Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and 90% to 95% of them have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is a disease in which sugar builds up in the blood. Historically, type 2 diabetes was called “adult onset” diabetes because it often developed in people over the age of 45. However, more and more children, teenagers, and younger adults have developed type 2 diabetes. [1]  Many people can and are learning how to better control their blood sugar levels with exercise, medication, and a low carb diet for diabetics.

Type 2 Diabetes Graphic

In a healthy person, insulin (a transporter molecule) is released from the pancreas to pick up sugar from the blood. Insulin then carries the sugar molecules out of the blood and delivers it to cells for needed energy production. Blood sugar levels are normal.

With type 2 diabetes, one of two things happen internally.

  • The first possibility is that your pancreas is not producing enough insulin to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
  • Secondly, your cells can resist the effects of insulin — the hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the movement of sugar out of the blood and into your cells for energy. In this situation, the pancreas produces more than enough insulin but the body’s muscle, fat, and liver cells eventually lose the ability to let insulin do its job. Insulin resistance leads to type 2 diabetes. This is why some people are said to have insulin resistant type 2 diabetes.

People with insulin resistant type 2 diabetes will often present with acanthosis nigrican[2] a condition in which a person develops dark patchy skin. These hyperpigmented roughened areas often develop in the folds of your skin like the neck, forehead, armpits, or groin area. Both scenarios means that your body does not produce and/or use insulin well enough to regulate blood glucose levels.

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