Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Alternate Names : Noninsulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, Adult-Onset Diabetes Mellitus, NIDDM
What can be done to prevent the disease?
The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes is through modest lifestyle changes. These
changes can be helpful to almost any person's health, but if a person has been diagnosed with
prediabetes, lifestyle changes are essential. The key is to:
maintain a healthy body weight
eat a healthy diet for diabetes
exercise 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week
The Disease Prevention Program, a federally funded study, demonstrated the effect of
lifestyle changes on a person's risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Participants in the study exercised
moderately for 150 minutes a week. Most of them chose to walk briskly for 30 minutes, 5 days a
week. They also ate a reduced-fat diet with large amounts of vegetables. The weight loss goal was 7%,
or 14 pounds for a person weighing 200 pounds. With these changes, the individuals lowered their
risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.
What are the long-term effects of the disease?
Over time, high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels, nerves, and
other internal structures. Long-term effects of diabetes may include:
Retinopathy, a disease in the retina of the eye that can cause blindness.
Diabetes is the number one cause of blindness in adults who are younger than
which is a disease of the kidneys. This disease can progress to a form of kidney
failure known as chronic renal failure.
Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic renal failure.
also known as hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis can lead to
It can also cause poor circulation in the legs and feet.
which means damage to nerves in the arms and legs. This damage can cause numbness and pain in
the hands and feet. When combined with poor circulation, neuropathy can result in
diabetic foot ulcers
and leg infections that may require amputation.
Autonomic neuropathy, which is a disorder that affects certain nerves. It
may cause problems with digestion,
erectile dysfunction, a rapid heartbeat,
and low blood pressure.
or death may occur as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis.
In addition, smoking
greatly increases the risk of getting many of these long-term effects. People with
diabetes who smoke are a much higher risk for heart attacks,
infections, and problems with circulation.
What are the risks to others?
Type 2 diabetes is not catching and poses no risk to others. It does tend to
run in families.