Related Video: The Importance of Healthy Eating When You Have Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 is more common in people with obesity and those over 45 years of age. People who are American Indian, Alaska natives, Black, and Hispanic are at higher risk. Some other common risks are:
- Prediabetes—slightly high glucose levels
- Metabolic syndrome—fat around the belly and high cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Past gestational diabetes or having a baby that weighs over 9 pounds at birth
- Poor eating habits
- Lack of exercise
- High blood pressure
- Taking certain medicines, such as glucocorticoids or thiazides
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. Diabetes is diagnosed with blood tests that check for high glucose levels. More than 1 test may be done.
These blood tests will also be done to find out whether it is type 1 or type 2:
- Insulin level or C-peptide tests to see how much insulin is being made by the pancreas
- Tests that look for antibodies that are working against the pancreas
The goal is to keep glucose levels at close to normal levels. This can be done with:
Healthy habits can help manage type 2, such as:
- Testing blood glucose levels often
- Working with a dietitian to make a meal plan that will help keep blood glucose levels normal
- Getting enough exercise
- Reaching a healthy weight
Some people may need medicine to lower insulin resistance. There are many types. Metformin is a common medicine that is given.
People who cannot manage type 2 with healthy habits and medicine may need insulin. It will replace the insulin hormone that their body does not make. It can be given by injection, inhaler, or by a pump that gives it in small amounts during the day.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services
All rights reserved.
a (Diabetes Mellitus Type 2; Insulin-Resistant Diabetes; Diabetes, Type 2)
American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov
Canadian Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American College of Endocrinology. Comprehensive Type 2 Diabetes Management Algorithm 2017. Endocr Pract. 2017 Feb;23(2):207-238.
American Diabetes Association Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes of Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Care. 2015 Jan;38 Suppl:S8-S16.
American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2019 Jan; 42 (Suppl 1):S1-S193,
Diabetes mellitus type 2 in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/diabetes-mellitus-type-2-in-adults. Accessed November 1, 2020.
Diabetes mellitus type 2 in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/diabetes-mellitus-type-2-in-children-and-adolescents. Accessed November 1, 2020.
Dietary considerations for patients with type 2 diabetes. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/dietary-considerations-for-patients-with-type-2-diabetes. Accessed November 1, 2020.
Symptoms & Causes of Diabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/symptoms-causes. Accessed November 1, 2020.
10/1/2018 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance https://www.dynamed.com/condition/risk-factors-for-diabetes-mellitus-type-2 : Mantovani A, Byrne CD, et al. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and risk of incident type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. 2018;41(2):372-382.