There's no cure for type 2 diabetes, but losing weight, eating well and exercising can help you manage the disease. If diet and exercise aren't enough to manage your blood sugar, you may also need diabetes medications or insulin therapy.
Factors that may increase your risk
of type 2 diabetes include:
Weight. Being overweight or obese is a main risk.
Fat distribution. Storing fat mainly in your abdomen — rather than your hips and thighs — indicates a greater risk. Your risk of type 2 diabetes rises if you're a man with a waist circumference above 40 inches (101.6 centimeters) or a woman with a measurement above 35 inches (88.9
Inactivity. The less active you are, the greater your risk. Physical activity helps control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your
cells more sensitive to insulin.
Blood lipid levels. An increased risk is associated with low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the "good" cholesterol —
and high levels of triglycerides.
Age. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases as you get older, especially after age
Potential complications of diabetes and frequent comorbidities include:
Heart and blood vessel disease. Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood
pressure and narrowing of blood vessels (atherosclerosis).
Nerve damage (neuropathy) in limbs.
High blood sugar over time can damage or destroy nerves, resulting in tingling, numbness, burning, pain or eventual loss of feeling that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward.
Other nerve damage. Damage to nerves of the heart can contribute to irregular heart rhythms. Nerve damage in the digestive system can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, nerve damage may cause erectile dysfunction.
Kidney disease. Diabetes may lead to chronic kidney disease or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Hearing impairment. Hearing problems are more common in people with diabetes.
Sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is common in people living with type 2 diabetes. Obesity may be the main contributing factor to both conditions. It's not clear whether treating sleep apnea improves blood sugar control.
Dementia. Type 2 diabetes seems to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other disorders that cause dementia. Poor control of blood sugar levels is linked to more-rapid decline in memory and other