Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Download your information leaflet on Type 2 Diabetes here Type 2 Diabetes Leaflet

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.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

The risk factors for Type 2 are as follows:

  • Age: Over the age of 40
  • 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.
  • Ethnic Origin
  • Poor Lifestyle Habits & Choices: Overweight, lack of physical activity, diet high in simple carbohydrates
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Certain Types of Medications: Steroids, Statins, Anti Depressants

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.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

  • Excessive tiredness
  • Increased thirst
  • Passing urine more frequently especially at night
  • Genital Itching and thrush
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Recurring infections
  • Blurred vision
  • 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’.

Diabetes cannot be ‘cured’ but can be controlled.

Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic condition, which you have for life. You may be able to ‘reverse’ many of the symptoms, but if long term commitment to lifestyle choices is not maintained, alongside regular visits to your GP to monitor your progress; your diabetes will deteriorate over time. Type 2 Diabetes is now regarded as a progressive condition. That is why it is important despite no matter how good you feel your diabetes is, to always maintain contact with your GP and diabetes services to keep your diabetes in check. 

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