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Diabetes

The symptoms and causes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that involves a person's blood sugar levels increasing beyond a normal level. Diabetes can be split into two categories; type 1 and type 2. Type 1 generally develops early on in life and is unavoidable, whilst type 2 is more common (affecting around 90% of all diabetics in the UK) and can often develop through lifestyle factors such as diet.

Dr Hilary Jones Dr Hilary Jones
OnlineClinic Medical Advisor

"Managing type 2 diabetes is extremely important, and a large part of this is following the right course of treatment. Some people will be prescribed medication to help manage their condition."

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  • The most widely used treatment for type 2 diabetes
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What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the blood sugar levels in the body. As these levels become too high, symptoms occur, which can be treated effectively. Many people can go for years without being diagnosed with diabetes, especially Type 2, so it is important to get checked so you can manage any symptoms.

Type 2 diabetes can cause further health complications in the future including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and nerve damage to name just four, so the benefits of managing the condition are long-term as well as short-term.

  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Reduced risk of stroke
  • Reduced risk of certain diseases
  • You will become healthier

According to the NHS, approximately 3.9 million people in the UK have diabetes with the vast majority developing Type 2 over time due to lifestyle choices. Based on these figures, it can be estimated that 3,510,000 people currently have Type 2 diabetes in the UK and this number is increasing.

At OnlineClinic, we focus on providing effective treatment for Type 2 diabetes only. For more information on Type 1 and how to treat the condition visit our informational page.

Diabetes causes

The causes for diabetes will vary from person-to-person but one influential factor could be hereditary; 33% of children with a parent with Type 2 diabetes will go on to have the condition. With the rise in adults getting the condition, the rise in children is set to increase also. Other causes of Type 2 diabetes are:

  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Lack of exercise

Luckily, these are all lifestyle choices that can be adjusted to avoid diabetes. For a minority of women, pregnancy can cause Type 2 diabetes and for some ethnicity can also be a factor. For example, a study has shown that African/Caribbean and South Asian people can be up to three times more likely to contract diabetes.

Diabetes symptoms

Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes can be difficult to distinguish, as many signs could be a whole host of other conditions. That is why the diagnosis of diabetes can take years, and seeing your doctor regarding your symptoms is so important. Type 1 has the same symptoms, but they develop far more quickly and can be more severe.

  • Weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness and fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Urinating frequently
  • Thrush or genital itching
  • Urinary infection
  • Warts and boils

Treating diabetes

Type 1 diabetes should be monitored by a medical professional and regular insulin shots. Type 2 requires less maintenance but there are still treatments that can help reduce symptoms. Diabetes can be treated with lifestyle changes and medications to alleviate signs and minimise further risks associated with the condition.

  • Prescription medication such as metformin can be used to treat Type 2 diabetes, especially for the long-term. Metformin has been proven to reduce blood sugar level and lessen the risk of lifelong health problems diabetes can cause such as heart disease.
  • Insulin injections are commonly associated with diabetics, however only those with Type 1 must take insulin shots to help regulate blood sugar levels.

Weight loss

A growing number of diabetes diagnoses are being linked to obesity so losing weight by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and cutting back of fatty and sugary foods can help manage the condition.

Preventing diabetes

Whilst Type 1 diabetes can rarely be avoided, Type 2 can. One of the leading causes of Type 2 diabetes is an unhealthy lifestyle so the condition can be prevented, or the chance significantly reduced, by doing the following:

  • Diet regime – Meals and snacks that are lower in calories and fat
  • Exercise – 150 minutes per week is the recommended time for UK adult
  • Quit smoking – Like all conditions, stopping the habit can help significantly
  • Quit alcohol – Stopping or reducing your alcohol intake lower calorie intake even further

Buying treatment

Diabetes affects a large number of us in the UK, but symptoms are highly manageable with the right treatment. For Type 1 diabetes, you can take insulin shots provided by your GP to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. For Type 2 diabetics, a combination of medication and altering existing lifestyle choices can work effectively to not only alleviate symptoms but to reduce the risk of further complications in the future such as heart disease and stroke. Metformin is treatment clinically proven to reduce any symptoms of diabetes, as well as decreasing the risk of future conditions associated with the condition. These tablets are available to buy in dosages 500mg and 850mg from OnlineClinic and you can visit our informational pages for more advise on managing the symptoms of diabetes.

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