General Characteristic of Type II Diabetes

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Updated: Aug 31, 2023
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Type 2 Diabetes
Background about the disease- Type 2 Diabetes is a disorder caused by an imbalance of insulin. It is the more common form of diabetes, mostly seen in adults but now increasingly observed in young adults as well. Also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes, this lifelong disease causes your blood glucose level to rise above the normal range.

Pathophysiology and causes- Type 2 diabetes stems from several factors. It can develop when your body becomes resistant to insulin or the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.

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The exact cause of this is still unknown. The condition can also develop due to poor diet or lack of physical activity, which can lead to overweight or obesity, thereby increasing the risk of heart and blood vessel disease. Heredity plays a role as well, and it is more common in certain ethnic groups than others. Genetic mutations, hormonal diseases, damage or removal of the pancreas, and even certain medicines can cause diabetes.

Risk Factors and prevention- Risk factors for diabetes include family history, age, ethnicity, lack of physical activity, being overweight or obese. Other risk factors include prediabetes, gestational diabetes, and polycystic syndrome. If these risk factors are left untreated, they can lead to type 2 diabetes. Additionally, low levels of HDL or high levels of triglycerides, as well as a history of stroke or depression, can also increase the risk of developing this disease.

Epidemiology- This disease is more common in African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. It is more prevalent in individuals aged 45 and older. About 90-95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2, while only about 5 percent have type 1.

Signs and symptoms- Symptoms of type 2 diabetes, which usually develop slowly, include increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue, blurry vision, numbness or tingling feeling in the feet and hands, slow healing infections or sores, and patches of dark skin.

Diagnosis tests- Diagnosis of diabetes can be achieved through various tests such as fasting blood glucose level, hemoglobin A1c test, and oral glucose tolerance test. Besides these, doctors also check the skin, feet and legs, numbness in feet, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, kidney functions, and eyes for any disease related to diabetes. Sometimes, a dental cleaning and exam may be recommended. A diabetes risk test can also be done to evaluate if one is at risk for this disease. Body mass index (BMI) can also help determine risk for diabetes.
Treatments and drugs (1-2 drugs are sufficient) include healthy eating, physical activity, and monitoring your blood sugar levels. Metformin is the most common medicine for diabetes. Sulfonylureas, meglitinides, thiazolidinediones, DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1 receptor agonists, SGLT2 inhibitors, and insulin therapy are other forms of treatments for type 2 diabetes.

Complications (i.e., if the disease is left untreated, then…) and prognosis (i.e., 1% of dying from the disease or surviving the disease) include heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage, hearing impairment, skin conditions, and Alzheimer’s disease. The prognosis for type 2 diabetes is lifelong – it has no cure. Some people don’t need medicine if they become more active and lose weight. That’s when their bodies produce insulin and a healthy diet controls the sugar level in the blood.

Recommended lifestyle changes or home remedies or alternative medicine could include healthy eating, increased physical activity, abstaining from smoking, and weight loss.

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General Characteristic of Type II Diabetes. (2019, Dec 14). Retrieved from