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3 Things You Should Know About Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness that affects adults as well as children. Type 2 diabetes is more common among older adults, however, children who are obese can develop type 2 diabetes.

Image of a man and woman walking with a dog.
Man and woman walking a dog

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes and about 90 percent of that number have type 2 diabetes.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes develops when your pancreas — the organ in your body that produces insulin — either does not make enough insulin, or your body does not make proper use of it. Insulin is a hormone that allows blood sugar from the food you eat to get into the cells and provide energy. If this blood sugar is not getting into the cells, your pancreas makes more insulin and your blood sugar rises, leading to prediabetes. If you don’t make changes to your eating and lifestyle habits, full-blown diabetes will develop.

Diabetes symptoms

Type 2 diabetes symptoms may take a long time to develop and many people may be unaware that they have type 2 diabetes. Once symptoms begin to develop you will find yourself becoming tired more easily. Other symptoms may be:

  • increased thirst
  • increased hunger
  • the need to urinate more enough
  • scratches or sores take a longer time to heal
  • blurred vision
  • dry, itchy skin, and other symptoms

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes

If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes —mother, father, brother, sister— you are more likely to get it. Other risk factors are:

  • Age—older people (over 45) are more likely to get the disease, but younger people can also have it.
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity — active less than 3 days a week
  • Prediabetes
  • African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, Pacific Islander, or Alaska Native

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The more you learn about your illness the better you will be equipped to manage it. The short quiz will help you test your knowledge of type 2 diabetes and put you on a better footing to deal with it. Please answer the questions below. If you like, you can drop me a line and let me know how you did.

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A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.