What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% of diabetes cases, and most often begins after 40 years of age. Its main characteristic is chronic hyperglycemia (too high concentration of sugar in the blood). This poor regulation of blood sugar is linked to resistance to insulin, a hormone used to lower the blood sugar level produced by pancreatic cells.
At first, the pancreas tries to compensate for this resistance by always producing more insulin, but this ends up “exhausting” the organ. Ultimately, it produces less insulin, resulting in chronic hyperglycemia. Genetic factors predispose people to type 2 diabetes, but additional factors are usually necessary for the disease to develop (example: overweight).
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
As long as the pancreas manages to compensate for insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes does not trigger symptoms. Thereafter, these mainly include:
- increased thirst and appetite;
- frequent urination, especially at night;
- severe drowsiness;
- blurred vision;
- an increase in infections (cystitis, yeast infections …).
Type 2 diabetes: who are the people at risk?
The people most at risk of developing type 2 diabetes are:
- those whose first-degree relative (brother, sister, father or mother) already has type 2 diabetes;
- those in a state of overweight or obesity (the risks are higher if the fat storage is mainly located in the abdominal region);
- those belonging to populations at risk: African, Asian and Latin American populations are more often affected;
- those not doing enough physical activity;
- women who suffered from gestational diabetes, and / or whose baby weighed more than 4 kg at birth.
- How is the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes made?
- A blood test to measure blood sugar confirms the diagnosis of diabetes (fasting blood sugar greater than or equal to 1.26 g / L in the case of diabetes). Other tests can then be prescribed to check for the presence of diabetic complications, such as a cataract or glaucoma for example.
What are the treatments for type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes must be treated seriously to avoid serious complications such as kidney failure. The treatment is based on the establishment of a specific diet, and on the intake of drugs such as insulin secretors for example (they increase the production of insulin) or thiazolidinediones, which combat insulin resistance. Playing sports regularly is also part of the treatment. The administration of insulin (injections or insulin pump) is mainly used in cases of very advanced type 2 diabetes.