When you or someone you know first gets diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, we understand that this can be overwhelming. The condition requires a lot of change in a short space of time and this can be a daunting process. But we are here to support you every step of the way.
At Diabetes Lifestyle Doctors, we know that every case of type 2 diabetes is different; there is not a ‘one size fits all’ plan and we not only want to help to understand the condition but make you aware of the best ways to manage it so you can continue to live the best life possible!
Type 2 diabetes, also known as type 2 diabetes mellitus, is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high.1
In your body, the hormone insulin is produced to help turn your food into energy. In a healthy individual, it’s production and release is a tightly regulated process, allowing the body to balance its metabolic needs to generate the energy it needs.6 Produced in the pancreas, insulin allows the cells in the muscles, fat and liver to absorb glucose that is in the blood.6 However, when the body can’t make enough insulin or the insulin doesn’t work properly, we get type 2 diabetes, as our sugar (glucose) levels continue to rise.2
For those with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still releases insulin in response to the production of glucose from the breakdown of carbohydrates from our food and drink. Unfortunately, as the insulin is unable to work in its normal
fashion, the body is unable to store glucose in a person’s muscles, fat and liver, and blood sugar levels continue to rise, which in the long term may result in even higher blood sugar levels and other complications.2
Regularly having high blood sugar levels for long periods of time (over months or years) can result in permanent damage to parts of the body such as the eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels.7
While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, there are many things that we can do to maintain the condition and continue to live an active and positive and even put the condition into remission; meaning there is no need to continue to take diabetes medication anymore.2
Type 2 diabetes will affect everyone differently so it’s important to know that you don’t have to put your life on hold, but the condition can be controlled and managed.
Prediabetes, also known as borderline diabetes, is a metabolic condition that means that your body has blood glucose (blood sugar) levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classed as diabetes.3 Higher than normal blood sugars can be referred to as Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG), Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), Impaired Glucose Regulation (IGR), and non-diabetic hyperglycaemia4 and can be detected via blood tests.
In short, yes. Prediabetes is considered a critical stage in the development of diabetes and if left undiagnosed or untreated, prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes. However, if early, decisive changes to lifestyle choices are made, the development of type 2 diabetes can be slowed or even halted,3 with up to 50% of cases of type 2 diabetes prevented or delayed.4
Several treatments are available to help control and manage type 2 diabetes including: medications, changes to diet and exercise regimes, and even some surgical procedures where necessary. Many people will need to use insulin at some point during their diabetes journey. It may be needed for a specific reason, such as during pregnancy, a severe illness, after surgery5, or if other medications aren’t deemed the right choice. When we have very-high blood sugar levels, insulin can also be used as a short-term treatment to bring blood sugar levels down quickly5. Some people may not have to use any medication to control their diabetes, by making positive changes to their diet and increasing their level of activity they are able to manage the condition. But, where further medication is needed, the most common tablet to help manage blood sugar levels is metformin5. There are also other medications available to assist weight loss and stimulate the pancreas.
Many things throughout our daily life may affect, or be affected by, our diabetes. From our daily habits such as drinking, smoking and exercise, to our work and our families, having diabetes will impact all aspects of your life; but this doesn’t have to be negative.
Here at Diabetes Lifestyle Doctors, our programme is designed to support you through your diabetes journey. We provide 1:1 nutritionist and group support to address all aspects of your lifestyle for maximum results.
1 NHS: What is type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes – NHS (www.nhs.uk). Accessed November 2021
2 Diabetes UK: Type 2 diabetes | What it is and what causes it | Diabetes UK. Accessed November 2021
3 Diabetes.co.uk Prediabetes (Borderline Diabetes) Prediabetes or Borderline Diabetes. Accessed November 2021
4 Diabetes UK: Prediabetes | Diabetes UK | Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes. Accessed November 2021
5 Diabetes UK: Diabetes Treatments | Treatments and management for your diabetes | Diabetes UK. Accessed November 2021
6 Hormone Health Network: What is Insulin? Insulin | Hormone Health Network. Accessed November 2021
7 NHS: Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) – NHS (www.nhs.uk). Accessed November 2021