Condition: Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high. It can cause symptoms like excessive thirst, needing to pee a lot and tiredness. It can also increase your risk of getting serious problems with your eyes, heart and nerves.

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What is type 2 diabetes?

Around 4.5 million people in the UK have type 2 diabetes, with a further 13.6 million people at risk of developing the condition. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to effectively regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. The body controls blood sugar levels by producing a hormone called insulin. In people with type 2 diabetes, the body is resistant to insulin, a condition known as insulin resistance. When the body can no longer respond to the blood sugar regulating effects of insulin, blood sugar starts to run high and type 2 diabetes is diagnosed. Day to day, high blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia) can cause thirst, frequent urination, susceptibility to infection and fatigue. Over time hyperglycaemia leads to complications in other parts of the body such as the kidneys and eyes.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

The main risk factors that increase the chance of developing type 2 diabetes include:

  • Weight – being overweight or obese by BMI criteria
  • Family history – having a close relative with type 2 diabetes, such as a parent, brother or sister
  • Ethnic heritage – being of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin
  • Gestational diabetes –in women, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is higher if there is a history gestational diabetes during pregnancy

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can come on slowly and it is possible to have the condition for a long period of time before it is diagnosed.

When symptoms do present they may include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Recurring thrush (candida infection)
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow wound healing
  • Frequent infections
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Areas of darkened skin in the armpits and neck

Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed through blood tests that measure the blood sugar level as well as the marker of the average blood sugar over the preceding three months called the HbA1c.

What are the treatment options for type 2 diabetes?

The treatment options for type 2 diabetes are one or more of intensive lifestyle change including dietary intervention and regular exercise and/or medication and/or bariatric surgery.

At OneWelbeck, we take a holistic approach to type 2 diabetes management, tailoring a personalised approach that is right for each individual patient.

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Jul 2024


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Type 2 Diabetes Specialists