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Diabetes (Type 2)
Over 2 million people in the UK suffer from diabetes and, of the two main types, the vast majority have ‘Type 2’ diabetes.
Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes minimises the risk of a whole raft of diseases associated with it. But many people, about three quarters of a million, have no idea they even have it.
If you think you might have Type 2 diabetes, or want to know how to treat or prevent it, Barbara Myers will be in the Check Up studio with Dr Nick Oliver from St Mary’s Hospital in London.
Diabetes occurs when the level of glucose in the blood is too high. In Type 2 diabetes, there is either not enough of the hormone insulin to regulate this glucose level, or the tissues in the body that respond to insulin are impaired.
Even a mildly raised glucose level can affect the blood vessels in the long term, and raise the risk of numerous conditions from heart disease and stroke, to vision, kidney and nerve problems.
Type 2 diabetes usually develops in people over the age of forty who are overweight, and it’s particularly common in African, Afro-Caribbean and Asian people.
The symptoms can appear over weeks or months, which is why the disease can be overlooked. The classic signs are extreme thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, tiredness and generally feeling unwell.
Keeping your blood glucose as near normal as possible is the main aim of treatment.
For many people, lifestyle measures such as healthy eating, losing weight and exercise can help. Others may need medication too, to either boost the amount of insulin in the blood or increase the ability of the tissues to respond to it.
Type 2 diabetes is highly preventable. While weight loss for the overweight and a healthy diet are essential, recent research shows that exercise can reduce the risk of developing the disease, in those at high risk, by as much as thirty to forty percent.
Please contact the programme with your questions or comments about Type 2 diabetes on 08700-100-444 on the day of broadcast or e-mail using the Contact Check Up link.
Next week: COPD