Ninety per cent of Canadians with diabetes are living with type 2 diabetes. It is a disease in which your body cannot make enough insulin, or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body to control the level of sugar in your blood.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by several different risk factors. Some of these factors can be controlled or managed (like high blood pressure or smoking) while other factors (like having a higher-risk ethnic background) can't be controlled.
The most common signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include the following:
- unusual thirst
- frequent urination
- weight change (gain or loss)
- extreme fatigue or lack of energy
- blurred vision
- frequent or recurring infections
- cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
- tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- trouble getting or maintaining an erection
- diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA)
However, some people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may not notice any symptoms.
If you suspect that you or a loved one may have type 2 diabetes, contact a medical professional. If left unmanaged, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications. Take charge of your health by seeking help immediately.
Take the CANRISK test
You can have type 2 diabetes without any obvious warning signs or symptoms. If you think you could be at risk, take the test today—it takes two minutes or less.
Diagnosing type 2 diabetes
Your doctor can test for diabetes one of four ways and they may do a repeat test to confirm the result. In Canada the amount of sugar in your blood is measured in mmol/L.
Fasting blood glucose test
For this test, you can't eat or drink anything except water for at least eight hours beforehand. A test result of 7.0 mmol/L or greater in your blood indicates diabetes.
Random blood glucose test
This test may be done at any time, regardless of when you last ate. A test result of 11.1 mmol/L or greater, plus symptoms of diabetes, indicates diabetes.
This test may be done at any time, regardless of when you last ate. A test result of 6.5 % or greater (in adults) and in the absence of factors that affect the accuracy of the A1C indicates diabetes.
Oral glucose tolerance test
You'll be given a special sweetened drink prior to this blood test. A test result of 11.1 mmol/L or greater taken two hours after having the sweet drink indicates diabetes.
A second test must be done in all cases (except if you have acute signs and symptoms). Once diabetes has been diagnosed, ask your doctor to refer you for diabetes education. Diabetes Canada also has many resources to help you understand diabetes better and live a long and healthy life. Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and managing the disease is not easy. But it is important to know that you can live a long and healthy life by taking a number of steps including keeping your blood sugar levels in target range.
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