What is type 2 diabetes?

What is type 2 diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Nine out of ten people who have diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly.

Glucose comes from the digestion of carbohydrates which come in 2 main forms:

Starchy carbohydrates

This includes foods such as potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, couscous, breakfast cereals, oats and other grains like rye and barley. 

Sugary carbohydrates

This includes table sugar, honey, and syrups. Cakes, biscuits, sweets, and fizzy drinks also fall into the sugary carbohydrates category.

Glucose is our body’s preferred source of energy and for our body to be able to use it, we need a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas.

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance).

The diagram below shows what happens inside your body when you have type 2 diabetes:

What is going on in my body? 1. I eat or drink something containing starch or sugar 2. Carbohydrate enters my stomach 3. Carbohydrate is broken down into glucose 4. The glucose enters the bloodstream. 5. The pancreas either doesn't release, or the body is resistant to, the insulin needed to allow glucose to be converted into energy. 6. Glucose builds up in the blood. 7. The body tries various ways to get rid of the excess glucose. 8. This causes typical symptoms of diabetes, leading to diagnosis, loss of weight, Tiredness, Feeling thirsty.

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