type 2 diabetes

Looking for more information about type 2 diabetes? We’ve got all you need to know.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition where the insulin your pancreas makes can’t work properly, or your pancreas can’t make enough insulin. This means your blood glucose (sugar) levels keep rising.

 

 

What causes type 2 diabetes?

We all need insulin to live. It does an essential job. It allows the glucose in our blood to enter our cells and fuel our bodies.

When you have type 2 diabetes, your body still breaks down carbohydrate from your food and drink and turns it into glucose. The pancreas then responds to this by releasing insulin. But because this insulin can’t work properly, your blood sugar levels keep rising. This means more insulin is released.

For some people with type 2 diabetes, this can eventually tire the pancreas out, meaning their body makes less and less insulin. This can lead to even higher blood sugar levels and mean you are at risk of hyperglycaemia.

Is type 2 diabetes serious?

Around 90% of people with diabetes in the UK have type 2. It is a serious condition and can be lifelong.

If left untreated, high sugar levels in your blood can seriously damage parts of your body, including your eyes, heart and feet. These are called the complications of diabetes. But with the right treatment and care, you can live well with type 2 diabetes and reduce your risk of developing them.

Learn more about diabetes complications.

Managing type 2 diabetes

Learning how to live with type 2 diabetes can be challenging, but we’ll help you to discover what works for you. Some people can manage it through healthier eating, being more active or losing weight. But eventually, most people will need medication to bring their blood sugar down to their target level.

Learn more about managing your diabetes.

Can type 2 diabetes be cured?

There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but some people are able to put their diabetes into remission. This means that your blood sugar levels are healthy and you don’t need to take diabetes medication any more. Remission can be life-changing, but it’s not possible for everyone.

Learn more about diabetes remission.

Treatments for type 2 diabetes

There are a number of different ways you can treat type 2 diabetes, such as making healthy lifestyle choices, using insulin or taking medication. Your healthcare team will help you to find the right treatment for you. This can reduce your risk of developing complications and help you to live well with diabetes.

Learn more about diabetes treatments.

Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes

When you have type 2 diabetes your body can’t get enough glucose into your cells, so a common symptom is feeling very tired. There are also other symptoms to look out for. These include feeling thirsty, going to the toilet a lot and losing weight without trying to.

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can develop more slowly than the symptoms of type 1 diabetes, making the condition harder to spot. That’s why a lot of people don’t get any symptoms or don’t notice them.

Some people also don’t think the symptoms are important, so don’t ask for help. This means some people can live for up to 10 years with type 2 diabetes before being diagnosed.

Learn more about the symptoms of diabetes.

Risk factors of type 2 diabetes

There are several factors that can affect your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Because the symptoms of type 2 diabetes are not always obvious, it’s really important to be aware of these risk factors. They can include:

  • your age
  • if you have a parent, brother, sister or child with diabetes
  • your ethnicity
  • high blood pressure
  • being overweight

We’ve got more information about all of the risk factors, as well as a Know The Risk tool that can help you discover your risk of type 2 diabetes within minutes.

Learn more about the risk factors of type 2 diabetes.

Newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

Knowing where to get started following a type 2 diagnosis can be a challenge. You may feel overwhelmed, but it’s important to know there isn’t a one-size-fits all ap