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Type II or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM)

Type II or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM)

NIDDM (also called maturity-onset diabetes) usually occurs in people over 30 years. Often "runs in the family". The onset of NIDDM can be related to lifestyle (overweight, inactivity, certain drugs, excess alcohol). Obesity is a major risk factor for this type of diabetes and, unfortunately, increasingly more Americans--including children--are too sedentary and too fat.  About 90% of individuals who have diabetes suffer from type 2 diabetes.

People with diabetes II either don't produce enough insulin to control glucose levels or their cells simply do not respond to the insulin.  If the pancreas produces some insulin, the production level is often not sufficient to lower the blood glucose level to normal. The main problem is that for some reason, insulin does not work properly after it reaches the body's cells. This is called "insulin resistance".

Insulin resistance can happen if you are overweight.  This can happen if you are overweight because  fat "blocks" the insulin from moving the glucose into the body cells.

Non-insulin dependent diabetes treatment centers mainly around diet and regular exercise.

About 15 million Americans have type 2 Diabetes.

Risk factors for developing type 2 Diabetes

  • age (over 45 years old)
  • obesity (the number of people with diabetes in an unhealthy weight range is double that found in the population without diabetes)
  • gave birth to a large baby (over 4.0 kg/9 lbs.)
  • a previous diagnosis of impaired glucose tolerance

What are the most common symptoms of Diabetes type II?

The most common symptoms of diabetes type 2 for adults are: excessive thirst, increased urination, fatigue, and blurred vision. Children may experience symptoms that differ from the ones listed above.

Personal story about living with diabetes type 2

Medications for Diabetes II

There are medications available that can control glucose levels. However, many doctors prescribe lifestyle changes as the first course of action, including:

  • Diet: It is important to limit your fat intake as well as cholesterol.
  • Weight control: For people with Type 2 diabetes, minor weight loss can improve your blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, a side effect of the Type 2 diabetes medications is weight gain.
  • Exercise: Research has shown that regular moderate exercise, such as taking a brisk walk, improves insulin sensitivity.

Diabetes and Heart Disease

Diabetes increases the risk for hardening of the arteries, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. This occurs because diabetes changes body chemistry. As a result, blood may clot too easily, blood vessels may narrow, and fat may build up in the blood vessels faster. Symptoms include poor circulation, frequent infections, itchy skin, legs that become shiny and lose their hair, calves that hurt during exercise (beyond the expected muscle ache caused by exertion). 

Men have an added symptom: trouble having an erection. High blood pressure and cholesterol levels signals that a person has a higher risk for heart or blood vessel damage.


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