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Type 2 diabetes

What is type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease where elevated blood sugar is one of the symptoms. Type 2 diabetes is found in all age groups but the risk increases with age. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in Greenland. The disease often occurs in a combination of inheritance and way of life. Lifestyle factors such as reduced physical activity and overweight
increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

What is the cause of diabetes?
The pancreas produces insulin, which is a hormone. Insulin helps bringing sugars from the bloodstream in to the cells where it is transformed to energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, the body does not utilize the insulin you produce. This means that the sugars do not enter the cells, but instead stay in the bloodstream, where it among other things causes elevated blood sugar.

When should you be checked?
If you have symptoms like fatigue, weight loss, thirst, nausea, frequent urination, frequent infections, sensory and visual disturbances. It is also a good idea to get tested if you are overweight, have had gestational diabetes, or your close family members have diabetes.

How is type 2 diabetes diagnosed?
With a blood test that determines your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. 

Which complications are the most common with type 2 diabetes?
If your blood sugar is too high for a long time, your nerves and blood vessels may be damaged. This may result in problems with your vision, kidney damage, sensory impairment, and reduced
blood circulation with an increased risk of blood clots in heart and brain.

What can you do yourself?
Smoking increases the risk of complications. In case of overweight, physical activity, a healthy diet and weight loss are important parts of the treatment, and may reduce the need for medical treatment. Physical activity has a great effect on the regulation of blood sugar and helps the prevention of complications. What is the medical treatment? Most patients with type 2 diabetes are given medication. Most often, you will be given medications that lower your blood sugar, your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels.

Diabetes status:
The frequency at which patients need to be checked up medically varies but at least once per year. Blood and urine tests and blood pressure should be checked every year. In addition, a foot examination is offered annually as well as eye examination approximately every 2 years. The checkups prevent the diabetes from becoming worse and may help avoid or postpone