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Type 2 Diabetes - Know Your Risk

Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week is taking place from 22nd May to 28th May this year and Diabetes UK joins NHS England as proud campaign partners for this annual awareness week.

There are 13.6 million people in the UK at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is far more common that Type 1, every 2 minutes someone finds out that they have Type 2 Diabetes. But for many people there are steps you can take to reduce the risk.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the insulin it does produce doesn’t work properly (insulin resistance). It can be a combination of both. Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems. It’s a leading cause of vision loss in people of working age, and is also responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation (other than accidents). People with diabetes are at least twice as likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than those without diabetes. It’s therefore essential to be diagnosed as early as possible because Type 2 diabetes is likely to get worse if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment may also reduce the risk of developing complications later on.

Type 2 diabetes risk factors include:

  • Age

  • Family history

  • Ethnicity

  • Weight

  • Blood pressure

  • History of heart attacks or stroke

  • History of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression, or receiving treatment with anti-psychotic medication

  • History of polycystic ovarian syndrome or gestational diabetes in women

There are several risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, some of which can’t be changed. The risk of Type 2 diabetes can be reduced by getting support to lose weight (where appropriate), getting more physically active and eating healthy food.

Your free local Healthier You service can support you in taking action in all these areas. Making changes now can lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Speak with your GP if you are concerned about your pre-existing health conditions and your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

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