Today Diabetes UK in partnership with Tesco is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the complications of type 2 diabetes. According to the charity only a third of us are aware of what could happen if our type 2 diabetes goes undiagnosed and/or untreated.
What is type 2 diabetes?
A person with type 2 diabetes is still producing insulin, but not enough, either because their pancreas isn’t releasing so much, or because they are becoming resistant to their own insulin, or both.
When we put on weight, our insulin resistance increases as well as blood pressure, and often cholesterol. All of these things can increase our risk of not only developing type 2 diabetes, but also our risk of strokes and heart attacks.
What problems does type 2 diabetes cause?
The increased sugar in your bloodstream can damage small blood vessels, this can cause blindness, chronic kidney disease (where kidney function is substantially decreased), it can also cause a loss of feeling and/or pain in the extremities caused by associated nerve damage. Many men with type 2 diabetes will also suffer from erectile dysfunction (sometimes referred to as ‘impotence’).
How can I protect myself from type 2 diabetes?
- Diabetes UK has a handy online tool to help calculate your risk of type 2 diabetes. You can find it here: http://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/
- Keeping healthy by eating a varied diet (which will reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease too).
- Get some cardiovascular exercise (this is the sort that increases your heartrate); this improves your heart health, and burns calories, reducing your weight, your insulin resistance, your cholesterol and your blood pressure. Result!