Diabetes causes blood glucose levels to be above normal. People with diabetes have problems converting food to energy. After food is eaten, it is broken down into a sugar called glucose. Glucose is then carried by the blood to cells throughout the body. The hormone insulin, made in the pancreas, helps the body change blood glucose into energy. People with diabetes, however, either no longer make insulin, or their insulin doesn’t work properly, or both.
Diabetes mellitus type 2 or type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), or adult-onset diabetes) is a disorder that is characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. While it is often initially managed by increasing exercise and dietary modification, medications are typically needed as the disease progresses. There are an estimated 23.6 million people in the U.S. (7.8% of the population) with diabetes with 17.9 million being diagnosed, 90% of whom are type 2. With prevalence rates doubling between 1990 and 2005, CDC has characterized the increase as an epidemic.
Traditionally considered a disease of adults, type 2 diabetes is increasingly diagnosed in children in parallel to rising obesity rates due to alterations in dietary patterns as well as in life styles during childhood.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, there is very little tendency toward ketoacidosis in type 2 diabetes, though it is not unknown. One effect that can occur is nonketonic hyperglycemia which also is quite dangerous, though it must be treated very differently. Complex and multifactorial metabolic changes very often lead to damage and function impairment of many organs, most importantly the cardiovascular system in both types. This leads to substantially increased morbidity and mortality in both type 1 and type 2 patients, but the two have quite different origins and treatments despite the similarity in complications.
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