Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes (90% of cases). It usually occurs in adulthood, in individuals 40 years and older. Unfortunately, for several years, it has begun appearing in younger and younger age groups. In some populations at risk, it may even occur in childhood.
Some people with type 2 diabetes have pancreatic cells that do not produce enough insulin. In others, the insulin they produce does not do its job properly, creating what is known as insulin resistance. In both cases, the result is an increase in blood glucose (sugar) levels, since the body is not able to effectively use the glucose as an energy source.
There are numerous causes of type 2 diabetes and, in many cases, a combination of several factors triggers the onset of the disease. A few examples:
- Gender: men are more vulnerable than women;
- Age: the risk increases with age;
- Being overweight;
- A large waist circumference, indicating fat around the abdominal area;
- Amount of physical activity;
- Dietary habits;
- High blood pressure;
- Abnormally high blood sugar levels in the past;
- For women, having given birth to a baby weighing more than 4.1 kg (9 lbs.);
- Ethnicity: Aboriginals, Africans, Asians, Latin-Americans, etc.
Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes
Only a laboratory blood test can determine the state of your health with certainty. The test measures the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood and/or the level of glycated hemoglobin (A1C) in the blood.
Here are the suggested reference values for a diagnosis by Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes in Canada:
|Fasting blood glucose level||Between 6.1and 6.9 mmol/L (impaired fasting blood glucose)||7.0 mmol/L or higher|
|A1C||Between 6.0% and 6.4%||A1C: 6.5% or higher|
|Blood glucose level, 2 hours after drinking a liquid containing 75 g of glucose||Between 7.8 and 11.0 mmol/L (impaired glucose tolerance)||11.1 mmol/L or higher|
|Blood glucose level, at any time of day||—||11.1 mmol/L or higher, with classic symptoms|
Sometimes, a second blood test is necessary to confirm the initial results.
Good news! By changing your lifestyle habits, you can reduce your risk of developping diabetes or delay its appearance !
Take the test to learn your risk of developing diabetes
Research and writing: Team of Diabetes Quebec Health Professionals.
©All rights reserved Diabetes Quebec
Ekoe J, Goldenberg R, Katz P. Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada: Screening for Diabetes in Adults. Can J Diabetes 2018;42(Suppl 1):S16-S19.