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Type 2 Diabetes : Symptoms, Cause, Treatment and Prevention

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels exceed normal values. High blood sugar levels are caused by the body not using the normal hormone insulin. The insulin hormone itself is a hormone that helps sugar (glucose) enter the body's cells to be converted into energy.

Type 2 diabetes patients can feel various symptoms, some of which are the appearance of blackened body parts, wounds that are difficult to heal, and blurred vision. However, these symptoms require a long time to appear and feel the sufferer. In fact, this condition has great potential not being realized until complications occur.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

  • Some of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
  • Frequent urination, especially at night.
  • Often feel thirsty.
  • Often feeling hungry.
  • Weight loss.
  • Wounds that are difficult to heal.
  • Susceptible to infection.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Fatigue.
  • Pain or numbness in the feet and hands.
  • Tingling.
  • Pubic itching in women.
  • Erectile disorders in men.

Basically the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes have some similarities. However, symptoms of type 2 diabetes tend to require a longer time to arise. In fact, type 2 diabetics have the potential to not feel symptoms until complications occur. Therefore, it would be better to carry out regular checks of blood sugar levels, especially if you have a high risk.

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

Glucose in the blood is controlled by the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas. Insulin functions to transfer glucose from the blood into the body's cells to be converted into energy. In people with type 2 diabetes, what happens is:

  • The body of the sufferer does not produce insulin in a relatively sufficient amount to control blood glucose levels within normal limits.
  • The body's cells sufferers are less sensitive to insulin, so the cells do not respond to insulin properly (resistant or immune to insulin). The causes of insulin resistance, including obesity or being overweight result in an increase in fat in the body, so that the body has difficulty using insulin properly. In addition, heredity or family history of type 2 diabetes can also increase a person to suffer from the same disease.

The cause of the disruption in the cells of the body is not known exactly However, the gene is suspected to be one of the trigger factors. The risk of someone experiencing this disease also increases when they are 45 years or older, and have family members who are also diabetics.

Besides genes, type 2 diabetes is also thought to be triggered by the patient's condition and lifestyle. Some conditions that are thought to be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes are:

  • Prediabetes.
  • Heart and blood vessel disorders.
  • Hypertension.
  • The good cholesterol level (HDL)
  • High triglycerides.
  • Obesity.
  • Gestational diabetes, which is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.
  • PCOS.
  • Agantosis nigrikans.

In addition to the conditions above, lifestyle also affects the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Some lifestyles that can increase a person's risk of experiencing this disease are:

  • Lack of exercise.
  • Smoke.
  • Frequent stress.
  • Lack of rest.

Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis

In diagnosing type 2 diabetes, doctors generally carry out a series of blood sugar tests. The blood sugar test done can also be different for each patient, including:

  • This test is done to check the average blood sugar level in a period of 2-3 months.
  • Fasting blood sugar test. This test aims to check blood sugar levels on an empty stomach. Patients will be asked to fast for 8 hours.
  • Blood sugar tolerance test. After the patient is taken fasting blood sugar, the patient will be asked to drink a special sugar drink and re-examine the blood sugar after 2 hours of drinking sugar solution.
  • When blood sugar testing. This test aims to check blood sugar levels at an unspecified time.

To ensure the results obtained, at least doctors use 2 types of blood tests. Doctors can also use other tests in the form of urine tests, checking cholesterol levels in the blood, as well as liver, kidney and thyroid functions.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

Some risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Overweight or obese.
  • High belly fat distribution.
  • Lifestyle is not active and rarely do activities or exercise.
  • History of type 2 diabetes in the family.
  • Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asian-Americans, have higher rates of suffering compared to whites.
  • Age above 45 years, although it does not rule out the possibility can occur before the age of 45 years.
  • The condition of prediabetes, where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
  • History of diabetes or high blood glucose levels during pregnancy.

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome, which is characterized by irregular menstruation, excessive hair growth, and obesity.

Therefore, it will be better if the handling is done immediately. In addition to relieving the symptoms that appear, good handling can also prevent complications of type 2 diabetes, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Skin disorders
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Hearing disorders


Some methods used to treat type 2 diabetes include:

  • Application of a healthy lifestyle
  • Giving medicine
  • Insulin therapy
  • Operation

Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

There are several methods that can be used to treat type 2 diabetes. The doctor will determine the appropriate method and according to the patient's condition.

Diet and exercise

This method needs to be done to deal with diabetes, including type 2. In addition to reducing blood sugar levels, adopting a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly and eating balanced nutritious foods can also reduce the risk of complications.

Doctors will advise patients to eat foods that are rich in fiber and low in fat. Consult further with the doctor about the type of food that is good for consumption, and the type of exercise and its recommended frequency. The provisions of diet and exercise in each person can be different, according to the condition of the body.

Giving Medication

Doctors can also prescribe medication to type 2 diabetes patients when handling a healthy lifestyle is not effective enough. Some drugs that can be used to treat type 2 diabetes include:

  • Metformin, to reduce sugar production in the liver.
  • Meglitinide and sulfonylurea, to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. An example of a meglitinide drug is nateglinide, and an example of sulfonylurea is glibenclamide.
  • DPP-4, to increase insulin production and reduce sugar production by the liver. An example of this drug is sitagliptin.
  • GLP-1 receptor agonist. Medications can slow down the digestive process of food, especially those containing sugar, while reducing blood sugar levels. Exenatide example.
  • SGLT2 inhibitors. This drug works by influencing the kidneys to throw away more sugar. For example dapagliflozin.


Before using the drug, consult a doctor first, so that the type and dosage of the drug can be determined accordingly. Unsuitable types and doses have the potential to cause side effects.

In addition to drugs, additional insulin can be given by the doctor by injection. This therapy can be used when other treatments are not effective. Insulin is available in various types, and each one works in a different way. Discuss with your doctor about the types of injectable insulin.

Bariatric Surgery

Excess weight is one of the factors thought to cause type 2 diabetes. Bariatric surgery functions to lose weight by changing the shape of the digestive tract so that much of the food consumed can be limited and nutrients absorbed can be reduced.

Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are classified as difficult to detect, even to the occurrence of complications. Some complications that can be experienced by type 2 diabetes patients include:

  • Heart and blood vessel diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes.
  • Nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy). This condition often occurs in the legs, with symptoms that appear can be numbness to pain. In men, nerve damage is also related to disruption of sexual function.
  • Kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy). Severe damage can cause kidney failure.
  • Eye damage (diabetic retinopathy). Damage to the retinal blood vessels has the potential to cause visual impairment.
  • Hearing disorders.
  • Skin disorders, such as more easily contracted bacterial and viral infections.
  • Alzheimer's disease.

Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by applying a healthy lifestyle. In addition to reducing risk, applying a healthy lifestyle can also prevent complications of type 2 diabetes.

Some efforts to prevent type 2 diabetes include:

  • Maintain an ideal body weight by eating low-fat foods.
  • Eating high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Reduce consumption of sweet foods and drinks.
  • Exercise regularly and do a lot of physical activity.
  • Reducing the time to sit still for too long, like when watching television.
  • Avoid or stop smoking.



American Diabetes Association 92018). Type 2 Diabetes.

Yanling, et al. (2014). Risk Factors Contributing to Type 2 Diabetes and Recent Advances in the Treatment and Prevention. International Journal of Medical Sciences.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.