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Type 2 Diabetes

A condition characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by either a lack of insulin or the body's inability to use insulin efficiently. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older adults but can appear in children, teens, and young people.

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(Source: NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

About Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is a metabolic disease that causes sugar to collect in the blood stream. The severity of diabetes can vary quite a bit: Some people only have to make minor changes to their lifestyle after they are diagnosed. Just losing a little weight and getting some more exercise may be enough for them to manage their diabetes.

Other people who have type 2 diabetes need more permanent therapy that involves taking tablets or insulin. It is then especially important to have a good understanding of the disease and know what they can do to stay healthy.

There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in childhood or at a young age. Type 1 diabetes is a result of a damaged pancreas that leaves the organ producing either very little insulin or none at all.

Type 2 diabetes is quite different. It used to be referred to as "adult-onset" diabetes because it is often diagnosed later in life. In type 2 diabetes, it becomes increasingly difficult for the body's cells to absorb and use the insulin. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes. About 90 % of people who have diabetes have type 2 diabetes... Read more about Type 2 Diabetes

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Treatment of obesity in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus - Guideline synopsis and supplementary search for and assessment of systematic reviews: Executive summary of final report V09-02, Version 1.0

The aim of the present investigation was to compile fundamental information about the treatment of obesity in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Benefit assessment of long-term blood glucose lowering to near-normal levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: Executive summary of final report A05-07, Version 1.0

The aim of the present investigation is the benefit assessment of measures with the goal of long-term adjustment of BG to near-normal levels compared to measures with no goal or a less intensive goal of BG adjustment in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in respect of patient-relevant outcomes.

Glimepiride therapy for type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Liu RM, Jia P, Tang Y.  Glimepiride therapy for type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2009; 9(10): 1094-1098

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Summaries for consumers

Interventions for improving adherence to treatment recommendations in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Twenty‐one studies assessing interventions to improve adherence to treatment recommendations, not to diet or exercise, in people with type 2 diabetes in different settings (outpatients, community, hospitals, primary care) were included. There were many outcomes evaluated in these studies and a variety of adherence measurement instruments was used. Nurse led interventions, home aids, diabetes education and pharmacy led interventions showed a very small effect on some outcomes including metabolic control. No data on mortality or morbidity, nor on quality of life could be found.

Fixed combination of dapagliflozin and metformin (Xigduo) for type 2 diabetes: Overview

The fixed combination of the active ingredients dapagliflozin and metformin (trade name: Xigduo) has been approved in Germany since January 2014 the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults with who cannot maintain adequate glycemic control through exercise and diet alone.

Canagliflozin (Invokana) for type 2 diabetes: Overview

Canagliflozin (trade name: Invokana) has been approved in Germany since November 2013 for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus when diet and exercise alone do not provide adequate control of blood sugar levels.

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Terms to know

Blood Glucose
The main sugar found in the blood and the body's main source of energy. Also called blood sugar.
Blood Glucose Montoring
Checking blood glucose levels by using a blood glucose meter or blood glucose test strips that change color when touched by a blood sample in order to manage diabetes.
Glucagon
A hormone produced by the pancreas that increases the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
Insulin
A hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. The beta cells of the pancreas make insulin. When the body cannot make enough insulin, insulin is taken by injection or other means.
Insulin Resistance
The body's inability to respond to and use the insulin it produces. Insulin resistance may be linked to obesity, hypertension, and high levels of fat in the blood.
Pancreas
An organ that makes insulin and enzymes for digestion. The pancreas is located behind the lower part of the stomach and is about the size of a hand.

More about Type 2 Diabetes

Photo of an adult

Also called: Type II diabetes, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Adult-onset diabetes

See Also: Type 1 Diabetes

Other terms to know: See all 6
Blood Glucose, Blood Glucose Montoring, Glucagon

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