Diabetes, type 2 


Update on rosiglitazone (Avandia, Avandamet) – September 24 2010

The European Medicines Agency has recommended that rosiglitazone (Avandia, Avandamet) should be withdrawn from use. A review has concluded that the risks associated with the drug outweigh the benefits. These risks include an increased risk of cardiovascular disorders, including heart attack and heart failure.

The medicine will be withdrawn gradually from the market over the next two months.

If you are currently taking rosiglitazone, you should continue to take the medicine as prescribed. You should also make an appointment to see your healthcare team to discuss alternative medication.

For more information see Behind the Headlines: Avandia diabetes drug suspended.

Diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes)

During pregnancy, some women have such high levels of glucose in their blood that their body cannot produce enough insulin to absorb it all. This is known as gestational diabetes. It affects approximately 5% of pregnant women.

Pregnancy can also sometimes make existing type 2 diabetes more difficult to control. If you are pregnant, you may require additional time and effort to manage your diabetes during your pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of health problems developing in an unborn baby, so it is important that you keep the glucose levels in your blood under control.

In most cases, gestational diabetes disappears after the baby is born. However, women with the condition have an estimated 30% risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Diabetes is a long-term (chronic) condition caused by too much glucose, a type of sugar, in the blood. It is also sometimes known as diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes affects 2.8 million people in the UK. It is thought that a further one million people have the condition but are not aware of it.

How does diabetes occur?

Normally, the amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, a gland located behind the stomach. When food is digested and enters the bloodstream, insulin helps move any glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it is broken down to produce energy.

In people with diabetes, the body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there is either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or because the insulin that is there does not work properly.

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. This article focuses on type 2 diabetes.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when not enough insulin is produced by the body for it to function properly, or when the body’s cells do not react to insulin. This is called insulin resistance.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the body does not produce any insulin at all. Around 90% of all adults in the UK with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be able to control your symptoms simply by eating a healthy diet and monitoring your blood glucose level. However, as type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, you may eventually need to take insulin medication, usually in the form of tablets.

Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity. Obesity-related diabetes is sometimes referred to as maturity-onset diabetes because it is more common in older people.

  • show glossary terms
Chronic usually means a condition that continues for a long time or keeps coming back.
Glucose (or dextrose) is a type of sugar that is used by the body to produce energy.
Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas that helps the body to control blood sugar levels.
Obesity is when a person has an abnormally high amount of body fat.

Last reviewed: 17/08/2010

Next review due: 17/08/2012


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chrisnonso53 said on 28 February 2011

can diabetis be cause by spiritual influences

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John Falkner said on 12 February 2011

Obesity is the current in vogue condition to blame every illness on, including diabetes. It is so easy to say if you are fat you will get diabetes. I have type 2 insulin treated diabetes. At 55 after a very active life both in work and in hill and mountain climbing I realised that my fitness was fading. I put this down to age.I now realise it was the start of diabetes but I did not suspect that at the time. My father developed diabetes at age 62 and was treated by tablets and diet. Between 55 and 60 I put on two or three stones in weight much to my chagrin, for no apparent reason. At age 62 I developed full blown type 2 at the exact same time that my father had developed it. He was not an overweight man.but we obviously had the same gene. It is too easy to blame everyone for this particular illness, on big appetites and excessive drinking, I do neither and never have. I think diabetics get a bad press because as I said at the beginning obesity is such an easy explanation to put forward. I think it is more complicated than that.

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lindakp said on 03 February 2011

I get very upset when most articles state that Type 2 Diabetes is usually caused by obesity. I am not obese and never have been. If fact my BMI is in the healthy range.

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ourjoe said on 15 November 2010

There is a fantastic online learning course which is completely free to sign up for and I found it incredibly useful. Our whole department was recommended to complete the course as it pre-empts many issues with the safe delivery of insulin. The course is on the NHS Diabetes website http://www.diabetes.nhs.uk/safe_use_of_insulin/elearning_course/

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suntexi said on 06 November 2010

I agree that obesity is a symptom, not a cause of diabetes. My sister, my father, my two aunts and my grandmother (who later was diagnosed with type 2) are or were helplessly obese - no amount of dieting helped. Obesity is genetic (the geniuses have only just found THAT out). If you eat any carbs, then, because the body can't use them, it stores them away. I can cut out carbs but all that happens is that I get hypoglycaemic. I'm on 40mg of Gliclacide per diem and that seems to generate enough insulin to cause hypos. It was reduced from 80mg as I couldn't go shopping without needing a sugar fix to stop the hypo - practically every time. I'm also on 3x850mg Metformin which helps a bit. My 3-month blood sugar is now a fairly stable 7-7.5. My instant blood sugar, just before a hypo is about 3.5. I'm not a chocolate freak, I drink moderately, but I have another problem that prevents exercise - I suffer from atrial fibrillation, which is probably triggered by diabetes, and round and round we go. My blood pressure's ok -- typically 120/75 as is my cholesterol (about 2.5). The only time I came close to my recommended weight was at age 17 when I suffered a severe (3-month) bout of mononucleosis and my weight went down to 13st. 7lb. (I'm 6' 4") and I was told that I looked like a corpse. I'd like to reduce my weight to 18st or less, but it's literally, a losing battle. The local health centre won't let me exercise there because of the Afib.
It's all hopeless.

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marketshare said on 28 February 2010

What works for one person is not guaranteed to work for all. To be updated with all developments in diabetes you can visit http://everythingaboutdiabetes.blogspot.com

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Wrong diagnosis said on 18 February 2010

In 2006 I had a test done and I was very marginally diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I was hovering over 16 stone and I liked my food too much but made an instantaneous change in lifestyle and lost a stone, as soon as I made the changes by cutting out sugar all together the next couple of tests were normal, I have not had any fasting tests since and don’t consider myself diabetic, just recently I have been getting letters from the doctors asking me to go for tests, I have previously written to him to request that my name be removed from the register. Having being diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago and thankfully making a good recovery I have lost over 5 stone and during my stay in hospital I mentioned this earlier diagnosis of diabetes but every test that was carried out was normal.
The question I would like to ask is what right do I have to get the diagnosis reversed and information removed from my medical records as I believe I may have been miss diagnosed in the first instance, I have no intention of having anymore tests carried out for this condition.
Thanks for reading

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jaxhogan said on 10 December 2009

I agree.

If diabetes is essentially the inability to process carbohydrates effectively, then it would seem to make sense to eat less of them!

I also believe than obesity is a SYMPTOM of diabetes, not a CAUSE. If your body doesn't metabolise carbs properly, then you don't get energy from them. So you eat more to compensate. QED.

I've been diabetic for nearly a year, and applying this thought process has brought my BG down from 17.9 to 5.1. That convinced me!

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TKes said on 26 November 2009

The diet recommended for type2 diabetics is based on carbohydrate-rich foods. Then a diabetic has to take a variety of drugs to reduce excess blood glucose. Wouldn't it be better to eat less carbohydrates so as not to raise blood glucose too much in the first place?

That is what is recommended at http://www.diabetes-diet.org.uk, and it certainly works for me. I found after just one breakfast of scrambled eggs ij butter, my glucose was the lowest it's been in years. It was amazing!

For several weeks now I have stuck to a very low carb diet and my glucose has st5ayed in the normal range. I guess I am now no longer diabetic?

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