Canada Pharmacy Depot

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Thursday 3 March 2022
6 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. What is Type 2 Diabetes?

II. Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

III. What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

IV. What is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

V. Type 2 Diabetes Complications

VI. Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis

VII. Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a disease where the body does not respond well to insulin. If your body does not respond well to insulin, high levels of glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream. Over time, high blood sugar can cause eye problems, kidney disease, nerve damage, and other serious complications.

Luckily, with the right combination of exercise, diet, and medical interventions, type 2 diabetes can be managed. If you have been prescribed diabetes medication, visit Canada Pharmacy Depot to buy your type 2 diabetes drugs and start controlling your blood sugar levels today. You can learn more about popular medications Rybelsus (semaglutide) and Jardiance. Read on to learn more about the symptoms, causes, and complications of type 2 diabetes. 

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Because type 2 diabetes impairs your body’s ability to use insulin effectively, your cells do not receive the energy necessary to function. As a result, your cells turn to alternative sources for energy, including your organs, tissues, and muscles. These sources are not healthy substitutes for providing energy. Essentially, poor use of insulin and poor insulin production can cause many symptoms. Early warning signs of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Fatigue and overall lack of energy
  • Always feeling hungry or thirsty
  • Urinating often
  • Vision becoming blurry
  • Tingling, numbness, or pain in the extremities

a woman in bed displaying signs of fatigue

Studies show that symptoms of type 2 diabetes progress gradually and tend to become more severe over time. Many patients in the early stages of type 2 diabetes do not show any symptoms. In children, weight loss can be an early sign of this disease. Generally, your doctor can assess your insulin levels and look for any metabolic abnormalities to catch type 2 diabetes before it becomes severe. [1] If you experience any indications of high blood sugar, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

At the core of this disease, type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance. Healthy people naturally produce insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas when you consume food. Insulin plays a vital role in transporting glucose from your bloodstream to your cells for energy. Any factor that causes insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Genetic factors may contribute to your risk of type 2 diabetes. Generally, if many family members have diabetes, you are more likely to develop this disease. Families also tend to share dietary and exercise habits, which may explain why type 2 diabetes seems to run in families. [2]

Being overweight can also cause type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a growing epidemic that is one of the leading causes of diabetes. As worldwide obesity rates continue to increase, type 2 diabetes is also becoming more common. [3] Having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater puts you at serious risk. Those who are morbidly obese with a BMI of 40 or greater are significantly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. [4]

a doctor measuring a man’s waist

What is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is primarily caused by an unhealthy diet that leads to sustained high blood sugar levels. Typically, type 2 diabetes occurs over time. With the prevalence of fast food, type 2 diabetes is also becoming more common in children. However, the gradual nature of this disease means that most people are not affected until adulthood.

On the other hand, type 1 diabetes is a genetic disorder that occurs when the immune system attacks its own pancreas, damaging the cells responsible for producing insulin. Whereas type 1 diabetes will require taking insulin, type 2 diabetes can often be managed (and even reversed) with dietary changes and regular physical activity.

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

If type 2 diabetes is not addressed, it can lead to several severe health complications. This is because type 2 diabetes causes chronic, low-grade inflammation. Over time, insulin resistance can cause nerve damage, which can lead to problems such as:

  • Damage to the eyes and conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal damage
  • Atherosclerosis (narrowed arteries), leading to poor circulation and slow healing
  • Easy infections and gangrene, which may require amputation due to the slow healing
  • Erectile dysfunction in men 

Untreated, type 2 diabetes can also lead to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, hearing loss, and high blood pressure. Without the right diet, type 2 diabetes can lead to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can cause dizziness and low energy.

In pregnant women with type 2 diabetes, it is important to monitor your condition throughout your pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes may impair the baby’s development, so it is important to speak with your doctor about complications during pregnancy and labor. In severe cases, diabetes in the mother may cause the baby to gain excess weight.

a man rubbing his eyes due to eye pain

How is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed?

There are several tests available to determine whether you have type 2 diabetes. Your doctor will likely administer a hemoglobin A1C test to measure your overall blood glucose levels for the past three months. If necessary, your doctor may also do a fasting plasma glucose test, which measures the glucose levels in your plasma after eight hours of fasting. Another common diagnostic test is the oral glucose tolerance test, which involves drawing your blood before and after you consume a specified amount of glucose. This test assesses how well your body processes glucose. [5] 

What is the Most Effective Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes?

The earlier you receive a diagnosis, the better your chances are at getting ahead on your treatment. If you have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you have several treatment options. The universal step to take is to start eating healthy carbohydrates and foods that are rich in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables. Healthy eating helps maintain optimal blood sugar levels.

Avoiding processed foods and refined carbohydrates is also recommended. Additionally, you will want to manage your weight with at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system will go a long way in preventing complications like a heart attack or stroke.

In type 2 diabetes patients who are obese, metformin is commonly prescribed to reduce the risk of complications. Metformin is an anti-diabetic drug that improves your body’s utilization of insulin. Metformin is often prescribed when diet and exercise are not enough to manage blood sugar levels. Canada Pharmacy Depot carries a wide range of brand-name and generic type 2 diabetes drugs to help you treat your diabetes.

If you want to learn more about your medication options for type 2 diabetes, read this article. If you are not sure how to incorporate healthy foods into your diet, speaking to a dietician can help. While this disease is generally manageable, it is important to take a type 2 diabetes diagnosis seriously to avoid life-threatening complications down the line. 

The content provided in this article is based on thorough research and in some cases, reviewed by a medical professional. Our goal for the information is to provide helpful, general health informational. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice.