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The Rise Of Type 2 Diabetes

Jun 4, 2008
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes in the UK and the United States. This form of diabetes is most often associated with old age, obesity, hereditary tendencies, previous history of gestational diabetes, and lack of physical activity. Type 2 diabetes is a largely preventable condition. Only a small percentage of overweight individuals will develop type 2 diabetes, but the probability of getting it increases with rising body weight. Type 2 diabetes is now commonly being seen and diagnosed in children and adolescents.

Type 2 diabetes frequently remains as an undiagnosed condition that poses treatment challenges to family medical practitioners. The introduction of new oral agents in recent years has expanded the range of possible combination treatments available for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is associated with insulin resistance rather than lack of insulin as seen in type 1 diabetes. This is often considered a hereditary tendency from one's forebears. Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed after the age of 40, however, it is more frequently being diagnose as early as age 10 in obese children.

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive, chronic disease that can cause serious damaging effects to the body over time. Those with type 2 diabetes either do not produce enough insulin - the hormone needed to maintain normal blood sugar levels - or the cells in their body have become less responsive to the effects of insulin's so become insulin resistant.

Glucose is produced in the liver and muscle but also comes from the food we consume. In order to use this sugar, the pancreas makes the hormone called insulin. Glucose is needed by all our body's cells as for energy. Insulin helps glucose to move from the blood stream and into the cells. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body. When insulin is not able to do its job, the cells can't get the sugar they need.

Type 2 diabetes is most often linked with being overweight or obese, but genetic factors may also play a role. Type 2 diabetes affects nearly 21 million in the United States and the incidence of the disease has skyrocketed in the last 30 years. Type 2 diabetes is also increasing rapidly both in the UK, Australia and in the developed world in general. This is linked to the fact that the population is getting fatter with more than half of adults in the UK considered overweight, and about one in five considered obese.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases. There is also an increase in the number of cases of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. It is also diagnosed more often in certain ethnic groups. Lifestyle plays an important role in determining whether or not a person with a tendency to Type 2 diabetes will actually develop the condition. It is more common in people who take too little exercise, eat a high-fat or high-calorie diet and those that are overweight.

Type 2 diabetes sufferers are between two and six times more likely than those without diabetes to have cardiovascular disease and are more than twice as likely to die from it.

Prevention and management strategies that encourage healthier choices are to be encouraged but appear to be having little effect as diabetes rates across the Western world continue to skyrocket. Type 2 diabetes prevention is an active area of research, particularly because of the increasing number of people who are developing the disease and the future ballooning health care requirements. Recent studies have found evidence that two known cholesterol-lowering drugs may have the added benefit of lowering a person's risk of developing diabetes.
About the Author
Alison Stevens is an online author and maintains New Diabetes Care website to assist those living with diabetes and to discuss diabetes care and treatment.
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