Type 2 Diabetes – Causes, Symptoms and Effective Treatments

diabetes

When we eat, the sugar contents in the food are converted into glucose, which then provides our bodies with energy. The pancreas (an organ near the stomach) creates a hormone called ‘insulin’ which is necessary to help the glucose become easily absorbed into the body cells. When you suffer from diabetes, your body either fails to produce enough insulin, or cannot utilise the insulin properly as it should. This in turn causes a build up of sugar in the blood stream. The two main types of diabetes are Type 1 and 2, with Type 2 being the most common, occurring in over 80% of adult sufferers. There are reportedly over 340 million people worldwide, including over 3.1 million people in the UK who suffer from Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes with this expected to increase to almost 5 million people by 2030. It is estimated that there are also over 800,000 people in England suffering from Type 2 diabetes who are unaware of it.

Diabetes can cause serious health issues such as heart disease, kidney failure, loss of eyesight and lower-body amputations if left untreated. Complications can be prevented or significantly delayed by controlling diabetes through regular blood pressure checks and monitoring of cholesterol levels. If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, we provide diabetes treatment online. After taking an online consultation at no extra cost, our doctors check your details to make sure the treatment is safe for you to use, order your diabetes treatment online by clicking below

What is Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?

The two main types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 diabetes – an auto-immune disease that destroys the cells in the pancreas, meaning insulin production is not possible. It usually develops before the age of 40 – most often during the person’s teenage years. There is no known method or treatment for preventing or reversing Type 1 diabetes, therefore the individual is insulin dependent during their lifetime.

Type 2 diabetes– this type is the most common, and occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react well to the insulin being produced and there is a build up of sugar in the bloodstream- known as hyperglycemia. In the UK, about 90% of all adults with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. This type can usually be controlled with a healthy diet and careful monitoring of the blood sugar level. However, at some stage as the disease progresses, treatment may be required to alleviate certain symptoms. Type 2 diabetes is usually linked with people over 40, who are overweight but can occur at any age.

What are the symptoms associated with diabetes?

Type 1 and Type 2 usually present similar symptoms. With Type 1 symptoms, these usually appear suddenly and include, but are not limited to

  • Increased sugar level in the blood and urine
  • Frequent urination, hunger and thirst
  • Weight loss, tiredness an mood swings
  • Vomiting and nausea

The Type 2 diabetes symptoms may not be as obvious, but are also similar to that of Type 1. Due to the condition developing over a number of years, symptoms may only be picked up during routine checkups. Other Type 2 symptoms may include:

  • Itching of genital region or occurrences of thrush
  • Wounds heal less quickly
  • Blurred or loss of eyesight

Causes of Type 2 diabetes?

There are various possible causes that can result in someone developing this condition. These include age, genetics, ethnicity and weight.

  • Age – general studies show have shown that those over the age of 40 (over 25 for South Asian people) are most susceptible to this disease compared to those below that age range. As age increases, people tend to gain more weight and exercise less, eating well and exercising can help in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. Recent trends show it’s now more common for younger people to suffer from Type 2 diabetes due to fast food eating habits and lack of exercise.
  • Genetics – having a parent, sibling or close relative with the same condition is known to increase the risks of developing the disease. A child whose parent suffers from diabetes is said to have a one in three chance of developing it at some point in their life.
  • Weight – being overweight or obese (BMI of 30+) increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. In particular, stores of fat around the abdomen region as these release chemicals that affect the body’s metabolism. This in turn can contribute to certain health complications such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke etc. Knowing your waist measurement can help in assessing your diabetic risk. Women with waist measurements over 80cm (31.5 inches) are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. This also includes Asian men with a waist size over 89cm (35 inches) and black or white men with waist measurements over 94cm (37 inches). Regular exercise is hugely beneficial and a weight loss of 5% can help to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by up to 50%.
  • Ethnicity – People of South Asian and Afro-Caribbean origin are said to be at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to men of other ethnicities. It is 6 times more common in South Asian communities and up to 3 times more common in Afro-Carribean people in comparison to people of Caucasian-European origin.

