BDA


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), or simply, diabetes, is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and/or use insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes


Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or the insulin the body does make is not working properly. We still do not have all of the answers as to what causes type 2 diabetes but we do know it is linked to lifestyle as well as having a strong genetic and family related risk factors.

Type 2 diabetes:

  • Represents 85–90 per cent of all cases of diabetes
  • Usually develops in adults over the age of 45 years but is increasingly occurring in younger age groups including children, adolescents and young adults
  • Is more likely in people with a family history of type 2 diabetes or from particular ethnic backgrounds
  • For some the first sign may be a complication of diabetes such as a heart attack, vision problems or a foot ulcer
  • Is managed with a combination of regular physical activity, healthy eating and weight reduction. As type 2 diabetes is often progressive, most people will need oral medications and/or insulin injections in addition to lifestyle changes over time.

Type 2 diabetes develops over a long period of time (years). By the time someone is told that they have type 2 diabetes, they have lost 50 – 70% of the cells that produce insulin. This means that type 2 diabetes is a combination of ineffective insulin and not enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition.

Type 2 diabetes can often initially be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. However, over time most people with type 2 diabetes will also need tablets and many will also need insulin. It is important to note that this is just the natural progression of the condition, and taking tablets or insulin as soon as they are required can result in fewer complications in the long-term.

Symptoms

In type 2 diabetes, many people have no symptoms at all. As type 2 diabetes is commonly (but not always) diagnosed at a later age, sometimes signs are dismissed as a part of ‘getting older’ In some cases, by the time type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the complications of diabetes may already be present.

Symptoms include:

  • Being excessively thirsty
  • Passing more urine
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Having cuts that heal slowly
  • Itching, skin infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Gradually putting on weight
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Leg cramps