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What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes, which is more common than type 1 diabetes, usually occurs in people over 40 and is called adult onset diabetes mellitus. It is also called non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In type 2, your pancreas makes insulin, but your body does not use it properly. The high blood sugar level often can be controlled by following a diet and/or taking medication, although some people must take insulin. Type 2 diabetes is particularly prevalent among blacks, American Indians, Latin Americans and Asian Americans.
Also known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, this life-long disease is preceded by insulin resistance, a condition where the body does not respond correctly to insulin. Environmental factors such as obesity, low physical activity, and a diet high in sugar and fat can aggravate the body’s resistance to the action of insulin.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

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Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...

In people with type 2 diabetes, insulin is produced, but the cells do not respond to insulin as they should. Glucose has a hard time getting out of the blood and into cells. For some people with type 2 diabetes, diet, exercise, and oral diabetes medication together can help them keep their blood glucose levels on target without insulin injections. But for many people with type 2 diabetes, diet, exercise, and oral diabetes medication are not enough and insulin is needed.

Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in people over the age of 40, but may develop in younger people, especially among certain ethnic groups. Almost all people who develop type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant, and most have a problem with insulin secretion. Some simply cannot produce enough insulin to meet their bodies’ needs, and others have a combination of these problems. Many people with type 2 diabetes initially manage the disease through diet and exercise but, as the ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin decreases, progress to oral medications and/or insulin.

With type 2 diabetes, the body makes insulin but not enough to meet the body’s needs, or the body becomes resistant to the insulin produced. Type 2 diabetes is more common among African Americans, Latinos, Asians, certain Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.