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The European Medicines Agency has recommended that rosiglitazone (Avandia, Avandamet) should be withdrawn from use.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The medicine will be withdrawn gradually from the market over the next two months.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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geminii said on 02 December 2011

Newly diagnosed Late Onset Diabetics might well query their Thyroid Levels;

I was told I was diabetic but a better informed GP at my workplace told me I had a Thyroid Problem because I was putting on weight, tired, felt the cold, and my eyebrows had all but disappeared. Two blood tests over three months confirmed his diagnosis. Taking the thyroid medication got rid of all the diabetic symptoms for the last 18 years and I have been able to turn down the thermostat and save my heating bills!

Three of my friends have been diagnosed with Late Onset Diabetes and they have all gone on to need Thyroid Supplementation.

I believe these organs inter-relate yet patients are treated for the "most likely" without doing the tests for the other probable causes.

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shazx63 said on 03 November 2011

omg!....As a fairly recent diagnosed type 2 diabetic...Im even more confused after watching the show then reading some of the comments on here contradicting some of the things on TV! I was told that even as a Type 2 that once you got it there is no Cure 4 it only Management of the condition. Also when I mention to the nurse that Im so tired ll the time & I do get shakey & bit 'drifty' when Iv not eaten..She seems to scratch her head & wonder why as Im only bordermine type 2 diabetic...I feel a bit of a fake @ times but I do feel these things! :0(
Does anyone know of where I can get a diabetic menu planner from please as Im getting to grips roughly on what I should be eating but not being able to put a days menu together due to knowing what daily amounts of what are required as the dietition wasnt much help :0(
I am so confused with it all! :0(

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copelands said on 02 November 2011

I was really very concerned about part of your piece onType 2 Diabetes last Evening.

At one point the guy with diabetis was seen to take his blood glucose level and tell the "doctor" it was 3.9. The Doctor the sais "that's waht we ant".
Frankly THAT IS NOT WHAT WE WANT. A reading of 3.9 is either on the edge of a hypo or well into one depending on the person. Bel;ive me your diabetic would not have been sitting there smiling if his reading was 3.9. He would be sweating, trembling qand beginning to become incoherent.

I only hope that as a result of your piec no-one goes out to drive a car at that level of glucose.

Additionally, a reading of 8.5 does NOT mean that your toes are going to drop off !!! it is slightly higher that the upper limit of 7.9 which is recommended.

It worries me that you are getting such important things wrong at such an early stage in the series.

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help please said on 13 October 2011

i have so many diseases in my family i am wondering if these diseases are hereditary to something that happened 10 years ago and linked or something because my dad has diabetes, chronic back problems, a history of skin things that cause cancer, glasses, and my uncle has or had colon cancer and my niece is four years old with epelepsy and i have had prostate cancer, like four or five different days with different pains all over my body like my lungs hurt my knees hurt at one point, my muscles in my feet hurt at one point, i broke my neck four years ago then in the same month both of my grandfathers died of bleeding in the brain its kind of like its contagious because i my three closest friends that have rare diseases that happened after it started happening and all this started occuring in the last 10 years.

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alionuska4 said on 02 August 2011

hello,I have a quesstion about diabet issue ,my brother wants to move from lithuania, for a work here,but unfortunatly he has this illnes,we would like to learn what he will need to do, which documents,papers he will need to have, to get insulin here.

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lesret said on 15 June 2011

Having been told I am type 2 diabetic some five years ago and placed on all the usual pills Glucophage etc..
I was a few months ago put on Victoza injections at 1.2ml per day.
I lost 1.5 stone over three month combined with both diet and exercise.
Fantastic I thought untill I received late last evening a FDA MedWatch Alert from the FDA warning of Risk of Thyroid C-cell Tumors and Acute Pancreatitis associated with the use of Victoza.
Where do Victoza users go from here.

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redman66 said on 06 May 2011

After working in a hospital for 19 years im now retired i found out is was a type 2 diabetic diagnose by a doctor i was working with im now under my own gp .
it was very hardat first but now im use to it.
last year i was put on to insulin and i have found that i now lost some weight i was 14st im now down to 13 st so i have lost a stone.
i some times have my on off days as well does anyone else feel like this.
would love to hear from anyone on this
thank you for reading thid little story..

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redman66 said on 05 May 2011

iv had type2 for 2years i have lost about 2stone but sometimes feel very tired is this part of this conditionwould like to loose more.

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aileen95 said on 16 April 2011

I have been a type 2 diabetic for over ten years and recently my control has slipped. I take Metformin. I am now trying to get control of my blood sugar again, but am given to understand that as a type 2 I am not allowed testing strips - because they are too expensive, and are restricted by the PCT. Surely this is a short sighted measure. Even folllowing low GI, without testing I wouldn't have found that porridge, using old fashioned oats, which is supposed to be low GI and good for me; actually puts up my blood glucose to between 11 & 13 2 hours after eating. Not good. As I have stomach problems I have been eating porridge for breakfast and my evening meal.

No wonder my Hbac1 is going up. If I can't test, how am I to find out which carbohydrates suit me - not all diabetics are the same. I am told that I can test once a WEEK, if I must test, but I need to be testing after meals and when I feel 'odd'.

Also new drugs like Victoza and Sitagliptin are being put on Red Lists as 'too expensive', but if weight is lost and blood glucose control maintained at a non-diabetic level (as can be done) then surely it will save a great deal of money in the long term.

Also I should be able to take some control of my own illness. If I get a Hbac1 every year, how am I supposed to know how my glucose levels are and keep control of this illness.

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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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Reverse Diabetes said on 07 January 2010

When I was informed that I had diabetes type 2, I thought it was the start of the down hill - in my late 30's - But at 45, I made a major lifestyle change that introduced eating the right foods at the right times and doing a little exercise. After 6 months I had completely managed to reverse the situation and lose 4 stone of weight - two birds with one stone. I have now managed to do some 10k runs, a half marathon and really enjoy life - and for the past year (now 46) managed to keep the weight off and my sugar levels normal without any medication. More information on how I did this can be found on http://www.howireverseddiabetes.com - Now that I have reversed it I am a media role model for Diabetes UK and would love to get my message that change for the better can take place with a little effort. If anyone would like some help with answers to how I did it email me through the website - all the best to those who try to become healthier - Andrew

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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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