Type 2 Diabetes

Avoid complications and turn back your risk clock

Around 100,000 people, usually adults, are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every year.* By the time they’re diagnosed over half of them will have at least one complication. So it really is important for you to get diagnosed early. And if you find you don’t have diabetes but you are at risk, it’s not too late to turn back the clock and cut your chances of developing it in the future.

Understanding Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is when your body can’t make enough insulin, or the insulin it does make doesn’t work properly. The most common symptoms are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Passing water more often, especially at night
  • Blurred vision
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Genital itching and regular instances of thrush

Symptoms tend to develop over a number of years and lots of people put them down to just getting a bit older. In fact, some people can have Type 2 diabetes for up to ten years before they’re diagnosed.

Controlling your diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can be effectively managed using insulin, with regular finger prick blood glucose testing to keep a check on your levels. You can also help to control your blood glucose levels with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Who gets Type 2 diabetes?

The vast majority of people with diabetes have Type 2 and it normally develops in older people.
You’re most at risk if:

  • Your BMI (Body Mass Index) is greater than 30 – this is the single biggest risk factor
  • You’re white and over 40 years of age
  • You’re of South Asian, African Caribbean, Black African or Chinese descent and over 25 years of age
  • Your waist measures over 37” for men, over 31.5” for women
  • You have a family history of diabetes
  • You have high blood pressure, heart disease or have had a heart attack or stroke
  • You have high cholesterol
  • You’ve had high blood glucose in the past
  • You don’t do at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily
  • You gave birth to a large baby (over 4kg/9lb)
  • You don’t regularly eat fruit and vegetables

Over 2.5 million people in the UK are diagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes, but it’s thought that up to another 1 million people have the condition and don’t know it. And another 7 million people are at risk of developing it. That’s 8 million people who don’t know they’re at risk and may already have developed serious complications, like high blood pressure and heart disease.

More information

Understanding Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Children & Diabetes

Managing Your Diabetes
Foot Care

**Diabetes UK