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Type 2 Diabetes Occurs When

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Type 2 Diabetes Signs & Symptoms (& Why They Occur) & Associated Conditions

In 2015, the New York Times published an article on the , a nonprofit founded in 2014 that advocated for people to focus on increasing exercise rather than reducing calorie intake to avoid obesity and to be healthy. The organization was founded with at least $1.5M in funding from the , and the company has provided $4M in research funding to the two founding scientists Gregory A. Hand and since 2008.

Managing Type 2 Diabetes

Managing type 2 diabetes requires teamwork. Youll need to work closely with your doctor, but a lot of the results depend on your choices.

Your doctor may want to perform periodic blood tests to determine your blood glucose levels. This will help determine how well youre managing the condition. If you take medication, these tests will help gauge how well its working.

Your doctor may also recommend a home monitoring system to test your own blood glucose levels between visits. Theyll explain to you how often you should use it and what your target range should be.

Because diabetes can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, your doctor may want to monitor your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. If you have symptoms of heart disease, you may need additional tests. These tests may include an electrocardiogram or a cardiac stress test.

It may also be helpful to bring your family into the loop. Educating them about the warning signs of blood glucose levels that are too high or too low will allow them to help in an emergency.

What Health Problems Can People With Diabetes Develop

Following a good diabetes care plan can help protect against many diabetes-related health problems. However, if not managed, diabetes can lead to problems such as

  • heart disease and stroke
  • gum disease and other dental problems
  • sexual and bladder problems

Many people with type 2 diabetes also have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease . Losing weight if you are overweight or obese can improve NAFLD. Diabetes is also linked to other health problems such as sleep apnea, depression, some types of cancer, and dementia.

You can take steps to lower your chances of developing these diabetes-related health problems.

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Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes: Whats The Difference

Type 2 diabetes is not the same as Type 1 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make any insulin. In Type 2, your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, and the insulin it is making doesnt always work as it should. Both types are forms of diabetes mellitus, meaning they lead to hyperglycemia .

Type 2 diabetes usually affects older adults, though its becoming more common in children. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but people of any age can get it.

How Is Type 2 Diabetes Managed

How Does Type 2 Diabetes Occur

Theres no cure for Type 2 diabetes. But you can manage the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medication if needed. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your:

  • Blood sugar: A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring can help you meet your blood sugar target. Your healthcare provider may also recommend regular A1c tests, oral medications , insulin therapy or injectable non-insulin diabetes medications.
  • Blood pressure: Lower your blood pressure by not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood pressure medication such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors.
  • Cholesterol: Follow a meal plan low in saturated fats, trans fat, salt and sugar. Your healthcare provider may recommend statins, which are a type of drug to lower cholesterol.

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Who Is Most At Risk From Type 2 Diabetes

As already mentioned, type 2 diabetes symptoms often come on gradually and can be quite vague at first. Many people have type 2 diabetes for a long period of time before their diagnosis is made.

The most common type 2 diabetes symptoms are:

  • Being thirsty a lot of the time.
  • Passing large amounts of urine.
  • Tiredness, which may be worse after meals.

The reason why you make a lot of urine and become thirsty is that if your blood sugar rises too high the excess sugar leaks into your urine. This pulls out extra water through the kidneys.

As the type 2 diabetes symptoms may develop gradually, you can become used to being thirsty and tired and you may not recognise for some time that you are ill. Some people also develop blurred vision and frequent infections, such as recurring thrush. However, some people with type 2 diabetes do not have any symptoms if the glucose level is not too high. But, even if you do not have symptoms, you should still have treatment to reduce the risk of developing complications.

Type 2 Diabetes

A simple dipstick test may detect sugar in a sample of urine. However, this is not enough to make a definite diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, a blood test called HbA1c is needed to make the diagnosis. The blood test detects the level of glucose in your blood. If the glucose level is high then it will confirm that you have type 2 diabetes.

Some people have to have two samples of blood taken and may be asked to fast.

Some Type 2 Diabetes Medications

Drug therapy with insulin and the types of medicines known as sulfonylureas and meglitinides increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes with hypoglycemia.

Common medications that are able to cause low blood sugar include:

Name of substance

  • Crying out when sleeping and having nightmares
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Damp bedclothes and bedsheets

In cases with severe hypoglycemia, patients have more serious hypoglycemic symptoms: they lose the ability to eat or drink, might have convulsions, or become unconscious. Such cases need emergency medical treatment.

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What Happens In Diabetes

Our bodies break down the foods we eat into glucose and other nutrients we need, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract. The glucose level in the blood rises after a meal and triggers the pancreas to make the hormone insulin and release it into the bloodstream. But in people with diabetes, the body either can’t make or can’t respond to insulin properly.

