Type 2 Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition where the body does still produce some insulin, but that insulin is either ineffective or there is not enough of it. In some cases, both can occur.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for around 85% of all cases. It is usually seen in adults but is starting to be seen in teenagers and children.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

The exact cause of type 2 diabetes is not known. However research indicates that there are a number of risk factors associated with the condition.

Some of these risk factors – such as diet, physical exercise and weight – are within your ability to control.

However other risk factors – such as age, family history, ethnic background and a history of gestational diabetes – are not within your control.

Find out the steps you can take to prevent a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

How do I know if I have type 2 diabetes?

Often there are no obvious symptoms of type 2 diabetes. In fact, it is estimated that for every person diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, there is another person who also has the condition but does not know it.

For some people, the first sign of type 2 diabetes may be a complication of the condition, such as vision problems or a foot ulcer.

Therefore it is important to know the signs, so that you can speak to your doctor if you begin to notice them:

  • excessive thirst
  • gradual increase in weight
  • passing more urine
  • tiredness and lethargy
  • constant hunger
  • cuts that heal slowly
  • itching, skin infections
  • blurred vision
  • mood swings
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • leg cramps.

How is type 2 diabetes managed?

Regular physical activity, a healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthy weight and stress management are the cornerstones of managing type 2 diabetes.

Often these lifestyle measures are enough to manage the condition in the beginning.

However it is important to recognise that type 2 diabetes is progressive. This means that over time most people with type 2 diabetes will also need medication and many will also need insulin.

This is just the natural progression of the condition, and medication as soon as it is required can result in fewer complications in the long-term.

What happens if I don’t manage type 2 diabetes well?

Diabetes is a complex condition; it can affect many parts of your physical, mental and emotional well being. Poorly managed type 2 diabetes can lead to a number of serious complications.

How can Diabetes WA help me?

Diabetes WA is here to provide you will all of the information, education and support that you need to confidently manage your type 2diabetes.

Our Diabetes Education and Self-Management for the Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed (DESMOND) course and our Living with Diabetes course are designed specifically for adults with type 2 diabetes. We also run the SMART programs, a series of short group education sessions designed to provide information on difference aspects of diabetes management.

You can contact our Diabetes Information and Advice Line to have all of your diabetes questions answered by a qualified professional, or you can book in to have a private consultation with one of our credentialled diabetes educators.

We also have a number of programs designed to help you adopt a healthier lifestyle, which will ultimately help you to better manage your diabetes.

We have a resource library – full of factsheets, ebooks and multicultural resources – at your disposal.

Lastly, we have free e-newsletter – Talking Type 2 – covering the latest news, research, recipes and events for people living with type 2 diabetes. Interested? Sign up to start receiving it today.

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