​Diabetes Type 2

Diabetes Type 2 is a lifelong disease where the body is unable to produce or use insulin effectively resulting in an abnormal level of sugar (glucose) in body. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes across the world. There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but you may be able to manage the disorder by eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. If diet and exercise are not enough to manage your blood sugar well, you also may need diabetes medications or insulin therapy.​

Some people who have Type 2 diabetes may not have any symptoms early on. Many people with the disease do not even know that they have the disease. But with time, diabetes starts to cause symptoms. Type 2 diabetes symptoms may include:

  • Increased thirst and frequent urination 

  • Increased hunger

  • Weight loss 

  • Fatigue

  • Blurred vision 

  • Slow-healing sores or frequent infections 

  • Areas of darkened skin 

When your blood sugar is too low, it can also cause problems and it can happen suddenly. Quickly treating low blood sugar can help you avoid fainting (losing consciousness). Low blood sugar can also lead to a heart attack.​

Common symptoms of low blood sugar may include:​

  • Sweating

  • Shakiness

  • Weakness

  • Hunger

  • Confusion.​​

Consult a doctor working with the Family Health or Internal Medicine Service Line at the Aga Khan University Hospital if you notice any of the above signs and symptoms in yourself or a loved one.​
Your time with the doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.​

To diagnose Type 2 diabetes, your doctor may ask for some blood tests:

  • Glycated haemoglobin (A1C) test: This blood test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. 

  • Random blood sugar test: a blood sample that is taken without fasting.

  • Fasting blood sugar test: a blood sample that is taken after an overnight fast.

  • Oral glucose tolerance test: for this test, you fast overnight, and the fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood sugar levels are tested periodically for the next two hours. 

If you receive a diagnosis of diabetes, your doctor may also run blood tests to check for autoantibodies that are common in Type 1 diabetes. These tests help your doctor distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The presence of ketones, which are the by-products from the breakdown of fat, when found in your urine also suggests Type 1 diabetes, rather than Type 2.

If you are age 45 years or older and you are overweight, it is recommended by the American Diabetes Association that you begin screening for type 2 diabetes. If the results are normal, the test should be repeated every three years. ​

Screening is also recommended for people who are under 45 years, are overweight and if there are other heart disease or diabetes risk factors present, such as an inactive lifestyle, a family history of type 2 diabetes, a personal history of gestational diabetes or moderately blood pressure.​​

Treatment and management of Type 2 diabetes includes:

  • Possibly, diabetes medication or insulin therapy as prescribed by your doctor

  • Healthy eating

  • Regular exercise

  • Blood sugar monitoring

The goal is to keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible to delay or prevent complications.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.​
Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.