Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition that can lead to serious health problems.
You can reduce the risk of problems by controlling your , blood glucose levels and cholesterol. Eating healthily, being physically active and not smoking are also important.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Our 7-minute video provides an overview of what type 2 diabetes is and what happens inside the body.
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You can develop type 2 diabetes for two reasons:
- your body can still make some insulin, but not enough to cope with glucose (sugar) in food
- your body can still make some insulin but the insulin does not work properly (known as insulin resistance).
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes (90 out of 100 people with diabetes worldwide have type 2 diabetes), and treatment can involve a combination of lifestyle changes, weight loss, tablets and injections.
You may sometimes hear type 2 diabetes called non-insulin dependent diabetes. This is an old term which isn't used much any more. It refers to the fact that not all people with type 2 diabetes will be treated with insulin, although some may need to be.
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
The symptoms of diabetes may develop very slowly, and some people may not experience any symptoms at all. This means that people can live with type 2 diabetes for many years without realising they have it.
Symptoms of untreated type 2 diabetes include:
- frequently needing to urinate
- feeling thirsty
- feeling tired
- blurry vision
- itchy skin, particularly around genitals
- sudden weight loss.