ABC Medical Center > Type 2 diabetes

What is Type 2 diabetes?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is a condition in which the body is not able to adequately regulate glucose levels, which causes an excess in the blood, generating long-term complications that affect cardiovascular, immunological, and neurological health.

In this type of diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce the insulin necessary to control glucose in the cells and they do not react to the presence of insulin either, so the amount of glucose they use is below normal.

It usually appears more frequently in older adults, but currently, there is also a high incidence in obese children and adolescents.

Type 2 diabetes is an incurable disease, but with an exercise program, proper nutrition, and weight loss it is possible to control it and lead a normal life. In some cases, it is also necessary to give medications to lower the blood sugar level or to receive insulin therapy.

Signs and symptoms Type 2 diabetes

Regularly, type 2 diabetes symptoms take several years to appear, so many times, the patient does not find out that he or she has it until it is already advanced. However, once it is set, the following symptoms may appear:

  • Frequent urination.
  • Uncontrolled thirst and hunger.
  • Decrease in body weight.
  • Tiredness.
  • Tired and blurred vision.
  • Dark colored skin on the neck and armpits.
  • Recurring infections and wounds that do not heal quickly.
  • Tingling in the upper and lower limbs.

Potential risks:

  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Abdominal fat accumulation. 
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Family history.
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • The risk increases when turning over 50 years.

Possible complications:

  • Kidney failure. 
  • Eye involvement (glaucoma, cataracts, and blindness). 
  • Recurrent skin infections. 
  • Cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, arrhythmia, stroke, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis.
  • Neuropathic damage in the hands and feet.
  • Neurological conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. 
  • Healing problems.
  • Decreased hearing ability. 
  • Obstructive sleep apnea. 

How to prevent it:

Heredity plays a fundamental role in type 2 diabetes, but despite the fact that you have that predisposition to develop it or have already been diagnosed with prediabetes, if you change your lifestyle and adopt healthy habits, it is possible to avoid, slow down, or stop its progress.

Follow these tips:

  • Keep a healthy diet rich in fiber and vegetables, avoiding fats, sugars, and carbohydrates. 
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid being overweight and obese. If you already are, you should lose weight.
  • Do not remain inactive for a long time, try to get up and walk a little every 30 or 40 minutes.

Diagnosis and treatment Type 2 diabetes

The main test to diagnose type 2 diabetes is the glycosylated hemoglobin test, which shows the blood sugar level that you have had during the last months:

  • Less than 5.7% is normal.
  • More than 5.7% and up to 6.4% are considered prediabetes.
  • More than 6.5% are diagnosed as having diabetes.

Treatment to control type 2 diabetes includes a healthy diet, daily physical activity, weight loss, regular blood glucose tests, glucose-lowering medications, and insulin therapy, as appropriate.

In morbidly obese patients, bariatric surgery is recommended to dramatically lower body weight.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • Chan SJM, Yam SAV, Gómez AP, et al. Entrenamiento de pares comunitarios para proporcionar apoyo de autocontrol en diabetes tipo 2. CuidArte. 2020;9(18):30-45.
  • Mota SV, Reyes CA, Estefan JP, et al. Evaluación de una intervención educativa en el estilo de vida para prevenir prediabetes o diabetes tipo 2 en niños mexicanos. An Med Asoc Med Hosp ABC. 2021;66(1):25-35. doi:10.35366/99486.
  • Zenteno LMA, Carreón LT, Martínez VC, et al. Proceso de vivir con diabetes tipo 2 de la persona y familia: una teoría fundamentada. CuidArte. 2018;7(14):6-17.

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