Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol, your risk of type 2 diabetes is higher. Triglycerides are another type of fat carried in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Your doctor can let you know what your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are.
A study by Ahlqvist et al suggested that type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus can actually be divided into five separate types, or clusters, of diabetes. Using six variables to analyze almost 15,000 patients in Sweden and Finland, the investigators came up with the following clusters, the first of which corresponds to type 1 diabetes and the rest of which are subtypes of type 2 diabetes [35, 36] :
People with diabetes are at greater risk for kidney disease over time. A nephrologist is a doctor that specializes in the treatment of kidney disease. Your primary care doctor can do the yearly test recommended to identify kidney disease as soon as possible, but they may refer you to a nephrologist as needed. The nephrologist can help you manage kidney disease. They can also administer dialysis, treatment that is required when your kidneys aren’t functioning properly.
Early, intensive, multifactorial (blood pressure, cholesterol) management in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus was associated with a small, nonsignificant reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular disease events and death in a multinational European study. [73] The 3057 patients in this study had diabetes detected by screening and were randomized to receive either standard diabetes care or intensive management of hyperglycemia (target HbA1c < 7.0%), blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

Diabetes mellitus, and particularly type 2 diabetes mellitus, is the leading contributor to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States. [84] According to the CDC, diabetes accounts for 44% of new cases of ESRD. [83] In 2008, 48,374 people with diabetes in the United States and Puerto Rico began renal replacement therapy, and 202,290 people with diabetes were on dialysis or had received a kidney transplant. [84]
Dietary factors also influence the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks in excess is associated with an increased risk.[48][49] The type of fats in the diet is also important, with saturated fat and trans fats increasing the risk and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat decreasing the risk.[47] Eating lots of white rice, and other starches, also may increase the risk of diabetes.[50] A lack of physical activity is believed to cause 7% of cases.[51]
Metformin is generally recommended as a first line treatment for type 2 diabetes, as there is good evidence that it decreases mortality.[7] It works by decreasing the liver's production of glucose.[90] Several other groups of drugs, mostly given by mouth, may also decrease blood sugar in type II DM. These include agents that increase insulin release, agents that decrease absorption of sugar from the intestines, agents that make the body more sensitive to insulin, and agents that increase the excretion of glucose in the urine.[90] When insulin is used in type 2 diabetes, a long-acting formulation is usually added initially, while continuing oral medications.[7] Doses of insulin are then increased to effect.[7][91]

Insulin is released into the blood by beta cells (β-cells), found in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, in response to rising levels of blood glucose, typically after eating. Insulin is used by about two-thirds of the body's cells to absorb glucose from the blood for use as fuel, for conversion to other needed molecules, or for storage. Lower glucose levels result in decreased insulin release from the beta cells and in the breakdown of glycogen to glucose. This process is mainly controlled by the hormone glucagon, which acts in the opposite manner to insulin.[63]

The prognosis in people with type 2 diabetes varies. It depends on how well an individual modifies his or her risk of complications. Heart attack, stroke and kidney disease can result in premature death. Disability due to blindness, amputation, heart disease, stroke and nerve damage may occur. Some people with type 2 diabetes become dependent on dialysis treatments because of kidney failure.

Differences between the patient populations in these studies and the UKPDS may account for some of the differences in outcome. The patients in these 3 studies had established diabetes and had a prior cardiovascular disease event or were at high risk for a cardiovascular disease event, whereas patients in the UKPDS study were younger, with new-onset diabetes and low rates of cardiovascular disease.


Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable by staying a normal weight, exercising regularly, and eating properly.[1] Treatment involves exercise and dietary changes.[1] If blood sugar levels are not adequately lowered, the medication metformin is typically recommended.[7][14] Many people may eventually also require insulin injections.[9] In those on insulin, routinely checking blood sugar levels is advised; however, this may not be needed in those taking pills.[15] Bariatric surgery often improves diabetes in those who are obese.[8][16]
The symptoms may relate to fluid loss and polyuria, but the course may also be insidious. Diabetic animals are more prone to infections. The long-term complications recognized in humans are much rarer in animals. The principles of treatment (weight loss, oral antidiabetics, subcutaneous insulin) and management of emergencies (e.g. ketoacidosis) are similar to those in humans.[126]
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