Diabetes Control

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Symptoms, Control and Management

What is Type 2 diabetes mellitus?

Type 2 diabetes was previously called maturity-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes, and it is basically a disorder that onsets in middle age or later. However, due to the recent increasing rates of childhood obesity, this type of diabetes has started to appear in younger age groups. As Type 2 diabetes is linked with obesity, just as the obesity rates have soared in the last 20 years, so have the rates of Type 2 diabetes.

The underlying issue for Type 2 diabetes onset is the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin, a hormone that controls blood-glucose levels, which might due to one (or both) of two reasons. The first reason is that there are not enough insulin-producing cells present in the pancreas to keep up with the demand for insulin production. The second reason is that insulin resistance develops in the body’s target cells, with increasing amounts of insulin required to achieve the same effect. In either case, the ultimate effect is related to being overweight or obese.


What happens when insulin does not work effectively?

One of the key actions of the insulin in your body is in helping to regulate your blood-sugar (or, in more precise language, your blood-glucose) levels. Insulin achieves this partly by promoting the uptake of sugar by your cells (for example, your muscle cells). If the insulin does not have sufficient enough action then there is a reduction in the sugar uptake and this then causes an abnormal increase in your blood-sugar level, resulting in the symptoms of diabetes.


What are the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes?

The most common symptoms that are associated with Type 2 diabetes are:

  • An excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Itchiness
  • Passing excessive amounts of urine
  • Frequent skin infections (such as boils)


Your IPSA clinic: Diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes

Typically, your IPSA practitioner will diagnose diabetes based on both your symptoms and on the results of a simple blood-sugar test.


How can I prevent Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can run in families; even so, you can take steps to prevent the onset of diabetes.

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Always aim to eat a healthy diet
  • Ensure that you get adequate levels of exercise each day


Your IPSA clinic: Type 2 Diabetes control

Your treatment will very much depend on how well you manage to control your blood-sugar levels. At your IPSA clinic, your IPSA diabetes specialist usually initially aims for diabetes management and control through dietary changes alone, and you will be advised about these dietary changes and about the goals of these changes in terms of managing your condition whilst at your IPSA diabetes consultation. If on review, the diet-alone route has proven unsuccessful, then your IPSA specialist may then consider medication, which is typically either metformin tablets or gliclazide tablets.

The tablets that are prescribed for diabetes act in one of three main ways: to help your pancreas to produce more insulin; to help your body to use any insulin that is present more efficiently; or to slow down the glucose-absorption rate in your bowel after meals.

Unfortunately, for some Type 2 diabetes sufferers, treatment consisting of tablets and dietary changes is not effective in managing their diabetes; they may need insulin injections.


How you can help yourself if you have Type 2 diabetes

If you do suffer from Type 2 diabetes, then your IPSA specialist is there to help you. There are also things that you can do personally to help to control your diabetes, and these changes can be highly effective, as your IPSA practitioner will explain during your diabetes consultation.

  • If you are overweight then lose weight: Even reducing your body weight by 10% can reduce your fasting blood-sugar levels by 50%.
  • Exercise every day, as with diabetes, regular activity helps with your weight management, improves your insulin sensitivity (and thus improves your blood-glucose control), helps with the control of blood fats and also improves your sense of wellbeing.
  • Eat healthily through developing/maintaining a healthy ‘diabetic’ diet.
  • Regularly monitor your blood-sugar levels.


At your IPSA clinic, our aim is to prevent your diabetes from getting any worse and to monitor the other conditions that are related to diabetes (such as skin infections, kidney function, eye problems and your increased risk of heart disease).


For a confidential and client-centred approach to diabetes diagnosis, treatment and control, call your nearest IPSA clinic or book your same-day IPSA diabetes consultation online.


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