Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Diabetes, Endocrine

Type 2 Diabetes (5603)

Type 2 Diabetes (5603) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Diabetes, Endocrine


Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes means that your body
cannot use or store glucose (sugar) as it
should. You may have enough insulin, but it
does not work as it should to open cell walls
for glucose to enter. This is called insulin
resistance. It is the main problem of type 2
diabetes. Glucose cannot enter the cells
very well and blood glucose levels rise.
Your pancreas makes insulin. When blood
glucose levels rise, the body responds by
making extra insulin to keep blood glucose
levels normal. Your pancreas works over
time to make enough insulin. After years of
your pancreas working extra hard, it gets
tired and can no longer keep up. Insulin
supply goes down and blood glucose levels
go up. This is when type 2 diabetes is

Food and Insulin
Most of the food you eat turns into glucose and
enters the blood. Some foods cause your blood
sugar to rise faster after you eat. Any food that has
sugar in it will cause your blood sugar to rise the
fastest. The rise in blood sugar after a meal
signals the pancreas to release the hormone,
insulin. Insulin is needed to move glucose into
the cells. It opens the cell walls and allows
glucose to enter. Once inside the cells, glucose is
burned for energy. Glucose is the fuel that your
body needs to function well.

Symptoms of High Blood Glucose
You may not have any symptoms. The symptoms
of type 2 diabetes come on slowly, over months
and even years. Symptoms could include:
 Frequent urination
 Feeling tired
 Thirst
 Dry or itchy skin
 Frequent infections
 Slow healing
 Numbness or tingling in toes or fingers
 Blurred vision

 A1C test result greater than or equal to
 Fasting blood glucose greater than or
equal to 126 mg/dL (“fasting means
nothing to eat for at least 8 hours before
 Symptoms of diabetes and blood
glucose of 200 mg/dL or higher

Risk Factors
 Over 40 years old
 Overweight
 Family history of type 2 diabetes
 High blood pressure
 High cholesterol
 History of diabetes during pregnancy
 Given birth to a baby weighing over
9 pounds
 African American, Hispanic
American, or Native American

Diet and exercise are keys to improving
blood glucose control. If healthy lifestyle
changes are not enough, you may need
medicines to help control your blood sugar.
This could include pills, or medicines that
you inject like insulin. Knowing about
diabetes and how it’s treated will help you
stay healthy.
Things you need to learn:
 How to test your blood sugar
 How to eat healthy
 How to balance meals, medicines
and exercise
 How to take medicines if needed

Learning about how to live with diabetes
will help you keep your blood sugar levels
controlled and stay healthy in the future.
Your health care team will help screen for
Diabetes Care is a Team Effort
YOU are the most important person on the
team because diabetes care and blood
glucose control is really up to you! Your
doctor, nurse educator and dietitian will help
you learn about taking care of yourself.
Other team members will be your dentist,
eye doctor and maybe even a foot doctor, as
well as a counselor, and someone to help
you with an exercise plan. Don’t forget to
include family members and friends who
can support you.

ADA. (2015). 1. Strategies for Improving Care. Diabetes Care, 38(Supplement 1), S5-S7.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5603