What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes, is a disease in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.

There are three main types of diabetes.

  1. Type 1 diabetes results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin.
  2. Gestational diabetes results when pregnant women, who have never had diabetes before, have high blood glucose level during pregnancy. It may precede development of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Type 2diabetes results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. This is the most common form of diabetes. The Canadian Diabetes Association 2009 report titled “An Economic Tsunami: The Cost of Diabetes in Canada”, warns that more than 20 Canadians are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every hour, and that number is expected to continue to rise over the coming years such that by 2020, one in 10 Canadians will have type 2 diabetes.Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed by demonstrating any one of the following:
    1. Fasting plasma glucose level ≥ 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dL).
    2. Plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL) two hours after a 75 g oral glucose load as in a glucose tolerance test.
    3. Symptoms of hyperglycemia and casual plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL).
    4. Glycated hemoglobin (Hb A1C) ≥ 6.5%.

    Type 2 Diabetes without proper treatments can cause many serious long-term complications. These include:

    1. Diabetic Retinopathy – the leading cause of blindness in adults.
    2. Diabetic Nephropathy – the leading cause of kidney failure in adults.
    3. Diabetic Neuropathy – leading cause of non-traumatic amputations of the lower extremities in adults.
    4. Cardiovascular disease – 8/10 patients with type 2 diabetes die of cardiovascular disease.
    5. Stroke – 2 to 4 times more likely to have a stroke.