Living with Type 2 Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated. It is a disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it produces. It is very important that diabetes be diagnosed as soon as possible, as it will progressively worsen if left untreated. There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but losing weight, eating well and exercising can help you manage the disease.

If diet and exercise aren't enough to control your blood sugar, you may also need diabetes medication or insulin therapy. Uncontrolled diabetes means your blood sugar levels are too high, even if you're treating it. And you may have symptoms such as urinating more often, being very thirsty, and having other diabetes-related problems. Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. However, the risk may be even greater if your condition is not managed properly.

This is because high blood glucose levels can damage the cardiovascular system. Type 2 diabetes used to be known as adult-onset diabetes, but both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can begin during childhood and adulthood. It is also increasingly common for children — as young as seven years old in some cases — to develop type 2 diabetes, mainly due to rising levels of obesity. We recommend committing to a healthy lifestyle today, so you can learn to live with diabetes for many years. Early diagnosis and treatment of type 2 diabetes is very important, as they can reduce the risk of developing complications later. Initially, it will usually be in the form of tablets and sometimes it may be a combination of more than one type of tablet.

People of South Asian, Chinese, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-African descent have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes at a much earlier age. Untreated diabetes can cause serious complications affecting almost every part of the body, including the heart, kidneys, blood vessels, eyes, nerves, gastrointestinal tract, gums, and teeth. In severe cases, it can lead to death. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), type 2 diabetes is more likely to develop in people over the age of 45, but more young adults, adolescents and children have been diagnosed with this condition in recent years. Some people with diabetes may be eligible for disability and disability benefits, depending on the impact the condition has on their lives. If you have type 2 diabetes, your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, foot problems, and eye and kidney disease increases.

New research suggests that a three-meal-a-day rather than six-meal-a-day approach brings more benefits to people with type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, in addition to having your blood glucose level checked by a health professional every two to six months, you may be advised to monitor your own blood glucose levels at home. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach, can't produce enough insulin to control blood glucose levels or when cells in the body don't respond properly to the insulin that is produced.

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