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What is type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect both children and adults, thick and thin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. Previously, it was called Old Man's Diabetes when it primarily affected the elderly. Today, the term is misleading, as type 2 diabetes also affects younger people.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are caused by the build-up of sugar in the blood. The symptoms are weak and develop gradually over a long period of time. They are often misunderstood as general flaws.

Symptoms may include:

  • thirst
  • urination
  • itching
  • infection of the skin and mucous membranes 
  • nausea
  • tiredness
  • sensory disturbances
  • visual disturbances
  • difficult healing of wounds
  • deterioration in general health
Heredity or lifestyle

It is often a combination of inheritance and lifestyle that causes type 2 diabetes. If you have developed type 2 diabetes, ask your immediate family to be tested as well. In fact, the heredity of type 2 diabetes is high.

However, although type 2 diabetes is hereditary, it is often a lifestyle with abundant food and sedentary work that helps get the disease to  break out. The term "lifestyle disease" is not aimed at the individual, but indicates that our way of life is problematic.

You may therefore be hereditary for the disease without it being expressed. Also a slim person with a healthy lifestyle can develop type 2 diabetes if the hereditary disposition is very strong. Many people who get type 2 diabetes are overweight – but not all. About 15% are normal weight.

About type 2 diabetes

The food you eat is converted into energy in your body. This happens when the body breaks down the food into, among other things, sugars, which are absorbed into the blood (sugars are broken down carbohydrates and not the sugar you eat). Insulin helps to get the sugars from the bloodstream into the cells, where they act as' fuel '.

In people with type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to use the insulin as well as it would otherwise, and it may also not produce enough insulin. This means that the sugars remain in the bloodstream and cause increased blood sugar instead of becoming energy. 

Is it possible to cure type 2 diabetes?

There is not yet a cure for type 2 diabetes. Once you've developed the disease, you'll have to live with it for the rest of your life. However, it is possible to stay symptom-free for a number of years by changing diet and exercise habits. If the disease is detected early, you can get into treatment more quickly and delay or avoid secondary illnesses.

Consequential diseases can be problems with pain in the legs and feet and wounds that have difficulty healing. Over time, you may also get cardiovascular diseases or problems with your eyes and kidneys.

You can to some extent prevent complications of type 2 diabetes by being physically active, eating sensibly and taking the medication you are offered. In addition, it is important to avoid smoking and pay attention to avoid weight gain.