Type 2 Diabetes
This is the most common type of diabetes. It occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not effectively use the insulin it produces. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used for energy.
Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adulthood, although increasing numbers of children and adolescents in high-risk populations (such as people of Aboriginal, African, Asian, Hispanic or South Asian descent) are being diagnosed. Complications are the same for both types of diabetes.
Those affected by type 2 may be prescribed diabetes medications (including insulin and others). They may also need to monitor their blood-glucose levels; how often they need to test these levels will vary depending on the individual.
You may have heard the term “prediabetes.” This occurs when a person’s blood-glucose levels are elevated, but are not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2. Approximately 50 percent of those with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is not simply a disease of lifestyle–risk factors such as other health complications, age (being over 40), family history and ethnicity also increase a person’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes. While a healthy lifestyle is beneficial for everyone, it is especially important for people who are at high risk for diabetes because of these genetic or inherited factors. Changes such as increasing consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, eating whole grains, limiting portion sizes and increasing physical activity to maintain a healthy weight may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.