Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: What is it?

type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a disorder that disrupts the way the body uses glucose (sugar). Your body needs glucose to function, and insulin is the hormone that allows the cells to utilize glucose while making sure your blood sugar levels don’t get too high or too low. With type 2 diabetes, there is a dysfunction that makes it difficult for your body to correctly use glucose, and it builds up in your blood. Type 2 diabetes differs from type 1 (or juvenile type) diabetes in that it is the receptors on the cells that do not respond appropriately to insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin at all.

What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, increased urination, and blurry vision. However, many people with type 2 diabetes do not have any symptoms.  Even though the disease is often initially asymptomatic, it is important to diagnose because untreated, diabetes can lead to life-threatening complications.  These include heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure requiring dialysis, vision problems which can lead to blindness, pain or loss of feeling in feet and hands, and circulation problems which can result in amputations of toes, feet and legs.

Your doctor or nurse can do blood tests to determine if you have diabetes. If you do, there are medications that can help to control the disease. Lifestyle modifications such as a healthy diet, exercise, and weight loss can help you manage diabetes and prevent the complications associated with it.

To reduce your chances of getting diabetes, exercise, eat right, and keep your weight at a healthy level. Visiting your healthcare provider on a regular basis can help detect diabetes and many other diseases at an early stage and prevent later complications.

Dr. Pamela Hall

Board Certified Emergency Medicine

Hospitality Health ER – Tyler & Longview Texas