Categories: Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes – Symptoms and Causes

Overview of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms, Causes and Management – Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is common in middle-aged and older people (usually in the 40s). The chronic disease is also becoming prevalent day by day with young people too. It can lead to serious health complications if not treated and handled carefully.

To avoid or prevent the Type 2 Diabetes mellitus, there is need to develop a clear understanding about the causes and risk factors of Type 2 diabetes, its symptoms, diagnosis tests, complications, preventions and treatment or management. The article is designed to share all the basic details about Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and more.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is the build-up of body sugar or glucose (hyperglycemia) due to loss of its ability to respond to insulin hormone produced by the pancreas. The function of insulin hormone is to transfer the body sugars or carbohydrates (digested food particles) into body cells to get energy. If the body develops resistance to insulin hormone, our body cell will be deprived of energy to function rightly.

When the body does not respond to the insulin hormone, it increases the blood sugar level. In response to high blood, sugar pancreas gets the signal to produce more insulin and the process goes on until the pancreas gets exhausted.

Eventually, the beta cells of pancreas lose their functionality and cannot secrete insulin anymore. The condition can lead to serious health issues like heart diseases, kidney failure, blindness or skin infection and even death.

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

The exact causes of type 2 Diabetes are not certain but here, we are going to share some of the contributing risk factors of diseases.

Type 2 Diabetes may arise due to the problem in cell communication, the cell may not send or pick the signal at the right time to produce insulin. This disturbs the whole process and causes accumulation of glucose in the bloodstream.

Sometime your liver may not function properly and does not store excessive glucose. Due to the release of excess sugar from the liver, the process can be messed up and can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. For more

Family history or Races

According to the American diabetes association, the people with diabetic parents, family history or with certain gene set have a higher chance of Type 2 Diabetes. The disease is observed more common in particular races in a different ratio such Asian American (8%), American Indian (15.1%), Hispanic (12.1%), Non-Hispanic black (12.7%) and whites (7.4%).


An Obese or overweight person has a high risk of type 2 diabetes. The extra accumulation of body fat between skin and muscles can make your body resistant to insulin.

Lack of Exercise

Exercise helps you to consume your body sugar efficiently and makes your body cells more responsive to insulin. However, the opposite situation and lack of physical activities increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Smoking can also be seen associated with the breakout of type 2 Diabetes.

Age factor

The type 2 diabetes another risk factor is age, it is most commonly observed in older people 45 or above (maybe due to inactivity, less muscle mass and obesity). Although nowadays the type 2 diabetes is also increasing in young people and children.

Insulin resistance contributing supplements

The Type 2 Diabetes other risk factors are medicines or metabolic syndrome. They may cause side effects like high blood glucose, the release of the stress hormone, obesity, low good cholesterol (high-density cholesterol), high triglyceride and high blood pressure. They can significantly increase the chances of Type 2 Diabetes.

Prediabetes or Borderline Sugar

In Prediabetes you have blood high glucose level but not enough to be called diabetes. Mishandled and Mismanaged prediabetes can lead to Type 2 Diabetes in about 5 years.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome common symptoms are excessive hair, obesity and irregular menstrual cycle. The syndrome increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes in women.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy due to insulin blocking hormone) significantly increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes in the children and women if not taken under consideration.

Sleep Disorder

Obstructive sleep apnea disturbs your body functioning and contributes to increasing your blood pressure. According to studies, little or no sleep can increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes in people.

Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes

Some of the common laboratory tests for the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes are:

Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c)

HbA1c test most commonly used diabetes test. It measures the blood average glucose level in the past 2-3 months.

Fasting Plasma Glucose test (FGS)

The fasting plasma glucose test measures (in mg/dL) the level of sugar in your blood after 8 hours of fasting. The person diagnosed with diabetes has the blood sugar level 126 mg/dL or above.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

The blood samples are tested after 2 hours of drinking 75 grams of glucose. The diabetic patients have sugar level 200 mg/dL or above.

