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Type 2 Diabetes

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Diabetes is a condition that results in a person’s blood sugar levels becoming too high. Nearly 3 million people in the UK are known to suffer from diabetes and it is estimated that there are a further 850,000 undiagnosed cases.

What is it?

There are two types of diabetes:

• Type 1 diabetes affects around 10% of sufferers, and is where the body does not produce insulin, the hormone that regulates glucose levels. Sufferers need daily insulin injections for life.

• Type 2 diabetes is far more common, affecting 90% of people who have the condition. It occurs when the body is insulin resistant, or when an insufficient amount is produced to meet the body’s needs. It usually occurs in people over the age of 40, but more cases are appearing in younger patients in recent years.

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

There are various symptoms caused by diabetes, including:

• Extreme and regular thirst
• Frequent urination, especially during the night
• Fatigue
• Loss of weight and muscle bulk
• Regular bouts of thrush
• Blurred vision
• Skin infections

Not all sufferers will experience all symptoms, and some may be very mild.

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetesThe pancreas is a large gland that is situated behind the stomach. One of its primary functions in the body is to produce the hormone insulin. Insulin controls the amount of sugar in the body by removing it from the blood and transferring it to other cells in the body where is it then converted into energy. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to manage the amount of glucose in the body, or when the body is unable to use the insulin that is produced.

Treatments

Early diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes can limit any long-term effects on sufferers. It cannot be cured, but treatments help patients to manage the effects of the diabetes in order to keep bodily glucose levels normal, and minimise the risk of health problems developing later in life.
In mild cases, it can be possible to manage Type 2 diabetes with a change in diet and lifestyle. Type 2 diabetes is, however, a progressive condition, and there will generally come a time when it is necessary to have medication to assist the body’s glucose control mechanisms. Initially this medication will usually be in tablet form, but may later progress to insulin injections.

Complications

Large amounts of glucose in the body can damage nerves, organs and blood vessels, and cause long-term health problems. Even a small but sustained increase in glucose levels can have significant effects on the body over time. Heart disease and stroke are just two of the possible complications that have a higher probability of occurring as a result of long-term Type 2 diabetes. A healthy lifestyle, quitting smoking, and consuming only moderate levels of alcohol can all help the body to fight the effects of Type 2 diabetes, and make good sense whatever your age.

 

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About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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