Insulin works like a key that opens the doors to cells and lets the glucose in. Without insulin, glucose can’t get into the cells and so it stays in the bloodstream. As a result, the level of sugar in the blood remains higher than normal. High blood sugar levels are a problem because they can cause a number of health problems.

Signs And Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin: What is Type 2 Diabetes?

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be so mild that you don’t notice them. About 8 million people who have it don’t know it. Symptoms include:

  • Being very thirsty
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Getting more infections

If you have dark rashes around your neck or armpits, see your doctor. These are called acanthosis nigricans, and they can be signs that your body is becoming resistant to insulin.

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Diabetes Network Ni Helpline

Diabetes Network NI have set up a helpline for people living with diabetes who have concerns about coronavirus .

The contact details for the helpline are:

  • telephone number: 028 9536 0600
  • email:

The helpline is available seven days a week including bank holidays 9.00 am until 3.00 pm for 12 weeks until the end of June in the first instance.

What Are The Different Types Of Diabetes

What are the different types of diabetes?

Diabetes is a group of diseases in which the body doesnt produce enough or any insulin, doesnt properly use the insulin that is produced, or exhibits a combination of both. When any of these things happens, the body is unable to get sugar from the blood into the cells. That leads to high blood sugar levels.

Glucose, the form of sugar found in your blood, is one of your main energy sources. A lack of insulin or resistance to insulin causes sugar to build up in your blood. This can lead to many health problems.


The three main types of diabetes are:

  • type 1 diabetes

What causes diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is believed to be an autoimmune condition. This means your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the beta cells in your pancreas that produce insulin. The damage is permanent.

What prompts the attacks isnt clear. There may be both genetic and environmental reasons. Lifestyle factors arent thought to play a role.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes starts as insulin resistance. This means your body cant use insulin efficiently. That stimulates your pancreas to produce more insulin until it can no longer keep up with demand. Insulin production decreases, which leads to high blood sugar.

The exact cause of type 2 diabetes is unknown. Contributing factors may include:

  • genetics

There may also be other health factors and environmental reasons.

Gestational diabetes

What are the symptoms?

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Can Obesity Cause Type 2 Diabetes

How we understand obesity and type 2 diabetes matters as they are the most widespread metabolic disorders. Though theyre separate conditions, they often overlap.

Weight and nutrition specialist Caroline Apovian MD explains, Although lifestyle is very important for both obesity treatment and diabetes, there are people who never develop obesity, and there are people who do have obesity for whom lifestyle changes dont always work, because obesity is a disease and the body defends a higher body weight set point. Even after weight loss, the hormonal changes involved in obesity can force a patient to regain the weight.

Type 2 diabetes patients did not bring it on themselves, emphasizes diabetes and metabolism expert Elena Christofides MD. This is not a moral failing.

But both the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes is increasing. Why? Researchers believe its our environment. There has been an increased availability of high-fat, high-sugar, highly processed foods. These foods often contain other non-food items.

Some of these ingredients have been found to act as endocrine disrupters and change the way our bodies store fat and process energy. While there have not been sufficient studies to prove a causal relationship, most doctors and nutritionists recommend avoiding them.

Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Four of the main risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes are:

  • age being over the age of 40
  • genetics having a close relative with the condition, such as a parent, brother or sister
  • weight being overweight or obese
  • ethnicity being of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin, even if you were born in the UK

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Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes

It’s important for diabetes to be diagnosed early. This is so treatment can begin as soon as possible.

If you experience the symptoms of diabetes , see your GP as soon as possible. They’ll ask about your symptoms and may ask for blood and urine tests.

Your urine sample will be tested for glucose. Urine doesn’t normally contain glucose. However, glucose can overflow through the kidneys and into your urine if you have diabetes.

If your urine contains glucose, a specialised blood test known as glycated haemoglobin can be used to find out whether you have diabetes.

How Is Type 2 Diabetes Hypoglycemia Treated

Treatment of hypoglycemia is generally divided into immediate and long-term. In case you need to raise your blood sugar level urgently, taking medications or drinks with high sugar percentages are the popular steps.

However, treating this condition in perspective requires identifying the real cause of hypoglycemia. Read the Section What Causes Type 2 Diabetes Hypoglycemia and consult a specialist to do this.

But the first thing to do if a person has the symptoms of hypoglycemia and type 2 diabetes is to measure their blood glucose. If the signals are mild, the situation can be corrected by seeing a specialist and required bringing changes to the eating plan, exercising routine, diet, or medicine intake.

More severe cases of hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes are often treated by prescribing hormonal therapy . There are many forms available over the counter including regular kits and pre-mixed substances. Your doctor will advise the best version for you to quickly respond to any symptom bothering you.

