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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Prevention & Expectations
      Category : Health Centers > Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Alternate Names : Noninsulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, Adult-Onset Diabetes Mellitus, NIDDM

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

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 age 40.
  • Diabetic nephropathy, 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.
  • Atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It can also cause poor circulation in the legs and feet.
  • Diabetic neuropathy, 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, diarrhea, erectile dysfunction, a rapid heartbeat, and low blood pressure.
  • Coma 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, strokes, 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.

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    Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Diagnosis & Tests


    Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Treatment & Monitoring

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 09/30/02

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