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Your FAQs Answered: Can Type 2 Diabetes Change Over Time?

0 2 years ago

Type 2 diabetes makes up about 90 to 95 percent of all cases of diabetes. Some people don’t know they’re living with type 2 diabetes until their blood glucose, or sugar, levels are high enough to produce side effects or they find out through routine testing at a doctor’s appointment.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body can’t properly use insulin to move glucose out of the blood and into your cells.

If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it’s important to remember that it’s a progressive condition. This means that your cells may stop responding to insulin over time or your pancreas may stop producing insulin altogether. As diabetes progresses, you may need to change your treatment plan.

Read on for answers to four frequently asked questions about how type 2 diabetes can change over time.

Does type 2 diabetes change over time?

Yes, type 2 diabetes can change over time. A type 2 diabetes diagnosis means you have blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels that are too high.

Insulin is a hormone your pancreas makes. It helps move glucose from the blood into your cells, where it can be used for energy.

In type 2 diabetes, however, your body doesn’t respond properly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance.

If you have insulin resistance, your body isn’t able to effectively use insulin to move glucose into your cells. As a result, glucose builds up in your blood.

Type 2 diabetes typically starts with insulin resistance. You may or may not know you have type 2 diabetes while your body is dealing with insulin resistance.

In an attempt to get your cells to respond, the beta cells in your pancreas go into overdrive by making more insulin. But, as time goes on, your body can’t make enough insulin to keep up with the demand.

Eventually, the beta cells may become damaged and stop producing insulin altogether. This leads to a rise in your blood glucose levels.

Over time, high blood glucose can lead to complications, such as:

  • heart disease and stroke
  • kidney disease
  • nerve damage
  • eye problems
  • foot problems

It’s essential to know that type 2 diabetes a progressive condition that requires monitoring and occasional changes to your treatment plan in order to keep symptoms under control, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Some people can manage type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise, while others may need medications like metformin to manage blood glucose levels.

In some cases, this initial treatment plan is enough. However, it’s not uncommon to need to add or change medications or to make changes to your diet and exercise plan as time goes on. Some people with type 2 diabetes may also need to take insulin as part of their treatment plan.


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