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TYPE 2 DIABETES

Meet Adrian who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes       

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when your body cannot make enough insulin and cannot effectively use the insulin it makes. This is called insulin resistance, and it develops over months or even years.

Managing type 2 diabetes through lifestyle

4 tips for better weight management
2 min. read

4 tips for better weight management

Being overweight (or carrying excess body weight) can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

4 great ways to benefit your heart and blood sugar
2 min. read

4 great ways to benefit your heart and blood sugar

Change can be hard, and taking the first step the biggest challenge of all, but the health and lifestyle benefits will be worth it both in the short and long term.

How to manage diabetes through exercise
3 min. read

How to manage diabetes through exercise

You’ve probably had someone tell you to make exercise part of your life. You’ve probably heard there’s a mountain of evidence that our bodies are meant to be used and move around.

Have you just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? 

If you’ve just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you can expect to live an active and independent life if you correctly manage your disease. To do so, you will need to change the way you care for your health and plan carefully for specific activities and occasions.  

Learning to balance your diet, physical activity and blood sugar levels and adapt to different circumstances will help you live life to the fullest and avoid serious health problems down the line. 

Are you aware of cardiovascular risk?

People with type 2 diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared to someone living without diabetes.

Learn how you can reduce the risk.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

The causes of type 2 diabetes are not fully understood. The chronic disease is commonly linked with being overweight as well as with family history and ethnicity.  

Is type 2 diabetes genetic? Type 2 diabetes can be inherited and linked to your family history and genetics. However, environmental factors play a significant role too. A healthy diet and regular exercise will reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes – even if the disease runs in your family. 

Recognising symptoms of type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes develops gradually, so you may not even notice the symptoms until they become obvious. This is dangerous, as high blood sugar levels may already be damaging your body.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms
  • Excessive urination as your body expels excess glucose
  • Extreme thirst resulting from urination
  • Tiredness and fatigue as energy from glucose cannot reach your body's cells
  • Thrush/genital itching or yeast infections as glucose in urine provide a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria
  • Blurry vision caused by high sugar levels in the fluid of your eye (and in rare cases, damage to the eye's blood vessels)
  • Weight loss as your body uses fat for energy when cells cannot absorb glucose

Type 2 diabetes risk assessment & prevention

Are you at risk of developing diabetes, or do you have it already? Around 50% of people with type 2 diabetes do not know they have the disease and risk developing serious health complications.

Type 2 diabetes risk factors
  • Overweight
  • Family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Previous gestational diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Physical inactivity

Knowing your risk and getting screened early are simple steps towards a longer, healthier life. 

The correlation between diabetes and cardiovascular disease only heightens the need to be aware of risk factors and catch symptoms of diabetes early. 

You might be wondering; how do you reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes? 

We recommend:

  • Cutting back on sugar and refined carbs
  • Watching portion size
  • Exercising more
  • Upping your daily water intake
  • Losing weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Optimising vitamin D levels

 

Living with type 2 diabetes   

Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise. If these are not enough to control your blood sugar levels, or as the disease progresses over time, you may also need to take medication.

Diet

Eating healthy when you have diabetes can be difficult but eating well means learning to make healthy choices for you – regardless of where you are or who you are with. Aim to:

  • Eat a variety of foods in the right amounts
  • Eat regularly
  • Balance the amount you eat
  • Keep track of your carbohydrate intake 
  • Cut down on alcohol 

 

 

Exercise

Regular exercise can help you control your blood sugar levels, lose weight, and improve your physical and mental health. A slight increase in physical activity can make a huge difference. Check out these easy low-impact activities to get started:

  • Pilates (flexibility and strength training)
  • Tai chi (upper body strength and mindfulness) 
  • Dancing (raises heart rate and burns fat)
  • Weights (build strength and aid weight loss)
  • Hiking (gentle and mindfulness)
  • Swimming (easy on the joints and good for blood circulation)

In summary, to live an active and independent life with type 2 diabetes, you may need to change the way you care for your health through diet and lifestyle changes. 

Treating type 2 diabetes through medication

GLP 1 treatment and how it works

GLP 1 treatment and how it works

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is a naturally occurring hormone in the body. Although its production is inhibited in people with type 2 diabetes, its function remains possible.

Frequently asked questions
3 min. read

Frequently asked questions

Find some of the common questions and concerns about starting diabetes treatment.

Insulin treatment for type 2 diabetes
2 min. read

Insulin treatment for type 2 diabetes

Insulin treatment helps your body absorb glucose - learn about the different options that can be tailored to your treatment needs.

Read more about diabetes, treatment of diabetes and living with the disease

About diabetes

About diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a complex chronic disease that occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin. In contrast, type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease that affects the body’s ability to convert glucose from food into energy.  

Living with diabetes

Living with diabetes

Being diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming at first. Learn how to manage your lifestyle when it comes to diabetes. We have gathered articles and tips to help you manage your type of diabetes.

Treatment of diabetes
1 min. read

Treatment of diabetes

People living with type 2 diabetes need treatment to keep their insulin and blood sugar levels under control. This can help prevent long-term complications.

 

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References
  1. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Atlas 10th Edition, 2021. Available from: https://diabetesatlas.org/idfawp/resource-files/2021/07/IDF_Atlas_10th_Edition_2021.pdf. Last accessed: May 2022.
  2. Endocrineweb. What to know about Insulin resistance. Available at: https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/type-2-diabetes/insulin-resistance-causes-symptoms. Last accessed: May 2022.
  3. NHS UK. What is Type 2 Diabetes? Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/type-2-diabetes/. Last accessed: May 2022.
  4. Mosenzon O, Alguwaihes A, Leon JLA, et al. CAPTURE: a multinational, cross-sectional study of cardiovascular disease prevalence in adults with type 2 diabetes across 13 countries. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2021;20:154.
  5. WHO. Diabetes. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes. Last accessed: May 2022.
  6. NIDDK. Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/risk-factors-type-2-diabetes. Last accessed: May 2022.
  7. NHS UK. Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar). Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-sugar-hyperglycaemia/. Last accessed: May 2022.
  8. Healthline. 13 ways to prevent type 2 diabetes. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/prevent-diabetes. Last accessed: May 2022.
  9. Diabetes.co.uk. Blood Vessels. Available at: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/body/blood-vessels.html. Last accessed: May 2022.
  10. Almdal T, Scharling H, Jensen JS, et al. The independent effect of type 2 diabetes mellitus on ischemic heart disease, stroke, and death: a population-based study of 13,000 men and women with 20 years of follow-up. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:1422–1426.
  11. Fox CS, Coady S, Sorlie PD, et al. Trends in cardiovascular complications of diabetes. JAMA. 2004;292:2495–2499.
  12. NIDDK. Diabetes Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/diet-eating-physical-activity. Last accessed: May 2022.