Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 2 Diabetes is caused by resistance to the effects of insulin and relative insulin deficiency generally due to a combination of genetic predisposition, poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight. Insulin is the hormone made by islet cells in the pancreas which helps body tissues use energy gained from the diet.

Type 2 Diabetics can make insulin; however, their bodies are resistant to this, requiring higher levels. Over time their ability to make insulin is also reduced and their response to medications may be lessened.

It is an exciting time for management of Type 2 diabetes with many new treatments available, some of which in addition to controlling blood sugar can help with weight loss and even improve risk of heart disease. However, the mainstay of treatment of Type 2 diabetes, particularly early on in the disease remains careful diet, regular exercise and weight loss.

Treatments available include tablets and injectable therapies.

It is useful for Type 2’s to see a specialist if they are not responding to regular therapy, need to go on to injectable therapy, have significant complications from their diabetes or are unable to take some treatments. It is also worth having a specialist review if it is not clear if you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, particularly if there is a strong family history of diabetes.

Diabetes WA, a support group for people with diabetes, has a lot of information on various aspects of diabetes on their website. See the box below for more details on managing your diabetes:

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