Type 2 Diabetes
The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. About 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2. This form of diabetes is most often associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestational diabetes, physical inactivity, and certain ethnicities. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents, especially among African American, Mexican American, and Pacific Islander youth.
When type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the pancreas is usually producing enough insulin, but for unknown reasons the body cannot use the insulin effectively, a condition called insulin resistance. After several years, insulin production decreases. The result is the same as for type 1 diabetes—glucose builds up in the blood and the body cannot make efficient use of its main source of fuel. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop gradually. Their onset is not as sudden as in type 1 diabetes.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include fatigue, frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, and slow healing of wounds or sores. Some people have no symptoms.
What are the Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes?
- Being overweight or obese.
- Having a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
- Being African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino heritage.
- Having a prior history of gestational diabetes or birth of at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
- Having high blood pressure measuring 140/90 or higher.
- Having abnormal cholesterol with HDL ("good") cholesterol is 35 or lower, or triglyceride level is 250 or higher.
- Being physically inactive—exercising fewer than three times a week.
How Can I Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?
Research studies have found that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among adults at high-risk of diabetes.
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a major federally funded study of 3,234 people at high risk for diabetes, showed that people can delay and possibly prevent the disease by losing a small amount of weight (5 to 7 percent of total body weight) through 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week and healthier eating.
For More Information
For more information about prediabetes please visit the following web sites:
American Diabetes Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Last Reviewed 4/6/12