Diabetes Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. If you have this illness, your body does not make enough insulin or does not correctly use the insulin it does make. When you eat, your body breaks down all sugars and starches into glucose. Your body needs insulin to use glucose for energy. The insulin takes the glucose from your blood into your cells. If you do not have enough insulin, the glucose or sugar stays in your blood instead of going into your cells. This causes your blood sugar levels to be too high. Over time, this can damage your heart, nerves, eyes, and other organs.


Understanding Diabetes: Its causes, symptoms, tests and treatments

Learn about diabetes from Dr. Geeti Mahajan, board-certified endocrinologist with Pascack Valley Medical Group.


Learn More about Diabetes Type 2

Learn how to take care of your diabetes.

  • Ask your doctor what you need to do when you go home. Make sure you ask questions if you do not understand what the doctor says. This way you will know what you need to do.
  • Based on what diabetes medications you take, you might need to check your blood sugar regularly at home. But not everyone with type 2 diabetes needs to do this. If you need to, your doctor will teach you how to check your blood sugar. Ask what the goal numbers are for your blood sugar. Keep a list of your blood sugar levels. This will help you learn what causes high or low readings and help you manage your diabetes.
  • Take your diabetes medication as directed. Ask what to do if you miss a dose of your diabetes drugs.
  • Learn when, what, and how much to eat.
  • Do some type of exercise each day. This will also help you control your weight. Ask your doctor for proper food and exercise programs to follow.
  • Check your feet often. Always wear socks and shoes. Never walk barefoot, especially outdoors.
  • Take special care around the pool and at the beach, as these surfaces may be extremely hot and burn your feet. Report any problems with your feet to your doctor.
  • Wear a medical ID.
  • Limit or avoid beer, wine, and mixed drinks (alcohol).
  • If you are overweight, ask your doctor if you would be a good candidate for bariatric surgery as this can reverse diabetes in some cases.

Your doctor may ask you to make visits to the office to check on your progress. Be sure to keep these visits.

Diabetes medications will help control your blood sugar. You may have more than one diabetes drug. Your doctor may order drugs for you to take by mouth or insulin as a shot. You will be trained on how to give insulin shots, if needed. Talk to your doctor about your diabetes drugs and what you need to do when you go home.

  • Mild to moderate workouts are very good for your health. They can lower blood sugar and blood pressure. Working out can also help control weight. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any workout program.
  • Try to walk, bike, or swim every day. Start with 5 to 10 minutes each day. Work up to about 30 minutes most days.
  • Drink lots of water during workouts.

Eating a healthy diet is important. This means you need to eat regularly throughout the day. You need to include a variety of foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nonfat dairy products, and lean meats. Do not eat too much food at one time and do not skip meals. Limit foods high in sugar like sweets, desserts, and fruit juices. Ask your doctor about what kind of diet is right for you.

  • Heart, kidney, and nerve problems
  • Foot problems. Sores and infection may also happen.
  • Eye problems
  • Dangerously high blood sugar levels requiring emergency treatment
  • Severe infections

Talk with your doctor often. Other drugs or care may be needed to treat or prevent these problems.

Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, chills, or a wound that will not heal.