Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (T2D), formerly known as adult-onset diabetes, is a form of diabetes that is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin.[6] Common symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss.[3] Symptoms may also include increased hunger, feeling tired, and sores that do not heal.[3] Often symptoms come on slowly.[6] Long-term complications from high blood sugar include heart disease, strokes, diabetic retinopathy which can result in blindness, kidney failure, and poor blood flow in the limbs which may lead to amputations.[1] The sudden onset of hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state may occur; however, ketoacidosis is uncommon.[4][5]

Type 2 diabetes
Other namesDiabetes mellitus type 2;
adult-onset diabetes;[1]
noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM)
Universal blue circle symbol for diabetes[2]
SymptomsIncreased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, increased hunger[3]
ComplicationsHyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, diabetic ketoacidosis, heart disease, strokes, diabetic retinopathy, kidney failure, amputations[1][4][5]
Usual onsetMiddle or older age[6]
DurationLong term[6]
CausesObesity, lack of exercise, genetics[1][6]
Diagnostic methodBlood test[3]
PreventionMaintaining normal weight, exercising, eating properly[1]
TreatmentDietary changes, metformin, insulin, bariatric surgery[1][7][8][9]
Prognosis10 year shorter life expectancy[10]
Frequency392 million (2015)[11]

Type 2 diabetes primarily occurs as a result of obesity and lack of exercise.[1] Some people are more genetically at risk than others.[6]

Type 2 diabetes makes up about 90% of cases of diabetes, with the other 10% due primarily to type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes.[1] In type 1 diabetes there is a lower total level of insulin to control blood glucose, due to an autoimmune induced loss of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.[12][13] Diagnosis of diabetes is by blood tests such as fasting plasma glucose, oral glucose tolerance test, or glycated hemoglobin (A1C).[3]

Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable by staying a normal weight, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet (high in fruits and vegetables and low in sugar and saturated fats).[1] Treatment involves exercise and dietary changes.[1] If blood sugar levels are not adequately lowered, the medication metformin is typically recommended.[7][14] Many people may eventually also require insulin injections.[9] In those on insulin, routinely checking blood sugar levels is advised; however, this may not be needed in those taking pills.[15] Bariatric surgery often improves diabetes in those who are obese.[8][16]

Rates of type 2 diabetes have increased markedly since 1960 in parallel with obesity.[17] As of 2015 there were approximately 392 million people diagnosed with the disease compared to around 30 million in 1985.[11][18] Typically it begins in middle or older age,[6] although rates of type 2 diabetes are increasing in young people.[19][20] Type 2 diabetes is associated with a ten-year-shorter life expectancy.[10] Diabetes was one of the first diseases ever described, dating back to an Egyptian manuscript from c.1500 BCE.[21] The importance of insulin in the disease was determined in the 1920s.[22]