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Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Fact-checked by Sejal Damor

Written by Nikita · Updated 27/11/2021

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

What is Diabetes Mellitus Type 2?

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is also known as type 2 diabetes and adult-onset diabetes. It usually starts showing the symptoms in middle and late adulthood and hence the name adult-onset diabetes. The disease affects kids and teens because of childhood obesity. It is a condition where your body counters the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a healthy glucose level in the body. Insulin is a hormone that helps to move glucose from the blood into your cells which is further used for energy.

Read More : Diabetes Mellitus Type 1: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 develops slowly. However, the signs and symptoms include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness in hands and feet
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive hunger
  • Frequent infections
  • Dark patches under armpits or chin
  • Itchy skin
  • Dry mouth

Causes of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 occurs when either the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or when your body becomes resistant to insulin. The exact cause of the disease is unknown, some factors that contribute to the disease include genes, broken beta cells, metabolic syndrome, being overweight, stress, and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Read More : Urinalysis (Urine Test): Why and How is it Done?

Risk factors of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2


You are likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are overweight or obese. However, being overweight is not the only factor to increase your chances of developing the condition.

Family history

The chances of you getting diabetes type 2 are more if your parent or sibling has the condition.


The risk of getting diabetes type 2 increases with age. Those with age 45 or above are more likely to develop the condition.


When you have high blood sugar levels but not high enough to be categorised as diabetes, and if left untreated, often advances to diabetes type 2.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome

Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome are likely to develop diabetes type 2. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition classified by irregular periods, insulin resistance, and obesity.

Inactive lifestyle

Your chances of developing diabetes type 2 increase if you have an inactive lifestyle. A lifestyle that includes a lot of walking and physical activity helps your cells respond in a good way to insulin.

Read More : Obesity: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is diagnosed using the following tests:

Glycated haemoglobin (A1c) test

The A1c test is basically an average of your blood sugar level for the past three months.

  • Normal blood sugar level – 5.7 per cent
  • Prediabetes – 5.8 to 6.4 per cent
  • Diabetes – 6.5 per cent or higher

Read More : HbA1c Test: Why and How is it Done?

Blood sugar test

Your doctor will test your blood and if you have a blood sugar level more than 125 (while fasting) and 200 (randomly) then it is an indication that you have type 2 diabetes.

Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)

For the test, you are made to drink something sweet to check how your body handles sugar. The blood glucose test is done before and two hours after consuming the drink. The drink is a saturated solution of sugar and water.

Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Managing type 2 diabetes is important. A1c levels are checked two to four times a year. Your doctor may ask you to maintain your blood glucose level goal depending on a number of factors including age, lifestyle, and family history.

Medications for type 2 diabetes

If you are not able to maintain your blood glucose level with the help of lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe you a few medications. Some of the medications include:

  • Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors
  • Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists
  • Meglitinides
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Sulfonylureas
  • Metformin

If your body is not able to make enough insulin, you may require insulin therapy. You can either take an injection once at night or multiple doses of insulin throughout the day.

Lifestyle Changes for Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

You may maintain a healthy blood sugar level with the help of some lifestyle changes.

Weight loss

Getting rid of those extra kilos might help. To begin with, you can control your weight by eating healthy foods and exercising.

Eat healthy

You can get in touch with a nutritionist and have a customised diet plan for you. You can focus on:

  • Consuming fewer calories
  • Avoid consumption of desserts
  • Avoid the consumption of refined carbohydrates
  • Consuming a lot of vegetables and fruits
  • Consuming more fibre-rich food
  • Avoid the consumption of processed food
  • Avoid the consumption of high-fat dairy products
  • Avoid the consumption of processed meats
  • Avoid consumption of foods high in saturated fats

Read More : 10 Warning Signs of being Overweight

Physical activity

Make walking, swimming, and yoga a part of your daily schedule. Choose activities that you would like to continue for a longer period of time. Make sure you consult your doctor before choosing any activity.

Monitor your blood sugar level

Check your blood sugar level after 12 hours of fasting and 2 hours post-lunch on a weekly basis.

Home remedies for Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

If you are looking for natural ways to balance your blood sugar levels, here are a few home remedies that might help.


Gymnema, a woody climbing shrub, helps to lower blood sugar levels. The herb has enzyme-inhibiting properties and helps to reduce fat accumulation and hence help with weight loss. If you are on any medication, make sure you consult with your doctor before consuming the herb.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is beneficial to treat a number of skin conditions. In addition, it also helps to reduce blood glucose levels. You can consume aloe vera as supplements or by adding it in your juice or smoothie.


Cinnamon is beneficial to lower glucose and cholesterol levels. The fragrant spice can add sweetness to your food and hence is an important ingredient in desserts. Consuming the herb may help you to improve your digestion, blood pressure level, antioxidant status, and body mass. You can consume cinnamon as a supplement, in teas, or in foods.


Fenugreek helps to lower cholesterol levels. You can consume fenugreek by including it as a herb in your food, taking it in a capsule form, or by consuming it directly with warm water.

Make sure you consult your doctor before consuming or using any herbs as there are chances it might interact with your medications.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



Fact-checked by

Sejal Damor

Written by Nikita · Updated 27/11/2021

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