Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes. But it’s become more common in children and teens over the past 20 years, largely because more young people are overweight or obese. About 90% of people with diabetes have type 2.
When you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas usually creates some insulin. But either it’s not enough or your body doesn’t use it like it should. Insulin resistance, when your cells don’t respond to insulin, usually happens in fat, liver, and muscle cells.
Type 2 diabetes is often milder than type 1. But it can still cause major health complications, especially in the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys, nerves, and eyes. Type 2 also raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
People who are obese -- more than 20% over their target body weight for their height -- have an especially high risk of type 2 diabetes and the health problems that can follow. Obesity often causes insulin resistance, so your pancreas has to work harder to make more insulin. But it’s still not enough to keep your blood sugar levels where they should be.
Treatment for type 2 diabetes involves keeping a healthy weight, eating right, and exercising. Some people need medication, too.
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