Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes type Type 1 diabetes Type 2 diabetes
Characteristics Insulin-dependent
Young subjects (under 30 years old)
Thin subject
Auto-immune disease
Elderly subject (over 40 years old)
Obese, sedentary subject
Family history of diabetes
(genetic factor)
Proportion 10% of diabetes 90% des diabètes
Start Strong Insidious
Symptoms and manifestations Cardinal syndrome
– polyuria (excessive urination)
– polydipsia (excessive thirst)
– polyphagia (increased appetite)
– weight loss
– intense asthenia (physical fatigue)Other signs:
– bad breath
Often asymptomatic and discovered by chance with delayed diagnosis (over 5 years)
Clinical symptoms during glycaemia > 3g/l  chronic hyperglycaemia (click)
Presence of 30 to 40% of complications at the time of diagnosis
Laboratory diagnosis Fasting glucose test > 1.26 g/l
Glycosuria test (sugar level in urine )
Ketonuria test (ketone bodies in urine )
Search for antibodies that are immune markers (Anti-GAD antibodies and anti-IA2)
Low or no ketonuria
Search for hyperglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia
Additional workup Search for complications by tests: ophthalmologic, dental, cardiovascular, neurological, nephrology
Prevention No specific prevention Weight control with limitation of ponderal overload

Nutrition and hygiene rules (balanced diet, physical activity).

Screening if risk factors are present (age > 40 years, android obesity, sedentarity, family history of diabetes, history of foetal macrosomia).

Medication (if applicable)

For further information For further information about Type 1 diabetes For further information about Type 2 diabetes

Chronic hyperglycaemia

Type 2 diabetes is a disease characterised by chronic hyperglycaemia, i.e. high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

In a healthy individual, glycaemia is controlled by insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Insulin enables sugar to enter the blood so that it is used as fuel, especially in the muscles and liver. In a person with Type 2 diabetes, the body becomes incapable of controlling glycaemia. This causes an increase in the blood sugar level; we call it hyperglycaemia. In the long-term, if glycaemia is not lowered by treatment, it may cause severe health problems, in particular cardiovascular problems.

For further information about Type 2 diabetes

A disease in rapid progression

The number of people affected by Type 2 diabetes is steadily increasing and we attribute this tendency to the way of life in the West, which is associated with sedentarity and obesity, as well as with an ageing population.

Type 2 diabetes generally appears after the age of 40 years, but now affects more and more children and adolescents due to obesity that concerns more and more young people.

The causes

Diabetes results from the combination of genetic and environmental factors, as well as to lifestyle factors. Generally, each person bears a hereditary badge that is either a predisposition to suffer from diabetes or, on the contrary, protection. Researchers now know of several genes that place an individual at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. In people genetically predisposed to the disease, it is generally overweight and particularly the accumulation of fat in the organs of the abdomen that lead to insulin resistance. This resistance is the first factor of Type 2 diabetes.

Initially, to compensate insulin resistance, the pancreas produces more insulin. However, over time, the pancreas wears itself out and insulin secretion decreases. There is therefore a relative lack of insulin and so glycaemia remains constantly high.

Type 2 diabetes is therefore the result of 2 phenomena: insulin resistance followed by pancreas depletion.


As Type 2 diabetes is rarely accompanied by symptoms in the beginning, we often discover it by chance after a routine medical examination.

Glycaemia can be measured by a blood test or estimated with a blood glucose monitor (glucometer), which analyses glycaemia on a drop of blood withdrawn from the tip of the finger. Even if tests are normal, it is usually recommended to take these tests at regular intervals in order to detect the disease as early as possible.

Possible complications

In the long-term, several diabetics see their health worsen due to their disease, especially if diabetes is not controlled properly and monitored. Indeed, chronic high glycaemia damages the nerves and blood vessels gradually, mainly in the eyes and kidneys. Therefore, diabetes may be the underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases and irreversible loss of vision, pain due to nerve damage or kidney failure.