Out of the different types of diabetes mellitus, the diabetes mellitus type 2 is the less dangerous one. It is also the more common type, constituting about 80 to 90% of the total diabetes cases in the world. Diabetes mellitus type 2 is easier to cure than the type 1 and another plus point is that diabetes mellitus type 2 patients respond much better to oral medication than diabetes mellitus type 1.
What is Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is popularly known as non insulin-dependent diabetes or adult onset diabetes. This is a condition in which the blood is incapable to utilize glucose efficiently, due to which its amount builds up in the blood. The urine of the person contains a large amount of glucose, which is the characteristic symptom of diabetes mellitus.
Unlike diabetes mellitus type 1, the type 2 develops quite gradually and is very difficult to diagnose in its earlier stages. It may or may not show the typical diabetic symptoms, which could quite easily be confused for some other ailment.
Causes of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is not an autoimmune disease like the type 1. In this type of diabetes mellitus, the body is not attacking itself. Diabetes mellitus type 2 is caused due to malfunctioning of the pancreas, which is incapable of producing the required volume of insulin. The pancreas does produce some insulin, but it is insufficient to meet the total requirements of the body in utilizing glucose.
Another important cause of diabetes mellitus type 2 is not related to the pancreas at all. In some persons, the cells of the muscles and the tissues may become resistant to insulin, due to which they will not be able to assimilate glucose properly. In both of the above cases, the glucose remains in the blood and gives rise to diabetes mellitus type 2.
Obesity is a prime precipitating factor for the disease. In people who are overweight, the sensitivity of the receptor cells to insulin decreases. This leads to glucose retention, and hence, diabetes mellitus type 2.
The Onset of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
Currently, the etiology, i.e. origin of diabetes mellitus type 2 is not known. It is not known how this form of diabetes takes root. Some factors are strongly indicated, such as genetic defects, resistance to drugs, trauma and surgery and other patho-physiological problems. But, scientists classify such diabetes mellitus cases as secondary diabetes mellitus and are yet unable to pinpoint a particular source of origin of diabetes mellitus type 2.
Special Features of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
There are some special features of diabetes mellitus type 2 which makes it a unique form of the disease. The following are the more obvious distinguishing features of the disease:-
- Diabetes mellitus type 2 is found in the adult population, especially those who have excess weight problems.
- Diabetes mellitus type 2 is not due to a total absence of insulin; on the other hand, it occurs because the pancreas is not able to utilize the insulin. So, it is a functional disorder rather than a deficiency.
- Since the pancreas is capable of producing insulin, it is easier to increase its concentration in the body. Consequently, diabetes mellitus type 2 is easier to treat and it responds well to oral medication.
- Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a hereditary problem. If there is a close relative having the diseases, then the vulnerability is high. The vulnerability is higher with close relatives and risk decreases as the relations become more and more distant.
The Prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is the commonest form of diabetes affecting the human population. If a person above the age of 20 years develops diabetes mellitus, then there are 90 to 95% chances that it is a case of diabetes mellitus type 2.
Non-insulin deficient diabetes is found to occur more in overweight people. Almost all patients of diabetes mellitus type 2 have problems of obesity. It is also found that diabetes mellitus type 2 is more common with people who have eating problems. People who eat at irregular times, eat unhygienic food or junk food, eat voraciously, etc. have much higher chances of getting this type of diabetes. This is very much compounded if the person is also leading a sedentary lifestyle. People who lead an active life will never become victims of diabetes mellitus type 2.
Conventional Treatment Methods of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
The treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2 includes the injections of insulin as well as the use of antibiotics.
The first step is to chalk out a weight loss and a glucose-level monitoring program. A strict dietary regimen is developed which intends to bring down the glucose level at an optimal level and then to maintain it at that point. Weight loss is necessary to reduce obesity and to stimulate the cells of the muscles and tissues to utilize insulin in a better way.
Antibiotics commonly prescribed for patients of diabetes mellitus type 2 are sulfonylureas, biguanides, thiazolidinediones, meglitinides and a-glucosidase inhibitors. Insulin therapy is used only if the antibiotics fail to show any results.
But the most important aspect in the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2 is to enrich the overall quality of the person’s life. Several changes in lifestyle are necessary, such as leading an active life, eating a healthy diet and keeping oneself free of mental stress.