Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a common life-long condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high as the body cannot use it properly. This is because the pancreas does not produce any or not enough insulin or the insulin that is produced doesn't work properly (known as insulin resistance).
Insulin helps glucose enter the body's cells, where it is used for energy. Glucose comes from digesting carbohydrate from various kinds of food and drink, including starchy foods such as breads, rice and potatoes, fruit, some dairy products, sugar and other sweet foods. Glucose is also produced by the liver.
There are two main types of diabetes:
· Type 1 diabetes
· Type 2 diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin. Usually it appears before the age of 40, and especially in childhood. It is treated with insulin either by injection or pump, a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body doesn't produce enough insulin or the insulin that is produced doesn't work properly. Usually it appears in people aged over 40, though in South Asian and Black people it can appear from the age of 25. It is becoming more common in children and young people of all ethnicities.
Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and regular physical activity, but medication and/or insulin is often required.
Symptoms Of Undiagnosed Diabetes
The main symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes include passing urine frequently (especially at night), increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, genital itching or regular episodes of thrush, slow healing of wounds and blurred vision.
The main aim of diabetes treatment is to achieve blood glucose, blood pressure and blood fat levels (including cholesterol) within the target ranges agreed by you and your healthcare team.
This, together with a healthy lifestyle, will reduce the risk of developing the long-term complications of diabetes such as heart attack, stroke, amputation, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage.
How Many People In The UK Have Diabetes?
There are currently over 2.6 million people with diabetes in the UK and there are up to half a million people with diabetes who have the condition and don't know it.
Causes And Risk Factors
Type 2 Diabetes
If you are white and over 40 years old, or if you're black, Asian or from a minority ethnic group and over 25 years old and have one or more of the following risk factors, you should ask your GP for a test for diabetes.
The Risk Factors
· A close member of your family has Type 2 diabetes
· You're overweight or if your waist is 31.5 inches or over for women; 35 inches or over
or Asian men and 37 inches or over for white and black men.
· You have high blood pressure or you've had a heart attack or a stroke.
· You're a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome and you are overweight.
· You've been told you have impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glycaemia.
· If you're a woman and you've had gestational diabetes.
· You have severe mental health problems.
· African-Caribbean or South Asian people who live in the UK are at least five
times more likely to have diabetes than the white population.
The more risk factors that apply to you, the greater your risk of having diabetes.
Although diabetes cannot be cured, it can be treated very successfully.
Type 1 diabetes is treated by insulin injections and a healthy diet, and regular exercise is recommended. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your insulin injections are vital to keep you alive and you must have them every day.
Type 2 diabetes is treated with lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, weight loss and increased physical activity. Tablets and/or insulin may also be required to achieve normal blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes is progressive. If your diabetes cannot be controlled through lifestyle changes and tablets your doctor may recommend that you take insulin injections.
The main aim of treatment of both types of diabetes is to achieve blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels as near to normal as possible. This, together with a healthy lifestyle, will help to improve wellbeing and protect against long-term damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and major arteries.
Diabetes Website - diabetes.co.uk