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Type 2 Diabetes

At MaineHealth, we have experienced health care teams to work closely with you and your family to develop and provide the right care plan for testing, treating and managing your Type 2 diabetes.

What is Type 2 diabetes?

With Type 2 diabetes, your body does not efficiently use sugar as a source of energy because your body does not make or use insulin as it should. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose (sugar) get into the cells of your body. In Type 2 diabetes, the sugar builds up in your blood instead of getting into the cells where it is needed. The buildup can cause serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and infections and circulation problems that can lead to the loss of limbs.

Who is at risk of Type 2 diabetes?

Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include: older age, being overweight or obese,  family history of diabetes, sedentary lifestyle (not getting  enough exercise and physical activity) and certain ethnic groups. Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes, but now more children are getting Type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes symptoms can happen slowly over time. Some people do not notice symptoms. Type 2 diabetes symptoms can include:

  • Being very thirsty

  • Urinating a lot

  • Feeling very hungry

  • Feeling very tired

  • Losing weight without being on a diet

  • Having sores that take a long time to heal

  • Having blurry eyesight

Screening for Type 2 diabetes

If you have any of the above symptoms, call your doctor. Blood tests can show if you have Type 2 diabetes. Screening for Type 2 diabetes is recommended for people who are under age 45 and overweight. If you are age 45 or older, the American Diabetes Association recommends routine screening for Type 2 diabetes. 

Treating Type 2 diabetes

There is no cure for Type 2 diabetes. But people can control and manage Type 2 diabetes with:

  • Regular exercise and increased physical activity

  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight

  • Healthy eating

  • Managing stress

  • Diabetes medication and insulin therapy, as prescribed

  • Checking blood sugars

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