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What is Type 2 Diabetes?

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Your pancreas produces insulin (a hormone) to help your cells use glucose (sugar). Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces less insulin than the body needs, and the cells cease to respond to insulin. This means that your blood glucose levels keep rising. If you do not treat type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar levels in your blood can seriously damage your eyes, heart, and feet. It can also cause other health problems, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.

Did you know? Exercise and weight loss reduce the risk of prediabetes becoming type 2 diabetes by 58%.

Although lifestyle is a big part of developing type 2 diabetes, so is family history, age, and race. It is not known exactly what causes type 2 diabetes, but being overweight and inactive are key contributing factors.


Type 2 diabetes can cause symptoms such as:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Numbness/tingling in hands or feet

Some people may not notice any symptoms.

Type 1 Vs. Type 2:

The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that type 1 is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction and develops early in life. Type 2 diabetes develops over some time and is related to lifestyle factors such as being inactive and carrying excess weight. Type 2 diabetes usually affects older adults, though it’s becoming more common in children.

Factors that may result in developing type 2 diabetes:

  • Have prediabetes.
  • Are overweight
  • Are 45 years or older.
  • Inactive
  • Have had gestational diabetes
How do you prevent type 2 diabetes? Consider these tips.

Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes:

There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but there are steps you can take to manage the disease or put type 2 diabetes into remission:

  • Eating healthy food
  • Being active
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Medications to manage blood sugar levels levels
  • Insulin therapy

Current Studies to advance knowledge:

Do you have raised blood sugars? We are currently evaluating the effect of a fibre supplement on long-term glucose control in those with pre-diabetes and are looking for volunteers.

Click here to learn more about our Pre-diabetes study.

Do you experience high blood glucose levels, cholesterol, blood pressure, or have a high waist circumference? We are evaluating the effect of a probiotic on insulin resistance in those with Metabolic Syndrome.

Click here to learn more about our Metabolic syndrome study.

Maeve Cronin

Maeve Cronin / About Author