Type 2 Diabetes
In the UK, diabetes affects approximately 3.5 million people yet it’s estimated that another 500,000 have the condition but are not aware. Did you know:
- Diabetes causes an individual’s blood sugar level to be too high
- Two main types exist: type 1 and type 2. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 and occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood glucose level
- Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because early symptoms tend to be general
- Diabetics are up to 5 times more likely to suffer from heart disease or have a stroke
- Diabetes is also linked to a range of health problems such as nerve damage, eye damage, kidney disease and foot ulcers
What causes diabetes?
The amount of sugar in the blood is usually controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas.
When food is digested and enters your bloodstream, insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it is broken down to produce energy.
However, if you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there is either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced does not work properly.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for between 85 and 95 per cent of all people with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance).
Pre-diabetes & preventing diabetes
Pre-diabetes occurs when glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Those with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The good news is that if the risk factors are picked up early enough, diabetes can usually be prevented through diet and lifestyle changes.
Your check for diabetes
Your check for diabetes involves a simple blood test to measure the amount of glucose in your blood stream.
How to prepare
In order to get the most accurate readings you should ensure that you fast for at least 4 hours prior to your appointment – otherwise this will affect your results.