7 Facts to Know About Type 2 Diabetes

book and magnifying glass 300x200 7 Facts to Know About Type 2 Diabetes PhotoType 2 diabetes (formerly adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes) is a chronic disease in which your body is unable to maintain a normal blood sugar (glucose) level. Abnormally high or low levels of glucose— which is your body’s “fuel” or energy source— is a potentially serious threat to your health.

If you have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, check out these facts to so you can start your journey toward living well.

  1. No one knows what causes it: The exact cause of type 2 diabetes is unknown, but being overweight, not exercising, genetics, race, and age all seem to contribute to its development. If you develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, you’re at a higher risk of developing type 2 as well.
  2. There is no cure: That’s the bad news. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be controlled by lifestyle changes like eating well, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight; or with diabetes medication and/or insulin.
  3. It can cause skin changes: Patches of dark, velvety skin can develop in body creases and folds, most often in the neck and armpits. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans, and treating the underlying condition can help to lessen symptoms.
  4. You’re not alone: According to the CDC’s National Diabetes Statistics Report, an estimated 9.3% of the population has diabetes. That’s roughly 29.1 million people!
  5. It might be linked to Alzheimer’s: Studies have shown that deposits of a hormone called amylin in the brain may share a link with type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. While there is no guarantee that you will develop additional conditions, it’s a good reason to focus on proper blood sugar regulation.
  6. If you smoke, quit: Smoking makes diabetes harder to manage. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about available options.
  7. You’re on the right track: Reading this list is the right first step. It’s important to take the time to educate yourself about this condition. Knowledge is power!

Learn more about type 2 diabetes, questions to ask your doctor, medication and treatment options by visiting our care guide.