About 12.3 million people in the UK are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In Diabetes Week, we take a closer look at the condition.
- What is it?
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body isn’t able to use the insulin it produces properly, or the body doesn’t produce enough. This causes the level of sugar in your blood to become too high and, if left untreated, it can damage parts of your body, including your eyes, heart and feet.
- Who does it affect?
Factors such as your age or ethnicity affect your risk. You’re more at risk if you’re over 40, or over 25 if you’re from a African-Caribbean, Black African or South Asian background. But other risk factors include having had high blood pressure or if you’re carrying extra weight.
- How do you spot it?
The symptoms can develop slowly. A common symptom is tiredness, along with feeling thirsty, going to the toilet a lot and losing weight without trying to. Contact your GP if you have these symptoms.
- How is it treated?
Some people can manage it through healthier eating, being more active or losing weight. Some people will need medication to bring their blood sugar down and maybe insulin injections.
- Can it be prevented?
While there is no cure, it can be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active.