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What is type 2 diabetes?

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It is estimated that there are currently 3.5 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of these cases. It is also predicted that 1.1 million people have diabetes and don’t even know it.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar we use as a source of energy. Once glucose is released from the food we eat and enters the bloodstream, your body releases a hormone called insulin. Type 2 diabetes is caused when the body responds abnormally to the insulin produced, creating a resistance. This means that unused glucose can build up in your bloodstream causing high blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes signs and symptoms in adults

With less obvious symptoms than type 1, people who have type 2 diabetes may be unaware. Type 2 diabetes symptoms in both women and men can develop relatively slowly and therefore can often go unnoticed for an extended period of time.

However, the most common symptoms in adults are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Passing water more often, especially at night
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Genital itching and regular instances of thrush

Recognising type 2 diabetes in the early stages of development can delay or prevent other more serious, long-term complications. If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms above, ease your mind with a simple blood test which can diagnose diabetes at your local LloydsPharmacy.

Causes of type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a lot more common than type 1 diabetes as it is not caused by an autoimmune disease where the body fights against its own healthy cells.

There are a number of risk factors that can lead to the development of the condition:
  • As we age, our risk increases, especially for over 40s. This can be attributed to the fact that, as we get older, the pancreas begins to produce insulin less effectively. Also, bodily resistance to insulin can increase.
  • Genetics is also big factor. For example, if you have a close relative with the condition, such as a parent or sibling, your risk increases.
  • Poor diet and lifestyle choices hugely impact health and increase the likelihood of having Type 2 diabetes, including lack of exercise and being overweight or obese. Browse healthy diet and lifestyle advice here.

Type 2 diabetes treatment

Type 2 diabetes can be effectively managed with regular blood glucose testing. This can be done using simple tests that require a small fingerprick sample of blood. You can monitor your levels quickly and conveniently at home with our range of testing kits online.

Type 2 diabetes treatment typically involves medication that helps to maintain a normal blood sugar level. This medication is normally lifelong and will also help prevent any further long-term complications of diabetes, including high blood pressure and reduced blood circulation to the feet. The type of medication and dosage varies widely and is often dependent on individual needs; you will be recommended the most suitable medicines for you by your GP.

Type 2 diabetes tests

You can identify your potential risk of developing type 2 diabetes with our type 2 diabetes test service available at your local pharmacy. Either book online or speak to a pharmacist today.