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We observe World Diabetes Day but encourage our Link customers to be aware of diabetes every day. Focusing on Type 2 Diabetes, we answer questions on what causes diabetes, what the health risks are, how it can be diagnosed, and what you can do to reduce your chances of getting the disease.

Type 2 Diabetes
People with Type 2 Diabetes may not notice any symptoms. For this reason it’s very important to ask your pharmacist to test your blood sugar, which is a quick and easy process.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?
The CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) describes Type 2 Diabetes well in layman’s terms. It occurs when your body does not use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults (but is increasingly found in children, teens, and young adults). As mentioned, you may not notice symptoms so it’s a good idea to get screened by your pharmacist or doctor.

What symptoms should you be alert to?

The Mayo Clinic notes that symptoms often develop slowly but when they do present, the following are typical:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits or neck

You should see your doctor if any of these symptoms present. Type 2 Diabetes can be treated through lifestyle changes and medication which your doctor may prescribe.

What health complications are associated with untreated Type 2 Diabetes?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, potential complications can be serious, including:

  • Eye problems
  • Foot problems, including leg and foot ulcers
  • Gum disease and mouth problems
  • Hearing loss
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver problems
  • Nerve damage
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Skin conditions
  • Stroke
  • Urinary and bladder infection

Having your sugar levels tested by your doctor or pharmacist is important as Type Two Diabetes can result in complications.

Can Type 2 Diabetes be prevented?

The WHO (World Health Organisation) encourages four ways of preventing the disease:

  • Reach and keep a healthy body weight.
  • Stay physically active with a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
  • Follow a healthy diet and avoid sugar and saturated fat.
  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco products.

Even if you do maintain a healthy lifestyle, you should still regularly get your sugar levels tested.

How is Type 2 Diabetes treated?
The WHO urges people to be tested as a blood sugar test is inexpensive and early diagnosis can result in early treatment.

Depending on the circumstances, additional treatment may be required such as foot care to treat ulcers, screening and treatment of resultant kidney disease, and eye screenings to detect conditions such as glaucoma which can cause blindness.

The WHO stresses that one of the most important ways to treat diabetes is to keep a healthy lifestyle.

Please visit your Link pharmacy or doctor for a quick and easy blood sugar test.

While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose. No content in this article, irrespective of the date or reference source, should be viewed as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, pharmacist or any other suitably qualified clinician.