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What is Diabetes Type 2 ?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and accounts for 90% of cases. Sufferers of diabetes type 2 either do not produce sufficient insulin, or are unable to use the insulin they do produce efficiently. Many people with type 2 diabetes do not realise they have the disease, and consequently it can lead to complications such as blindness and heart disease.

Who is at risk from Type 2 Diabetes ?

The actual causes of diabetes are still unclear, but we do know that they are a combination of genetic and envorinmental causes. There are many factors that can increase your chances of developing diabetes; the major one is being overweight.

80% of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight, and the heavier you are the higher risk you have. For women, a waist size of over 31.5inches (80cm) presents a high risk of diabetes type ii. For white or black men, the measurement is 37 inches (94cm), and for Asian men it is 35 inches (90cm).

If you are over 40 years old you have an increased risk of type two diabetes, particularly if you have a close relative, such as a parent or sibling that has had the disease. You are also at an increased risk if you have had a heart attack or stroke, if you have high blood pressure, or if you have circulation problems.

Women who have polycystic ovaries and are overweight have an increased risk of type two diabetes, as do those who have had temporary gestational diabetes while pregnant, or who have given birth to a large baby.

There are two conditions that raise the glucose level in your blood, and put you at increased risk from diabetes type 2, which are impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Eating healthily, losing weight and exercising regularly can help you to ensure these conditions do not progress to diabetes type two.

How is Diabetes Type 2 treated ?

Generally type 2 diabetes will be treated initially with lifestyle changes such as attention to diet, weight loss and increased activity, rather than by taking regular doses of insulin.

Trying to balance your diet when you are diagnosed with diabetes can be daunting, particularly if you are trying to lose weight at the same time. Planning a healthy type 2 diabetes diet can take time and research. Check out some type two diabetes diet recipes to get some ideas for healthy meals.

For an effective type two diabetes diet you should try to eat a wide range of healthy foods, and aim to make small gradual changes in what you eat. Making dramatic changes, or only eating one or two types of food will decrease your chances of sticking to your diet, and will not be healthy in the long run.

In addition to lifestyle changes, your doctor may also recommend medication to normalise your blood sugar levels. There are several types of tablet that can help the pancreas to produce more insulin, help your body make better use of the insulin you have, or limit the absorption of insulin during digestion.

Type two diabetes is a progressive disease, and if your blood sugar levels can not be controlled by lifestyle changes or the tablets mentioned above, your doctor may decide that daily insulin injections are necessary.

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