Type 2 Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, and Management

Type two diabetes is a condition that causes a person's blood sugar to rise to a higher level than normal. The process of using your blood sugar for energy is facilitated by insulin.  With type two diabetes, a person's body does not use insulin properly. Let's learn more about the causes, symptoms, and management of this condition.


Insulin is a hormone used to bring sugar into a person's cells to be used for energy. With type two diabetes, a person's body becomes resistant to insulin. At first their pancreas will make more insulin to try and lower their blood sugar. After a period of time, the pancreas cannot sustain this and blood sugars start to rise. Type two diabetes often develops in adulthood in individuals who are overweight  and physically inactive.


How do you know if you are suffering from diabetes? Common symptoms of diabetes include the following: 

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling increasingly hungry or thirsty
  • Weight loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Slow wound healing
  • Tingling in hands or feet

In rare cases, individuals can experience dangerous complications from uncontrolled blood sugars. This life threatening condition is called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Individuals with extreme symptoms consistent with DKA should seek emergency care immediately.


If not controlled with diet and exercise, diabetes almost inevitably gets worse over time.  High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels leading to a variety of complications including damage to the eyes, nerves, heart, and kidneys. It also can increase the chance of developing high blood pressure or stroke.  

Some people with type two diabetes can manage their condition by exercising and eating a healthier diet. Overweight individuals are at a much higher risk for diabetes. Doctors may also prescribe medications to be taken to help control blood sugars. Patients may be required to check their blood sugar levels daily or more frequently depending on the severity of their diabetes. Insulin injections may also be required if blood sugar levels cannot be controlled with oral medications. 

Diabetes is a common disease, yet every individual needs unique care. We encourage people with diabetes and their families to learn as much as possible about the latest medical therapies and approaches, as well as healthy lifestyle choices. Good communication with a team of experts can help you feel in control and respond to changing needs.
— American Diabetes Association

Diabetes is a very manageable disease with the help of doctors and nurses. Learn more about diabetes from the American Diabetes Association.  Make sure to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to enjoy a long and healthy life!

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AuthorCourtney Tracy