What is it?
Diabetes (di-uh-BE-tez) is also called diabetes mellitus (MEL-i-tus). There are three main types of diabetes. You have type 2 diabetes. It may be called non-insulin dependent or adult onset diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body has trouble using insulin. Your body may also not make enough insulin. If there is not enough insulin or if it is not working right, sugar will build up in your blood. Type 2 diabetes is more common in overweight people who are older than 40 years and are not active. Type 2 diabetes is also being found more often in children who are overweight. There is no cure for diabetes but you can have a long and active life if your diabetes is controlled.
How did I get type 2 diabetes?
- Insulin (IN-sul-in) is a hormone (a special body chemical) made by your pancreas (PAN-kree-us). The pancreas is an organ that lies behind the stomach. Much of the food you eat is turned into sugar in your stomach. This sugar goes into your blood and travels to the cells of your body to be used for energy.
- Insulin acts as a “key” to help sugar enter the cells. If there is not enough insulin or if it is not working right, sugar will build up in your blood. With type 2 diabetes, you may have better control of your diabetes with the right diet and exercise. You may also need to take oral medicine (pills) to help your body make more insulin or to use insulin better. You may also need insulin shots.
- No one knows for sure what causes type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes runs in families. You are more likely to get it if someone else in your family has type 2 diabetes.
- You are also more likely to get type 2 diabetes if you are overweight. Being overweight makes it harder for your body to use the insulin it makes. This is called insulin resistance. In insulin resistance, your pancreas will keep making insulin to try to control your blood sugar. Your body will not use the insulin as it should when it is resistant to insulin.
Signs and Symptoms:
The signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes may happen slowly over months or years. Some people have signs and symptoms that are so mild that they do not notice them. You may have one or more of the following symptoms of hyperglycemia (hi-per-gli-SE-me-ah) or high blood sugar: