What is type 2 diabetes?
In people with diabetes, the body’s usual ways of controlling blood glucose levels do not work properly.
Normally, a hormone called insulin (made in the pancreas) controls the amount of glucose in the blood.
Insulin helps glucose enter cells in the body to be used as energy or to be stored for later use.
In type 2 diabetes, one of two things can happen:
- either the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, or
- cells stop responding properly to the insulin (this is known as ‘insulin resistance’).
In both cases, the end result is higher than normal blood glucose levels.
Over time, high blood glucose levels can cause a range of problems and complications, such as vision loss, kidney disease, foot and leg problems, and an increased risk of stroke and heart disease.
If you are living with type 2 diabetes, your treatment will usually include both lifestyle changes and diabetes medicines.