What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition where an individual's blood sugar levels remain too high for a prolonged period of time and can be categorised into two types, these being; type 1 and type 2. The differences between these two forms of diabetes can be seen in the section below.
According to recent statistics, there are currently around 3.9 million people in the UK living with diabetes (more than one in sixteen people). There are even more people with blood sugar levels higher than the normal range, but their blood sugar levels aren't quite high enough for them to be diagnosed as diabetic. This is referred to as pre diabetes, where the risk of developing type 1 or type 2 diabetes is significantly increased. Therefore, it is essential that treatment for diabetes be taken as soon as possible. While there isn't an actual cure for diabetes, it can be effectively managed throughout life, significantly decreasing the likelihood of any serious health risks occurring.
Stomach converts food to glucose
Pancreas produces sufficient insulin but it is resistant to effective use
Glucose enters bloodstream
Glucose is unable to enter the body effectively
Glucose levels in the bloodstream increase
What is the difference between type 1 and type 2?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that is diagnosed when the body is not producing any insulin at all. There is no way of preventing or reversing type 1 diabetes and any individual diagnosed with this condition will need to receive insulin, for example by injecting it themselves, throughout their lifetime.
In contrast, type 2 diabetes occurs when the cells in the body are not able to respond in the right way to insulin that is produced, or if the body is not producing enough insulin. This form of the condition can be controlled if a healthy diet is maintained and the blood sugar level is carefully monitored. However, it may be necessary at some stage to take medication, as type 2 is progressive. The development of type 2 has been linked with obesity in many cases, and if this condition develops as a result of obesity it is known as maturity-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is far more common that type 1, affecting 90% of those diagnosed with the condition.
Causes of type 2 diabetes
Although there isn't a pinpoint cause for type 2 diabetes, there are several factors that can contribute to the overall risk and development of this condition, they include:
ethnicity can also play a part, studies have suggested that type 2 diabetes is up to 6 times more likely to occur in people of South Asian descent, and three times more likely in African/Caribbean people; compared to those of caucasian heritage.
It is also possible, though rare, that some medications can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. In most cases of this type, diabetics will be advised to make dietary changes and maintain a healthy diet. This will be sufficient to control the condition for some individuals.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes
When attempting to spot early signs of diabetes, it is essential that you understand the differences, as well as similarities, between the symptoms for type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
The diabetes symptoms for both type 1 and type 2 tend to be quite similar, and is most times used when first diagnosing the condition. They include:
Slow healing infections
This applies to both men and women with diabetes. It is also possible in some cases to experience cramps, vision changes and constipations. These are usually signs that the condition has been ongoing for a while without adequate treatment.
What is the difference between the two types?
Symptoms of type 1 are likely to develop very quickly and are usually far more severe if left untreated. In contrast, symptoms of type 2 are slower to develop and far milder. This can mean that type 2 diabetes can go unnoticed for some time, potentially even years.
Benefits of managing type 2 diabetes
There are a variety of benefits that can be experienced if you successfully treat your type 2 diabetes. These benefits can include the following:
- Reduced blood sugar levels
any lasting damage to your organs and tissues can be avoided by managing the condition in time
- Healthier lifestyle
controlling your blood sugar can also lead to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels
- Lowered risk of cardiovascular problems
issues such as potential stroke or angina can be avoided with correct managementstained
- Avoid potential diseases
such as eye problems, kidney disease or diabeteic foot
Patients using medication in the long-term to manage their diabetes have seen significant improvement to the health of their heart, brain, and legs. This long-delayed effect, as a result of tight glucose control, is referred to as the 'legacy effect'
What are the risks associated with type 2 diabetes?
If left untreated and the signs of diabetes are ignored, then the condition can potentially cause a number of serious health complications. The high sugar levels associated with this condition can cause damage to blood vessels, nerves and organs, which can lead to health issues such as:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage
- Foot problems
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Miscarriage and stillbirth
Treating your type 2 diabetes, and managing it over time, using effective and clinically proven prescription medication can help you to successfully avoid all of these possible risks.
Treatment options for type 2 diabetes
When looking to treat your type 2 diabetes, it is important to consider all forms of treatment available, before committing to the best one.
When you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you will have to closely monitor your health for the rest of your life. This primarily includes dieting, losing a sufficient amount of weight, and increasing your level of physical activity by exercising regularly. This can help to keep your blood sugar level at a safer and healthier level.
However, for many people with type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes will not be enough to help control the condition in the long-term. In these cases, medication will be required, usually in the form of tablets.
Insulin injections are another form of treatment for diabetes. This therapy is an important part of diabetes treatment and is diagnosed by doctors. Insulin injections are used in the form of a syringe or an insulin pen. These injections are taken 2 to 4 times a day.
However, this treatment is used specifically for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. As mentioned before, we currently don't offer any treatments for type 1 diabetes. For more information regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes you can look at the information provided by the NHS Choice website.
A group of medications called biguanides are commonly prescribed for type 2 diabetes, of which metformin is one. Other medications include sulphonylureas, glitazones, prandial glucose regulators, DPP-4 inhibitors and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors. Varieties of these are available to buy at HealthExpress.
Various clinical studies have proven the effectiveness of these forms of medication when used to treat individuals with type 2 diabetes. These medications come with little to no side effects, and can decrease the risk of certain health problems (e.g. heart disease and nerve damage) occurring in the future.
In order to effectively manage your diabetes in the long run, it is advised that you use prescription medication, as prescribed by a doctor. However, it is also essential to maintain a healthier lifestyle, resulting in a far safer and healthier blood sugar level. By using a combination of prescription medication and lifestyle changes, the risks associated with type 2 diabetes are far less likely to develop.
Prevention for type 2 diabetes
type 2 diabetes is a completely preventable condition. It can be prevented by following the below methods of prevention:
- Following a healthy and balanced diet plan, including food that is higher in fibre, but lower in fat and calories
- Losing weight (if you are overweight or dealing with obesity) or maintaining a healthy weight
- Decreasing your alcohol intake, or even avoiding alcohol altogether can also significantly help
- Following an effective exercise regime. Doing at least 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity can truly make a difference
- If you are a smoker, it can help to stop smoking
- It can also help to check your blood sugar levels at least once a year, to ensure that you haven't developed type 2 diabetes
What are the options we have to offer for diabetes?
Managing type 2 diabetes is essential to prevent long-term damage to your health. Diabetes can be effectively managed by using one of our available treatments, which are all approved by UK qualified doctors and are clinically proven to effectively treat type 2 diabetes. Treatments such as Metformin, Competact and Januvia help the body to control sugar levels in the blood and can also lower cholesterol levels. You can order any of these treatments quickly and safely online by completing our free, quick, and simple online consultation.
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Managing type 2 diabetes is essential to prevent long-term damage to your health. You can mange this condition with daily prescription treatments and a healthy lifestyle.