Diabetes (Type 2)
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and accounts for 90-95 percent of the cases diagnosed today. Historically diagnosed in adults, this form of diabetes is now also being diagnosed in children.
Although people with type 2 diabetes can often control their blood glucose concentrations through a combination of diet, exercise, and oral medication. Type 2 diabetes often progresses to the point where only insulin therapy will control blood glucose concentrations.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot use insulin effectively. This is called insulin resistance and the result is the same as with Type 1 diabetes—a build up of glucose in the blood.
Human and Social Costs in Texas
The American Diabetes Association estimates that 5.7 million Americans do not know they have Type 2 diabetes.
Another 57 million have a condition called pre-diabetes, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is asymptomatic in its earliest stages. Many cases remain undiagnosed for long periods of time, leading to a greater chance for complications such as heart attack, kidney disease, nerve damage, stroke, eyesight problems and infections.
Preventing Type II Diabetes. A recently completed 10-year follow-up study of participants in the landmark NIH Diabetes Prevention Program has found that early intensive lifestyle changes (diet and exercise, aided by training and behavior modification skills) reduced the incidence of type II (type 2) diabetes in high risk individuals by 34 percent. The benefits of the lifestyle change were especially pronounced in participants age 60 and older. Implementing this program in standard medical practice, now being discussed between NIH and CMS, could save millions of lives and hundreds of billions of health care dollars. (NIH Research Advances, Oct. 21, 2011)