When newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it can be overwhelming. Understanding what is happening in the body when a person has diabetes can help make sense of the advice your diabetes care team will provide you with.
What is Diabetes ?
Diabetes is a long term condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it efficiently for energy. To use glucose for energy, your body needs insulin.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas completely stops producing insulin. This occurs most frequently in children and young people.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is making some insulin but not enough to meet the body’s needs or when the insulin produced does not work efficiently (insulin resistance).
When insulin is not present or does not work efficiently, glucose cannot get in to the cells and builds up in the bloodstream.
There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed. Balancing the carbohydrate foods (sugars and starches) you eat with physical activity and medicine (if prescribed) can keep your blood glucose in a healthy range.
Why do people develop type 2 diabetes?
• As you get older, your pancreas which produces insulin may not be working as efficiently as it did when you were younger
• Type 2 diabetes may be more common in your family
• Your may have had diabetes during a pregnancy or a baby that weighed over 10lbs
• You may be overweight?
• You may not take enough regular physical activity?
• You may have high blood pressure or cholesterol?
• You may have a lot of stress in your life or feel down causing unhealthy behaviours
• Your pancreas may not be making sufficient insulin due to long term use of steroids or damage to your pancreas.
You may be thinking that none of these apply to you! Sometimes there is no obvious reason why people develop type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Ireland is here to help you. Diabetes Ireland offers support and advice via the following:
• 1850 909 909 our lo-call helpline
• Email support via [email protected]
• Diabetes Ireland magazine issued to members quarterly
• Local support groups and community events
• CODE free structured education programme for those with type 2 diabetes