energy.
IV. How is Type 2 diabetes treated?
Type 2 diabetes is treated in several ways:
Following a healthy meal plan...Your food choices can help you better control your blood glucose levels
Increasing activity and exercise...You can improve your blood glucose levels with increased movement
Taking medication by mouth or injection...Meal planning and activity are still important for control!
V. Why is it important to treat Type 2 diabetes?
If you have Type 2 diabetes that is not well controlled, you may have an increased risk of:
heart disease; 2 to 4 times greater risk of heart attack or stroke
eye disease; 2 to 5 times greater risk of cataracts, glaucoma or retinopathy, which can lead to blindness
kidney disease; 10 times greater risk of chronic kidney disease which can lead to kidney failure
nerve damage; 2 to 3 times greater risk of nerve damage which can lead to loss of sensation in the feet and legs, problems with digestion, or sexual dysfunction
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