Type 2 Diabetes: Causes, Complications, and Treatments


Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic disease. It affects the way the body uses sugar, which can, in turn, affect many other bodily functions as well. This is because sugar is one of the main sources of fuel for the body. In this article, we will explore the various complications that arise due to Type 2 Diabetes, the treatments of the disease, and how patients can manage it better. We will also go over a short overview of the causes and signs of diabetes so that patients can be more vigilant.

Type 2 Diabetes

What are the Causes of Type 2 Diabetes?

When the patient develops diabetes, the body is unable to process sugar. This can be because the body develops a resistance towards insulin (the hormone responsible for regulating sugar in the bloodstream) or is producing too much insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes

What are the Signs of Type 2 Diabetes?

The following symptoms occur most commonly in Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Frequent thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Fatigue
  • Increased hunger
  • Slow healing wounds and sores
  • Darkened patches of skin
  • Blurred vision

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately.

What are the Complications that can Arise Due to Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can lead to short-term and long-term complications that can have dire consequences on your health.

Short-Term Complications:

1. Hypoglycaemia

Hypoglycaemia means low blood sugar. Patients who take insulin or are on sulfonylurea drugs, are a high risk of developing hypoglycaemia. This is because if one reduces meal portions drastically while taking these drugs, blood sugar can drop significantly. A few symptoms of hypoglycaemia include sweating, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, numb fingers and toes, confusion, sleepiness, slurred speech, and headaches.

2. Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome (HHNS)

HHNS is a condition in which the blood sugar level is extremely high. If not monitored, this can be fatal. People who are sick or old are at a high risk of developing HHNS.

While being sick, the blood glucose levels can climb. The body tries to combat this through frequent urination. This contributes to dehydration, which patients do not always pay attention to when they have a fever. As a result, the lack of rehydration allows the glucose levels to climb higher. Ultimately, this leads to extremely high levels of glucose, and can cause the patient to slip into a coma.

Long-Term Complications:

1. Microvascular problems

Small blood vessels in the body can acquire long-term damage with regular, high-levels of glucose. This damage prevents them from transporting blood normally. As a result, the body can suffer from many complications, particularly in the kidneys, eyes, and nerves.

  • Kidneys: Improper blood flow to the kidneys can mean improper waste disposal. Kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy), when left untreated for a long time, can lead to kidney failure. The patient may have to undergo dialysis or a transplant as a result.
  • Eyes: High blood glucose levels can affect the way your eyes function. They can lead to the development of cataract and retinopathy. Both, if left untreated for too long, can lead to blindness.
  • Nerves: When high glucose levels affect the nerves, the condition is called diabetic nephropathy (same as the case with kidneys). Nerve damage can range from focal, proximal, autonomic, to peripheral. Nerve damage can present itself in the form of loss of sensation in the feet, tingling, pain, and weakness. An extremely serious complication of diabetic nephropathy in the feet is the development of sores that get infected over time. The infection can spread and lead to foot amputation.

2. Macrovascular Problems

Large blood vessels in the body can acquire long-term damage as well. High glucose levels can lead to the development of plaque in this vessels. As a result, patients can develop:

To prevent this, diabetes patients must take a heart-healthy diet. They should also get their cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis.

Diabetes Treatments:

Diabetes is a disease with no cure. Treatments focus on the management for this disease. The following are a few ways that patients can manage diabetes:

1. Monitoring the Diet:

Diabetics must be extremely careful with their diet. They must ensure their meals include a variety of different foods. These can include fruits, vegetables, and high-starch items like pasta. High protein food items like fish, meat, nuts, beans, and pulses are also good options. Patients need to limit their salt and sugar intake. Fatty foods should also be avoided as the aim is to monitor the weight, rather than add to it.

2. Exercising:

Aim to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise in a single week. Activities such as riding a bicycle, swimming, walking, and running can benefit you greatly. Many diabetics prefer yoga as it is a relaxing form of exercise that helps them reduce their stress levels.

3. Getting Bariatric Surgery:

Patients suffering from obesity may be recommended bariatric surgery. This is particularly relevant for patients with a BMI of over 35. It is a successful form of treatment as it brings down the blood sugar levels by 55-95% in patients.

4. Taking Diabetes Medications:

Some patients must take medications to control their diabetes. Some of these medications improve the body’s overall sensitivity to insulin. Others help the body produce more insulin. The kind of medications you may be prescribed depends on your medical history.

5. Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels:

All diabetics must monitor their blood sugar levels on a regular basis. This can help them understand whether certain diets are working for them. Buying an at-home machine can be the most helpful in this case as it allows patients to check their blood sugar at their convenience. Hence, the scope for talking yourself out of an appointment because you are busy or tired is negated completely!


Diabetes is an extremely serious disease that can lead to a host of complications. The only way to prevent these complications from arising is to monitor the disease and manage your lifestyle. The best thing you can do for yourself is to alter your diet and carve out time for some daily exercise!

News on Type 2 Diabetes:

Women Having Migraine Are Less Prone to Type 2 Diabetes, Says Study

-26th Dec 2018

According to a recent study, women who are suffering from migraine have low risks of being hit by type 2 diabetes. A migraine can be defined as bursting pain in several regions of your head such as the forehead, one-sided headache and at the back of your head. Although it is a known fact that migraine and type 2 diabetes are similar to each other, the study proved that there is no link between the two.

This study had employed more than 70,000 women who were residing in France and basically women who were a part of the health insurance scheme. This year had been conducted between 1990 to 2014 and concluded that women suffering from a migraine were less prone towards developing type 2 diabetes.

On the contrary, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that migraine usually affects every 1 in 7 adults around the world, but women were three times more prone to likely have it than men. This disease is said to affect individuals between the age group of 35 to 45 years.

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