Understanding the possible risks involved could help you to know whether you suffer from diabetes or are at risk of suffering from it. It is essential you visit your doctor at least once a year for a blood test so that you know where you stand, and what health precautions may be required.

Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes?

The most common test carried out to achieve a diagnosis for type 2 diabetes is an oral glucose tolerance test, usually carried out to help the doctor understand if your body has a problem processing glucose. After fasting from the night before, a simple blood sample is taken before you drink a glucose solution, after 2 hours another blood sample is taken and your blood glucose level is measured. Blood glucose is measured in millimoles per litre (mmol/l). If you are diagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes, the amount of glucose in your blood will be:

  • more than 7 mmol/l before the test
  • more than 11 mmol/l two hours after the test

The HbA1c test is also used to measure the amount of glucose in the blood through urine samples. This test is usually carried out on those who already have diabetes, but has also be said to be accurate at diagnosing the condition. If the test indicates the patient is over 48 mmol/mol (6.5%) then it would indicate the individual suffers from type 2 diabetes.

Treating Type 2 Diabetes

In the case that you are diagnosed with the condition, you are likely to be explained the types of treatments available. As type 2 diabetes is not curable, there are only methods available to keep your blood glucose at a normal level wherein you can operate at a normal capacity reducing the chance of related symptoms and long term risk. It may seem like a scary prospect but having regular meetings with your doctor and support team at your hospital can bring much needed help and comfort. As part of your treatment journey, you will be required to make lifestyle changes to keep the condition managed well, these include:

  • Exercise
  • Dietary changes
  • Weight management
  • Medication

It is generally suggested that exercising well, eating the right foods and managing your weight to an ideal level will help greatly in managing the condition and keeping your blood glucose at a safe level.

Exercise

Exercising regularly can help in managing and even preventing Type 2 diabetes. In the UK, it is suggested that the average adult (19-60) should participate in around 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week. Such activities included in this include:

  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Fast walking
  • Gym activities – Chest, arm, leg workouts

In situations where it is not possible to engage in such activities, even minor changes such as cycling to work, walking instead of taking the bus and reducing the amount of sedentary time spent can make little positive differences towards your overall health.

Dietary changes

As it is said that the consumption of high levels of sugar and salt in various snacks and foods can lead to pre-diabetes and eventually type 2 diabetes, it is suggested that increasing the amounts of fruit and fibre consumed and reducing saturated fat and sugar intake can help to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes. Other changes that can be made to the diet include:

  • Increase wholegrain intake, including cereals, beans and vegetables.
  • Eat fruit snacks such as apples, bananas and pears rather than cakes, biscuits, and salty snacks
  • Grill or boil your meat or fish rather than frying or roasting them
  • Eat lean meats rather than ready-made processed foods such as chips and pizzas.

Such changes may take some getting used to, but can result in an overall healthier body and most importantly a suitable blood glucose level.

Weight management

Changes to your weight is likely to have a positive effect and make it easier to manage the condition effectively. Reducing your caloric intake if you are overweight or obese(BMI is over 30+) can help with an overall healthier body and less associated symptoms. Losing around 5-7% of weight over a year is a realistic aim and looking to maintain a weight in the ‘Normal’ BMI range is ideal. Visiting a dietician and speaking to your doctor regularly can help you develop schedules to help you monitor your weight carefully.

Medication

If diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you would usually be prescribed medication to help in the initial control of the condition whilst you implement the other lifestyle changes. The treatments are provided to aid in lowering the blood glucose level and most people will see an improvement in symptoms usually as long as they monitor their health and take their medication. The most regularly prescribed type 2 diabetes treatment is Metformin which belongs to a group of treatments known as biguanides. It is usually provided when lifestyle changes are not improving the symptoms or levels of blood glucose in the body.

Can I buy type 2 diabetes treatment online?

Yes, we take into consideration the delicate and important nature of ordering diabetes treatment online, and we offer Metformin on prescription as a Type 2 diabetes treatment. After taking a quick consultation at no extra cost, our doctors will study your medical details to see if they match the suitability requirements. Once approved a prescription is sent to our pharmacy who dispatch through our free delivery service straight to your door.

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