Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin, or the body isn’t able to use the insulin produced effectively. Although its key causes are unclear, lifestyle and family history appear to be contributing factors.
Worldwide approximately 344 million people have type 2 diabetes,1 and most situations can be managed through regular physical activity and healthy eating. However, because this condition is often progressive, most people will need oral medications and/or insulin injections in addition to lifestyle changes.2
There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They include family history, ethnicity, weight, inactivity, age, pre-diabetes (a condition in which your blood sugar is higher than normal) and gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy). 2
Some of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes can seem harmless at first, and it’s possible to have the disease without knowing it. Symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) might include:2
Other problems may occur at a later stage, including a slower healing process or tingling and numbness in the hands or feet. Some men with type 2 diabetes may also experience erectile dysfunction.3
To diagnose diabetes, your doctor will use a glucose meter, or take a blood sample and send it to a laboratory. This will measure your blood’s glucose levels to determine if they’re too high, indicating diabetes.
If you have type 2 diabetes, it is important to keep your glucose levels under control to avoid long-term complications. Unlike type 1 diabetes, there are several ways to manage type 2 that do not include insulin injections or insulin pump technology.
After initially being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your doctor may prescribe a diet and exercise regime. He or she may also refer you to a diabetes educator or dietician who can support your regime and assist you in keeping your glucose levels under control.
It is important to note that lifestyle changes may not be enough to control your glucose levels and it may be necessary to take oral medication or insulin.
If your doctor has prescribed a diet and exercise plan and it has not led to better glucose control or your initial diagnosis was more progressed, oral medication may be necessary.
There are several oral medications available to manage type 2 diabetes. Some oral medications may lower the level of glucose in your blood, increase your insulin levels, or do both. In some instances, your doctor may prescribe a combination of oral medications, or a combination of both oral medications and insulin.
Incretin mimetics stimulate insulin release from your pancreas after you consume glucose. They are administered via an injection, in combination with oral therapy. This medication is not a substitute for insulin.
Insulin can be delivered via daily injections or an insulin pump.
Conventional therapy includes two injections per day of mixed long- and short-acting insulin morning and night. In some cases, it makes sense to administer mixed insulin three times a day — at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
MDI is technically defined as the administration of three or more injections of insulin a day. MDI involves a long-acting insulin for background insulin and injections of rapid-acting insulin before meals.LEARN About MDI
There are three main components to sensor augmented technology: a “smart” insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, and technology management software. In some cases, the delivery of insulin can be modified by continuous glucose readings.Learn More ABOUT THIS TECHNOLOGY
IDF Diabetes Atlas, 2013
Diabetes Australia "Type 2 Diabetes" Learn more
Maiorino, M. I., Bellastella, G., & Esposito, K. (2014). Diabetes and sexual dysfunction: current perspectives. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, 7, 95–105. http://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S36455
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.