All you need to know about Type 2 diabetes
Diabetes is a common condition causing too much sugar in the blood stream and around 90% of people in the UK with Diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes with a further 12.3 million people expected to be at risk of developing it.
In Type 2 diabetes there is either not enough insulin – the hormone that helps to control blood sugar – produced or the insulin produced is not working effectively, which causes a high blood sugar and damage to blood vessels.
Type 2 diabetes is serious. However around three in five cases can be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes may include: feeling very tired, increased thirst, passing urine more frequently, delayed healing for cuts and wounds and repeated thrush infections. But six in ten people have no symptoms when diagnosed.
Complications include heart disease and stroke, nerve damage, loss of vision, foot problems such as sores and infections, kidney disease and gum disease.
Are you at risk?
The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases with age, with increased risk above the age of 40. For people of South Asian descent, risk increases above the age of 25 and for people of South Asian, Black Caribbean or Black African descent, risk increases by 2-4 times. If you have a parent, child or sibling with Type 2 diabetes your risk increase by 2-6 times. Other risk factors include: high blood pressure, leading an inactive lifestyle, drinking more than the recommended units of alcohol per week and polycystic ovary syndrome for women.
If you are overweight, especially around the middle, your risk increases, fat around the middle causes fat to build up on the organs such as the pancreas and liver, which can lead to insulin resistance. Remember that waist size is not usually reflected by jean size and the waist is the middle point between the top of the hip bone and the bottom of the rib cage.
How to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes
There is much that we can do to prevent Type two diabetes. Treatments may include weight loss, exercise, healthy/balanced diet, medication, insulin and regular health checks. Losing as little as 5% of your body weight can have a big impact along with replacing refined/processed foods with fresh foods, eating regular meals and exercising a minimum of 2.5 hours per week.
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