Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes- what is it exactly?

Have you just been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes is a progressive condition where the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin.  It also occurs when the pancreas gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin. 

Over 85% of new diagnoses of diabetes are type 2.  It has historically been a condition of people aged over 45, although the incidence of type 2 diabetes in younger people is increasing.

For some people, the first they know they have type 2 diabetes is when they consult their General Practitioner for another health condition or for a check up as they get older.  They may have also been experiencing one or more of the symptoms described below but don’t realise there is anything wrong. 

Causes

Causes of type 2 Diabetes include

  • family history
  • being over 55 years of age
  • overweight
  • high blood pressure
  • having an Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander, Indian or Chinese background
  • having a history of gestational diabetes or
  • having suffered from polycystic ovaries

Symptoms 

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes can include:

  • excessive thirst
  • passing more urine than usual
  • feeling tired and lethargic
  • always hungry
  • cuts heal slowly
  • blurred vision
  • putting on weight
  • mood swings
  • headaches
  • feeling dizzy and
  • leg cramps

Management 

As a lifestyle disease, type 2 diabetes can be very effectively managed if relevant lifestyle factors are managed.  There is increasing evidence that some of the effects of type 2 diabetes can be reversed if lifestyle such as diet and exercise is improved.

A combination of regular physical activity, healthy eating and weight reduction is the best way to manage type 2 diabetes.

Most people will need oral medication and /or insulin injections if the condition progresses.

It is important for people with Type 2 diabetes to manage their health so that they reduce the potential for complications.

Complications

The complications of type 2 diabetes are no less serious than those experienced by people with type 1 diabetes but because they take longer to develop, are not given the attention they deserve.

  • People with diabetes are up to 4 times more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness
  • Kidney failure is 3 times more common in people with diabetes
  • Amputations are 15 times more common in people with diabetes with poor circulation also leading to chronic wounds such as leg ulcers
  • More than 30% of people with diabetes experience depression, anxiety and distress

Handy Hints

Early diagnosis, optimal treatment and effective ongoing support and management reduces the risk of diabetes related complications.

It is important for people with a diagnosis of diabetes to learn how to look after themselves to minimise or prevent complications. 

Regular check ups with your GP are essential so that the impact of the diabetes can be monitored.  

Keeping an eye on other factors such as your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar levels are also important.

How GRIT Health may help

For people who don’t know where to start, GRIT Health is the perfect way to manage your type 2 diabetes. With GRIT Health you can monitor your physical activity, eating patterns and weight reduction. It can also help to remind you to take your medications.

A GRIT Health subscription is the perfect platform to collect your blood sugar levels as well as other health data such as your blood pressure each time you take them. Next time you see your GP or specialist all of the information you have collected about you is available in one place.  This better informs the clinical decisions your treating health team need to make. 

It also allows you to monitor exactly what your blood sugar and other health information is doing with the knowledge that all off your data is being monitored daily by a GRIT Team leader. The aim of the monitoring is to stop things before they escalate into a major issue. 

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