Type 2 Diabetes
The vast majority of diabetes patients in the U.S. – more than 90 percent – have type 2 diabetes. Although type 2 diabetes typically develops in adults over age 45, it is becoming more common for younger adults, teens and children to develop type 2 diabetes. The diabetes team at UH Diabetes & Obesity Center has expertise in diagnosing and treating type 2 diabetes and educating patients on diabetes self-management routines.
Make an AppointmentTo schedule a consult with a diabetes and obesity specialist, please call 216-286-8988.
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What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects the way your body processes sugar or glucose. Your body uses insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, to metabolize sugar, which is then transported to your cells for energy. With type 2 diabetes, your body may be either insulin resistant or doesn't produce enough insulin to regulate glucose levels in the blood.
While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise can help manage the disease. Some people with type 2 diabetes need to go on medication, either oral, non-insulin injectables or insulin medication, to manage their blood sugar levels.
Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
Some people are more predisposed to developing type 2 diabetes than others. Risk factors include:
- Diagnosed with prediabetes
- Age 45 or older
- Family history of type 2 diabetes in parent or sibling
- Not physically active
- Had gestational diabetes
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Additionally, if you are an African American, Asian American, Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native, you may be at higher risk for type 2 diabetes.
You can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes with simple lifestyle choices, including losing weight (if you are overweight), eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise.
Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. Unlike many other chronic conditions, type 2 diabetes is self-managed with the help and guidance of a health care team. While some people can manage their type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise alone, others may require more interventions. Additional interventions may include medication management and diabetes self-management education. Many individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may start with oral medications, such as Metformin. However, the disease may progress to requiring non-insulin injectables or even taking insulin injections.
Blood Sugar Monitoring
Individuals with type 2 diabetes will also need to monitor their blood sugars closely and let their doctor know if they are too high or too low. It is important to regularly meet with your diabetes care team to make sure prescribed treatments are still working for you. You and your care team can work together to develop the best strategies for managing your diabetes.
In addition to medication management, people with diabetes are still encouraged to eat healthfully and be physically active to help manage blood sugars. Maintaining healthy blood sugar targets will help prevent or minimize the risk of developing any diabetes-related complications. Poorly managed blood sugars often develop other health complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, foot problems, oral health issues, and vision problems.
University Hospitals Diabetes and Metabolic Care Center: Expert Management of Diabetes & Related Disorders
Led by an experienced team of clinicians and scientists, the University Hospitals Diabetes and Metabolic Care Center provides ongoing care, management, and education for diabetes, obesity and related conditions. Our talented team of compassionate specialists includes endocrinologists, diabetes care and education specialists, weight loss specialists, nurse practitioners and specialty pharmacists.Learn more