Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, also known as type 2 diabetes, is a globally common metabolic disorder affecting over 2 million people in the UK alone.
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How does type 2 diabetes occur?
Type 2 diabetes occurs when insulin is not used effectively by the body resulting in:
- Insulin resistance and
In advanced stages, type 2 diabetes mellitus may lead to damage to insulin producing cells leading to insulin deficiency.
How serious is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a serious health condition.
Following pre-diabetes or metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes can potentially be avoided through diet and exercise.
Such a diagnosis can be viewed as a useful, if urgent, wake up call.
If resistance to insulin increases, people with type 2 diabetes may need to take oral anti-diabetic medications, or take insulin to keep their blood sugar levels stable.
Type 2 diabetes treatment
Treatment typically includes diet modification and control, regular and appropriate exercise, home blood glucose testing and in some cases, oral medication and/or insulin injections.
Recently a number of new and effective treatments have become available, such as Byetta, Victoza and Bydureon.
Maintaining good control of blood glucose levels is vital in reducing the risk of diabetic complications. If you are overweight, weight loss can often help to improve the extent of diabetes symptoms.
Is there an age where I'm more at risk of type 2?
Type 2 diabetes used to primarily be seen in middle-aged adults, and be in contrast to type 1 diabetes which is usually diagnosed at a much earlier stage.
However, in recent years much younger people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common amongst adolescents and children.
This increase has been connected to climbing levels of obesity.
Type 2 diabetes risk factors
A number of factors can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which include:
- Being overweight
- Having a close family member with type 2 diabetes
- Having high blood pressure
- Having high cholesterol
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes also increases with age.
Type 2 diabetes and complications
Like type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes carries the risk of diabetes complications over a long period of time.
The most common complications include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, retinopathy and nerve damage, which can lead to a risk of amputation.
The list of complications is not pleasant but their risks can be reduced through good diabetes control and attending all diabetic screening appointments.
Like many chronic diseases, the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes at an early stage is beneficial to treatment.
Before type 2 diabetes develops, most patients exhibit pre-diabetic symptoms, and if treatment commences at this stage, diabetes of this type can be preventable.
In terms of short term complications of diabetes, ketoacidosis is rare amongst type 2 diabetics.
However, non-ketonic hyperglycemia is one threat type 2 diabetics should be aware of.