Saturday, December 20, 2008

Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes type 2 is a chronic disease characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It begins when the body does not respond correctly to insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and it is caused by a problem in the way your body uses insulin. Insulin is needed to move glucose into cells, where it is used for energy. If glucose does not get into the cells, the body cannot use it for energy. As a result, too much glucose will stay in the blood, causing the symptoms of diabetes. There are several types of diabetes. Diabetes type 2 usually occurs with obesity and insulin resistance.

Because sugar is not getting into the tissues, abnormally high levels of sugar build up in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia. Many people with insulin resistance have hyperglycemia and high blood insulin levels at the same time. People who are overweight have a higher risk of insulin resistance, because fat interferes with the body's ability to use insulin. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs gradually. Most people with the disease are overweight at the time of diagnosis. However, type 2 diabetes can also develop in those who are thin, especially the elderly. Low activity level, poor diet, and excess body weight (especially around the waist) significantly increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.