Random Blood Glucose Test

If anyone has blood sugar level 200 mg/dL or above at any time of the day then he is diagnosed to be diabetic.

Lipid Profile

The lipid profile (LDL cholesterol, triglyceride and HDL level) test can also tell us about the diabetic patient. People with diabetes have a high level of LDL or total cholesterol.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

According to stats (2015) quoted by the American Diabetes Association, Type 2 Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases. Only in the United States 12 million (25.2%) seniors (65 or above age) have Type 2 diabetes.

The symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes are similar to Type 1 Diabetes. The high blood sugar directs to increase in urination, heavy thirst, dry mouth and weight loss due to dehydration. The build-up in blood glucose level also increases the susceptibility of people to infectious diseases, numbness of limbs, excessive hunger and high blood pressure issues.

The other early symptoms of high blood sugar or type 2 diabetes are feeling tired or weakness due to lack of energy, blurred vision, slow healing of wounds, itchy skin, foot pain, darkened patches on the skin (acanthosis nigricans) like neck or armpits.

Complications or Life-Threatening Issues

Type 2 Diabetes can lead to several other life-threatening health issues and complications.

High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)

One of the diseases caused by a seriously high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia) is hyperosmolar syndrome. This is a severe level of dehydration which cause nausea, weakness, confused thinking, seizure and even coma.

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

Due to the use of too much sugar-lowering medicines, the patient may lead to a condition called hypoglycemia. Symptoms of body low glucose level or hypoglycemia are trembling, sweating, dizziness, confusion, hunger, seizure or patient can also lose consciousness in serious states. However, the complication can be corrected by taking dietary supplements or carbohydrates.

Blood Vessels Diseases (Atherosclerosis)

In type 2 diabetes, there may be narrowing of blood vessels (arteries) which causes disruption of blood circulation and its flow to the body organ. In severe cases, this may result in damage of limbs, heart, brain and other body organs.

Kidney Failure (Nephropathy)

The kidney is the blood filtering organ of the body which separates waste components and toxins with the help of nephrons. Due to the high sugar level in blood and high blood pressure, there may be kidney failure or nephropathy.

Blindness (Retinopathy)

The retina is the light-sensitive part present at the back of the eye, helps with visibility. There is a tiny blood vessel in the retina for the transfer of blood. The high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia) can damage or perforate the vessel may lead to bleeding.

Consequently, the retina loses its ability to sense light to make objects visible. If the condition is not controlled earlier, it can cause blindness in diabetic patients.

Hearing ability is also common in the people with the Type 2 Diabetes.

Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)

High blood glucose (hyperglycemia) can also result in peripheral nerve damage. This causes numbness and pain in limbs or severe cases can damage the whole body part. Neuropathy can also lead to disability of urinary tract, digestive system or sexual organs.

Skin Infections

Due to poor blood circulation or peripheral neuropathy, skin infections can be contagious or may lead to loss of body part. Due to damage of nerves in the result of type 2 diabetes, there may be numbness in the foot which can result in serious wound and infection.

Poor blood circulation reduces the sore healing process. The untreated sore can even direct to damage of whole body part which further precedes amputation.

The increase in Alzheimer’s disease is also observed in Type 2 diabetic people but the reason is still unclear. For more

Prevention and Management

If you are prediabetic or at the risk due to family background, you can prevent the chances of Type 2 diabetes by maintaining healthy life activities. Such as daily 1-2 mile of walk in 30 minutes, maintaining weight and by taking doctor prescribed medicines (metformin; lowers blood sugar and improves body response to insulin).

Avoid conditions like high blood pressure, high bad cholesterol or triglyceride level, smoking, healthy diet and keep an eye on your blood sugar level. Visit your doctor regularly to avoid complications. 

Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured but people can live a healthy life by managing a healthy lifestyle. Long and short-acting insulin injections are given to the Type 2 Diabetic people. Short-acting insulin injections are helpful after taking the meal.


Botanist (MS)

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