What you should NOT do when having or seeing someone have a fit or experiencing one of the hypoglycemia symptoms is inject insulin since this can make blood glucose go down even more.

Offering solid food or liquids can also be dangerous since a patient can feel too weak to eat anything or is likely to choke. The exception is a candy or a sugary drink which helps to overcome symptoms of hypoglycemia.

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Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

First line treatment for type 2 diabetes typically includes a combination of diet modification with regular and appropriate exercise.

The NICE guidelines state that treatment for type 2 diabetes should take into account an individuals needs and preferences into account. People with diabetes should be given the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and work together with healthcare professionals.

The NICE guidelines encourage having high-fibre, low-glycemic-index carbohydrate in the diet. This allows a good amount of flexibility and it is possible to follow a range of diets, including lower-carb and low-calorie, whilst ensuring you get a good source of low-GI foods such as vegetables, beans and pulses.

Your health team should help you with setting recommendations for carbohydrate and alcohol intake that work for you.

Type 2 Diabetes Causes

What happens in Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes has several causes: genetics and lifestyle are the most important ones. A combination of these factors can cause insulin resistance, when your body doesnt use insulin as well as it should. Insulin resistance is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes.

Genetics Play a Role in Type 2 DiabetesLifestyle Is Very Important, Too

Genes do play a role in type 2 diabetes, but lifestyle choices are also important. You can, for example, have a genetic mutation that may make you susceptible to type 2, but if you take good care of your body, you may not develop diabetes.

Say that two people have the same genetic mutation. One of them eats well, watches their cholesterol, and stays physically fit, and the other is overweight and inactive. The person who is overweight and inactive is much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes because certain lifestyle choices greatly influence how well your body uses insulin.

  • Lack of exercise: Physical activity has many benefitsone of them being that it can help you avoid type 2 diabetes, if youre susceptible.
  • Unhealthy meal planning choices: A meal plan filled with high-fat foods and lacking in fiber increases the likelihood of type 2.
  • Overweight/Obesity: Lack of exercise and unhealthy meal planning choices can lead to obesity, or make it worse. Being overweight makes it more likely that youll become insulin resistant and can also lead to many other health conditions.

Insulin Resistancenot Type 2 Risk Factors

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How Many Canadians Live With Diabetes

According to the most recent data , about 3.0 million Canadians were living with diagnosed diabetes in 20132014, representing 1 in 300 children and youth , and 1 in 10 adults . The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes generally increases with age and is higher among males than among females , both overall and in most age groups .

Figure 1: Prevalence of diagnosed diabetes , by age group and sex, Canada, 20132014

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Note: The 95% confidence interval shows an estimated range of values which is likely to include the true value 19 times out of 20.Data source: Public Health Agency of Canada, using Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System data files contributed by provinces and territories, May 2017.

Skipping Or Postponing Meals

The longer you dont eat anything the lower your blood sugar drops. Lasting windows between meals are not recommended for anyone suffering from hypoglycemia due to type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Such drops can happen during nighttime when you naturally arent eating for a long time. See a doctor to regulate this.

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Why Type 2 Diabetics Need To Be More Aware Of Hypoglycemia

The risks of getting hypoglycemia concern every diabetic. The potential risk is too high, and patients need to know about it. As a rule, citizens over 65 who take insulin to treat diabetes happen to be at a greater risk of having hypoglycemia and more frequently develop complications in the form of seizures, loss of consciousness, or diabetic coma.

The odds of having this condition are revealed to be higher in patients who are on insulin or combine insulin with oral hypoglycemia agents. Low blood sugar can be hard to spot and that is why type 2 diabetics need to keep an eye on their blood sugar indicators.

Medications For Type 2 Diabetes

Timely insulin therapy to treat type 2 diabetes

In some cases, lifestyle changes are enough to keep type 2 diabetes under control. If not, there are several medications that may help. Some of these medications include:

  • Metformin.This can lower your blood glucose levels and improve how your body responds to insulin. Its the first-line treatment for most people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Sulfonylureas. These are oral medications that help your body make more insulin.
  • Meglitinides. These are fast-acting, short-duration medications that stimulate your pancreas to release more insulin.
  • Thiazolidinediones. These make your body more sensitive to insulin.
  • Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors. These are milder medications that help reduce blood glucose levels.
  • Glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. These slow digestion and improve blood glucose levels.
  • Sodium-glucose Cotransporter-2 Inhibitors. These help your kidneys remove sugar in your body through urine.

Each type of medication listed above can cause side effects. It may take some time for you and your doctor to find the best medication or combination of medications to treat your diabetes.

If your blood pressure or cholesterol levels are also not ideal, you may need medications to address those needs as well.

If your body is unable to make enough insulin, you may need insulin therapy. You may only need a long-acting injection you can take at night, or you may need to take insulin several times per day.

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