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Health Diabetes


Type 2 diabetes: are you at risk?


According to Diabetes UK, about 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Here’s how to tell if you're at risk


Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes your blood sugar level to become too high. It’s the most common of the two main types of diabetes:


Type 1 This is where your body doesn't produce any of a hormone called insulin, a hormone made by your pancreas to control the amount of glucose in your blood. It usually develops in people under the age of 40, and symptoms can include shaking, sweating, thirstiness and weight loss.


Type 2 If you have type 2 diabetes your pancreas either doesn't produce enough insulin or your body is unable to use the insulin that it produces. According to the NHS, many people may have type 2 diabetes without realising it. That's because some of the symptoms don't necessarily make you feel unwell. If you have type 2 diabetes, your symptoms may include


the following:


• Needing to go to the toliet frequently, especially at night • Increased thirst • Unexplained and extreme tiredness • Unexplained weight loss (sometimes drastic) • Regular bouts of thrush and/or genital itching • Wounds that are slow to heal • Blurred vision


Risk factors Three of the main risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes are:


Age Being over the age of 40 (or over 25 those who are African-Caribbean, black African or South Asian.)


Genetics Having a close relative with the condition, such as a parent, brother, sister or child


Weight Being overweight or obese (especially if you have an increased waist measurement)


People of south Asian, Chinese, African Caribbean or black African origin are also more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even if they were born in the UK. According to Diabetes UK, you’re also more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you’ve ever had…


• High blood pressure • A heart attack or stroke • Polycystic ovaries, gestational diabetes (high blood sugar during pregnancy) or if you’ve had a baby weighing more than 10 pounds.


Many Careway pharmacies also offer type 2 diabetes screening. Find out if there’s a participating pharmacy near where you live by visiting www.careway.co.uk/find-a- pharmacy. This simple test usually involves pricking one of your fingers for a tiny sample of blood, which is then tested for raised glucose levels. If your results suggest you have – or might have – type 2 diabetes, your pharmacist will refer you to your GP for more tests. There’s nothing you can do about some of these risk


factors – you can’t for instance, change your age, your genes or your ethnic background. But there are certain lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent the condition developing, including:


• Eating a healthy, balanced diet • Losing weight if you're overweight, and maintaining a healthy weight


• Stopping smoking if you smoke • Drinking alcohol in moderation • Taking plenty of regular exercise


14 All About health


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