Type 2 Diabetes
What is Type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes causes your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. On top of that, your body isn’t able to produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes. Although most people develop it in adulthood, it’s occurring more frequently in children and young adults, in recent years.
Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include:
- Age of 45 or older
- Family history, such as a parent or sibling with diabetes
- Lack of physical activity
- Polycystic ovary disease in women
- High cholesterol
The diabetes team at Henry Ford is your partner throughout the entire treatment and management process. You’ll get the expert treatment you need.
Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, getting treatment early is key to maintaining your health and preventing serious complications. See your physician for diabetes testing if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Abnormal thirst and hunger
- Blurred vision
- Cuts and bruises that heal very slowly
- Extreme fatigue
- Frequent urination
- Tingling, pain or numbness in the hands or feet
Type 2 diabetes: possible complications
It’s important to get the proper treatment to manage type 2 diabetes, so that you can avoid the risk of more serious complications.
Stroke, high blood pressure, eye damage, and nerve damage in the legs and feet are some of the complications that can result from type 2 diabetes. Being aware of these complications is the first step in preventing them.
Diabetes complications affecting the feet
Type 2 diabetes can cause mild to severe problems in your feet and lower legs. Your physician can monitor your overall health and the condition of your feet with regular visits.
In addition to regular screenings with your diabetes care team, check your feet daily for any of these symptoms:
- Changes in skin color
- Corns or calluses that bleed
- Dry, cracked skin, especially around the heel
- Increased skin temperature
- Ingrown and fungal toenails
- Open sores on the feet that heal slowly
- Pain or swelling in your feet or ankles
Find out more about foot screenings that you may need if you have type 2 diabetes.
Complications affecting the eyes
If you have type 2 diabetes, you have an increased risk for developing eye conditions, including:
- Cataracts (clouded lenses in your eyes)
- Decreased sensitivity of the cornea (clear layer covering the front of your eye)
- Diabetic macular edema (swelling of the retina, the layer at the back of the eye that receives images through the lens)
- Diabetic retinopathy (damaged blood vessels in the retina)
- Glaucoma (increased pressure and fluid in the eye, which damages the optic nerve)
- Acquired paralytic strabismus (crossed eyes caused by poor blood flow to the eye muscles)
Early detection is critical in preventing vision loss and blindness in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s extremely important to visit your ophthalmologist once a year for a comprehensive eye exam.
Learn more about how we detect diabetes and its complications as early as possible with advanced screenings and diagnosis techniques and tools.
Treatments for Type 2 diabetes
Our team of diabetes specialists, including physicians, nurse practitioners, Certified Diabetes Educators, registered nurses and registered dietitians, work together to develop a customized treatment plan for your specific needs.
- Plans an insulin program that fits your busy lifestyle
- Helps you plan for times when you may need to modify your insulin medication
- Provides the most advanced therapies and devices for proper diabetes management
- Teaches you how different foods and nutrition choices affect glucose levels
Your primary care doctor can also refer you to one of our Diabetes Care Centers to learn about diabetes self-management and how lifestyle changes can improve your condition.