Type 2 Diabetes accounts for almost 90% of all cases of diabetes that occur in the population. With Type 2 Diabetes the pancreas produces some insulin but not enough or the insulin that you are producing is not working efficiently. Therefore by making changes to the diet, cutting back on carbohydrates, and increasing activity to burn off sugar, decreases the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. But sometimes this is not enough and person with Type 2 diabetes will need to take tablets, even insulin injections.
So how do you develop Type 2 diabetes?
The risk factors for Type 2 are as follows:
Age: Usually but not always Over the age of 40 The actual risk of developing type 2 diabetes is increased if:
you’re over 40 years of age (over 25 if you’re South Asian)
you have a close family member with diabetes (a parent, brother or sister)
you’re overweight or obese, with a waist size of over 80cm (31.5 inches) for women and 94cm (37 inches) for men, or 89cm (35 inches) for South Asian men
you’re of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin (even if you were born in the UK)
Family history: Having a 1st degree relative such as a parent or sibling with diabetes can increase your risk of developing diabetes by up to 50%. Many people, who attend my practice when questioned about a family history of diabetes, tend to dismiss their parents because they developed it later on in life and do not equate their diabetes that they have now, with their parents. These are both very much the same…….Type 2 Diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes: diabetes in pregnancy.
Poor Lifestyle: Overweight, lack of physical activity, diet high in simple carbohydrates
High Blood Pressure
If you have any of the above risk factors, it is advisable you attend your GP for regular routine blood tests.
Type 2 Diabetes can be a very silent condition, many people have Type 2 Diabetes and might not realise they have it. For many people they are detected when they attend their GP for routine blood tests for other conditions such as cholesterol or blood pressure. It is estimated that for every one person who is aware they have diabetes, there is another person out there who does not know they have diabetes. This is significant, because if diabetes is not treated early and left go out of control, symptoms can develop. Research states, that when a person develops symptoms with Type 2 Diabetes they have had diabetes for 7-10 years previously and were not aware of its presence. 50% of these people will already have developed complications from their diabetes.
What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?
Passing urine more frequently especially at night
Genital Itching and thrush
Slow healing of wounds
Recurring infections including thrush
Tingling/burning sensation in fingers and toes
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is advisable that you attend your GP who can take some simple tests to discover whether or not you have diabetes. Please do not ignore or be fearful of these symptoms. We now know that the earlier diabetes is detected the better the outcomes.
It is very important not to judge people with diabetes. Not all people with diabetes and especially those with Type 2 diabetes are obese. Likewise not all of them follow unhealthy diets and are inactive. It is very wrong to blame anyone with diabetes for ‘bringing it on themselves’.
Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Diet & Exercise: These are the cornerstones of any diabetes management. Stop Smoking, reduce alcohol intake Oral Medication GLP 1 Hormones Insulin
Many people with Type 2 diabetes are confused by insulin. Insulin injections are widely regarded as part of the treatment for Type 2 Diabetes. It does not make someone with Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 when they commence on insulin as many people I have come across think. You are and always will have Type 2 Diabetes but you are what the medical profession would call ‘insulin requiring’.