What is Type 2 Diabetes? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Well Heeled

Understanding Diabetes – Type 2

This ‘Type 2 Diabetes’ article is Part of our ‘Understanding Diabetes’ information posts
Everything We Need to Know About Type 2 Diabetes

The Olympic games inspired most of us to be healthy and active. We should all be so lucky to be fit and athletic. However, some of us struggle with unfortunate health conditions that could alter our lives immensely. Type 2 diabetes is a health condition that affects a large percentage of people. Since type 2 diabetes can be life-threatening, it is essential that we understand what it is, its symptoms, and how to prevent it. Here at Well Heeled we wanted to look more closely at the different types of diabetes in more detail. You can check the general diabetes posts here as well as the Type 1 Diabetes posts here.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Our bodies function with hormones. These hormones are usually carefully controlled. One of these vital hormones for a healthy body is insulin. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes prevents your body from using insulin how it should; therefore, people with type 2 diabetes are frequently referred to as struggling with insulin resistance.

Although kids and teens can get type 2 diabetes, it mainly affects middle-aged individuals. This explains why it was previously called adult-onset diabetes. Nevertheless, type 2 diabetes is a significant concern to our society because it is the kind of diabetes that is most commonly found in people.

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are often mild and might result in someone not being aware that they have diabetes. Therefore we should take great care of our health. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

an unquenchable thirst
Frequent urination
Unclear vision that is often blurry
Feeling grumpy
Feeling numb in your feet or hands
Experiencing a tingling sensation in your feet or hands
Feeling fatigued
Cuts and bruises take an unnaturally long time to heal
Struggling with yeast infections that keep returning
Constant cravings and hunger
Sudden and unexplained weight loss
Being susceptible to infections
Unexplained rashes, especially around the neck or armpits

Symptoms differ from person to person, and not everyone shows severe symptoms; therefore, it is essential to visit your doctor if you show any signs or suspect that you might have type 2 diabetes.
What causes type 2 diabetes?

It isn’t uncommon for type 2 diabetes to be caused by a combination of factors. These factors include:

Your genes
Being obese or overweight
Struggling with metabolic syndromes
Overproduction of glucose from the liver
Improper cell communication
Damaged beta cells

What are the risk factors of type 2 diabetes?

Some elements increase your odds of getting type 2 diabetes. These risk factors include:


People are more likely to get type 2 diabetes if they are older than 45 years old.


People who have parents, brothers, or sisters who have type 2 diabetes are at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.


Some ethnicities have higher odds of getting type 2 diabetes.

Your medical history

Our health history can play a huge factor when it comes to getting type 2 diabetes. These medical history complications can increase your odds of getting type 2 diabetes. These include:

Being prediabetic
Struggling with a blood vessel or heart disease
Having high blood pressure
Obesity or being overweight
Struggling with gestational diabetes during pregnancy
Suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Having a history of depression
Unhealthy habits and lifestyle

Several habits can increase your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. These include:

Not getting enough exercise
Heavy smoking
Being overly stressed
Either sleeping too much or not enough

How do they test for type 2 diabetes?

If you show symptoms or you suspect that you might have type 2 diabetes, you can ask your doctor to test your blood. It isn’t uncommon for doctors to test the blood on two separate days to be sure unless the blood glucose is high enough and the symptoms are severe enough to confirm type 2 diabetes without a second test.
What is the treatment for type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes requires an improvement of your lifestyle combined with medication. Following a proper diet with regular exercise can help reach the blood sugar levels you are hoping for. Here are a few things that can help your manage your type 2 diabetes:

Losing weight

People who are obese or overweight who have type 2 diabetes will benefit from dropping extra weight.

Eating healthily

Although there isn’t a required diet for type 2 diabetes, following a healthy eating plan is an excellent idea if you have type 2 diabetes. A dietician can advise you on healthy choices.

Regular exercise

If you have type 2 diabetes, it is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. The physical activity you choose doesn’t matter as long as your heart rate increases. Great physical activities include walking, swimming, and riding a bike. Ask your doctor about the medication you are taking before starting your exercise routine because some medications can lower blood sugars. This might mean that you might need to eat something before exercising.

monitoring the levels of your blood sugar

Not all treatments of type 2 diabetes are the same. However, if you are on insulin, you will need to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels. Your doctor will inform you about testing your blood sugar levels and how frequently you need to do so.
Who can help me treat my type 2 diabetes?

If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, having a solid medical health team is very beneficial. Living with diabetes is more manageable if you have these medical professionals to help you:

A dietitian
a pharmacist
a podiatrist
an ophthalmologist
an endocrinologist
a nurse
a dentist

You may also benefit from equipment that helps to better support living with diabetes, such as our own Shaped Up Diabetic Socks which could help to reduce the risk of developing foot ulcers and have been developed in conjunction with the Royal College of Podiatry.
Can I prevent type 2 diabetes?

Although it isn’t possible to completely prevent type 2 diabetes, there are ways to lower the odds of getting it. These include:

Lose weight if you are carrying extra weight
Exercising regularly
Following a healthy, balanced diet
Cut down on smoking


Achieving a healthy life is about balance. Following a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and making good health choices go a long way in keeping us all healthier and happier. Taking care of yourself is vital because your health is priceless.

About Me

Founder of Well Heeled - I have a great interest in diabetes and the effect on those diagnosed as well as those around them. With over 20 years in health and social care, as a qualified social worker and as a passionate educator within the health and social care sector, I wanted to bring further information to others around diabetes and other issues.

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