Type 2 Diabetes Fact File

Type 2 Diabetes Quiz

How much do you know about Type 2 Diabetes? The answers are True or False

  1. Type 2 Diabetes is the mild version of Diabetes.
  2. You only get Type 2 Diabetes if you are obese.
  3. Exercise is one of the best ways to manage Type 2 Diabetes.
  4. Type 2 Diabetes means you never need to inject insulin to control it.

 

Answers at the bottom of the blog. How many did you get right?

Type 2 Diabetes vv Type 1

Type 2

Type 2 Diabetes generally appears later in life when the pancreas cells reduce how much insulin they produce and can also stop entirely. There is still much to learn about what actually happens but currently it is understood that there can be combinations of factors which can lead to this. 

Risk factors include:

  • Males more than females
  • Overweight or obese, particularly around the gut/abdomen
  • High fat, high sugar diets, especially if mother's diet during pregnancy was nutritionally poor
  • Low exercise levels
  • Middle age (40+)
  • Family history 

About 90% of cases in the UK are Type 2. But 58% can be managed or even prevented by healthier lifestyle choices.

Type 1 

This usually is triggered in childhood and has an autoimmune link. For more information on this check out our last blog or go to Diabetes UK website.

What goes wrong?

In a normal, healthy response to eating food, the body breaks any carbohydrates down into sugar (its most basic form) that go into the blood to travel to muscles and the brain making them work well. As the blood sugar levels rise, the body produces insulin in order for the body to absorb that sugar, thus returning the blood sugar levels back to normal range quite quickly after eating.

Type 2

Those suffering with Type 2 Diabetes can help control the sugar levels in their blood by different ways depending on how far advanced the pancreas damage is. Some can control things by making healthier lifestyle changes such as reducing high fat, high sugar foods, increasing activity levels and losing weight. If this isn't enough, tablets can be taken to help the insulin produced to work more effectively or to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. Sometimes when this isn't enough, injecting insulin is needed, like in Type 1. As with Type 1 sufferers, regular input from medical staff is needed to help support the sufferer and their families to manage their condition.

Signs and Symptoms

Unlike Type 1, there is less risk of the blood sugar levels going too low, although it can happen with some tablets or if insulin is needed. So high sugar levels and the long term risks of these is more of a problem of Type 2 Diabetes.

Low Blood Sugars

If blood sugar levels get too low problems can include:

  • shaking
  • fainting
  • irritability
  • loss of concentration
  • or worse case scenario, a coma

Treat with consuming something very sugary, such as crunching a boiled sweet, or a few mouthfuls of fizzy pop (not the sugar-free kinds), or if very low, a special gel or glucagon injection.

High Blood Levels

If sugar levels are too high symptoms include:

  • excessive thirst
  • sweating
  • weight loss without meaning to
  • needing to go to the toilet much more, especially at night
  • blurred vision
  • genital itching, thrush
  • cuts taking a long time to heal
  • very high levels can lead to a coma

If you think you have one or more of these symptoms, see your GP who can give you a test to see if this is a problem you have.

And over a long period of time (years), problems can include

  • nerve damage in feet and hands, leading to numbness and potential damage
  • eye damage and sight loss
  • kidney damage and failure
  • a higher risk of heart disease or stroke

Control can be maintained through exercise and a healthy, balanced diet, taking care with very fatty and/or sugary foods. Tablets helping stimulate insulin production or using it more effectively may be needed if this doesn't work, possibly leading to injecting insulin if the pancreas stops producing any at all.

IDH Training Support

IDH Training has a Diabetes Overview Course which is suitable for those caring for those suffering with either type of Diabetes. Great for those working in care homes or doing domiciliary care work. We have expert knowledge on this subject and can give up to date information.

For more information about our courses and prices or to make a booking, visit our website or contact us at idhtraining@gmail.com

Answers

Here are the answers to the questions at the start of the blog. How many did you get right?

  1. False - Type 2 Diabetes is not mild version of Diabetes. It has a different way of starting but the long term effects are similar and  life-changing
  2. False - You don't only get Type 2 Diabetes if you are obese. While obesity is a strong contributing factor it isn't essential in all cases.
  3. True - Exercise is one of the best ways to manage Type 2 Diabetes and the more you can do, helps the insulin regulate itself and aid weight loss, which then also helps with control. Win win 😉
  4. False - Type 2 Diabetes means you might need to inject insulin to control it if the pancreas stops producing insulin altogether. It depends on several factors but is never ruled out.