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Type 2 diabetes

About 90 to 95 percent of Americans with diabetes have the type 2 form. In type 2 diabetes, the body cannot use its own insulin effectively, a condition known as insulin resistance. After several years, the body’s insulin output drops.

Type 2 diabetes is more often diagnosed in those with one of the following risk factors: older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestational diabetes, physical inactivity and one or more of the following ethnic backgrounds: African-American, Native American, Latino or Asian-American. About 80 percent of individuals with type 2 diabetes are overweight.

Type 2 diabetes usually doesn’t develop as rapidly as type 1. While some individuals have no symptoms, symptoms may include:

  • fatigue
  • frequent urination
  • increased thirst and/or hunger
  • weight loss
  • blurred vision
  • slow healing of wounds or sores

Children and adolescents (ages 6 to 19 years) are increasingly being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, especially among the following ethnic groups: African-American, Mexican-American and Pacific Islander. Obesity is another major risk factor for type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents. This diagnosis can create serious health problems throughout their lives, including high blood pressure, vision problems and kidney disease. If your child is overweight, it is important to make an appointment with a pediatrician to test for type 2 diabetes and to discuss healthy strategies for helping your child reach a normal weight.

Back to What is Diabetes?