The earlier type 2 diabetes is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of avoiding serious health problems.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It usually starts when the body has trouble using insulin, a hormone that helps glucose (also called blood sugar) enter the body's cells. When glucose can't move into cells, it builds up in the bloodstream instead.
Over time, a high glucose level in the blood can damage the body, increasing the chances for complications such as heart, eye and kidney disease, and nerve damage.
Some people are more at risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others. Higher- risk people include those who:
• Are 45 years or older.
• Are overweight or obese.
• Are sedentary.
• Have a family history of diabetes.
• Are African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
• Have a history of gestational diabetes or of giving birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.
Some signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
• Urinating a lot.
• Feeling very thirsty, tired or hungry (even though you're eating).
• Having blurred vision.
• Having slow-healing cuts or bruises.
• Having numbness, pain, or tingling in your feet or hands.
If you have symptoms like these, tell your doctor. He or she will most likely check your blood to see if you have diabetes.
If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you will need to follow the advice of your doctor to keep the disease under control, which can help lower your risk of complications. You can do that by eating well, exercising regularly and taking medications, if needed.
Sources: American Diabetes Association; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases