Are you at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes?

Are you at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes?

In 1996, just 1.4 million people in the UK were diagnosed with diabetes, but this figure has risen to 3.3 million and is expected to rise by another 1.7 million over the next decade. Around 700 people are diagnosed with diabetes a day – that’s the equivalent of 1 person every 2 minutes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas either fails to produce sufficient quantities of insulin, or because the body is resistant to the insulin that is produced. and is expected to rise by another 2.1 million over the next decade.


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It usually develops gradually over a period of several years, with many people not realising they have the condition for some time.

Type 2 diabetes is usually associated with older people, typically those over the age of 40 or 50, and is sometimes known as maturity-onset diabetes. However, increasing numbers of children and young people are now being diagnosed with the condition.


Who is at risk of contracting type 2 diabetes?
Several groups of people are at risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. These are the factors which can mean you are at risk:

Age: You’re more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes if you are over the age of 40.
This tends to be because as people get older, they often aren’t as fit as they were when they were younger, and tend to put on weight.
Now that many children and teenagers are overweight, people are increasingly being diagnosed when they are much younger.
Family history: People with a family history of diabetes are also at risk of being diagnosed with the condition. If your mother or father has type 2 diabetes, then you will have a one in three chance of having the same condition.
Having excess body fat: If you are overweight, you are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than if you are slim.

According to Diabetes UK, if you are female with a waist measurement of 31.5 inches or more, or if you’re male with a waist measuring more than 37 inches, you have a greater risk of being diagnosed with diabetes. South Asian men have a higher chance of developing diabetes if the waist measure more than 35 inches.
Ethnicity: You are three times more likely to develop diabetes if you are Middle Eastern or Afro-Caribbean, and six times more likely to develop it if you are south Asian.
Gestational diabetes: If you have developed gestational diabetes during any of your pregnancies, you’ll be at an increased risk of developing this form of diabetes.
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or IFG (Impaired fasting glycaemia): If you have impaired glucose intolerance, you have higher than usual glucose levels in your blood which makes you prone to type 2 diabetes. If you have impaired fasting glycaemia, and your glucose levels stay high even when you aren’t eating, this means your body isn’t able to effectively regulate glucose levels, again making you susceptible to diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms
It isn’t always easy to spot straightaway if you have type 2 diabetes, as it can take time for the condition to develop and you might not initially have any symptoms.
If you have type 2 diabetes, however, then you might experience some the symptoms below. You’ll most likely to experience these after you’ve eaten, as that is when your glucose levels will be higher.
• Feeling tired
• Need to urinate more regularly than usual, especially at night.
• Feeling thirstier than usual
• Feeling hungrier than usual
• Eyesight is blurry.
• Regularly occurring vaginal thrush infections
• Feeling itchy, particularly in the genital area.
• Cuts and other wounds taking longer than usual to heal


References
• Diabetes UK: ‘Key stats and figures 2015’


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