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Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. For many people (but not all) it can be prevented through following a healthy lifestyle.
While type 2 diabetes cannot be cured, it can be managed and people with type 2 diabetes can and do live active and healthy lives.
As epidemics go, diabetes is the silent one but it is Diabetes that is going to lower the average life expectancy for the first time in more than a century.
Diabetes can lead to complications of the eyes, kidneys, heart and blood vessels, feet, gums, mouth and teeth. In the past, oral health has received little attention for policy development, in spite of New Zealand being one of the countries with the poorest rates of oral health in the world.
According to Diabetes NZ there are 240,000 diagnosed cases of type 2 in New Zealand, an estimated 100,000 New Zealanders have diabetes without knowing it,” said Mr Crew. “A further one in four Kiwis have prediabetes – a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
For many people (but not all) type 2 diabetes can be prevented by making healthy food choices and staying active.
There is a clear link between type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) and / or disordered levels of fats (cholesterol) in the blood (the medical name for this is dyslipidaemia).
Syptoms of type 2 diabetes
You may have had type 2 diabetes for many years without realising it. Not everyone has symptoms. Symptoms may include:
- Feeling tired and lacking energy
- Feeling thirsty
- Going to the toilet often
- Getting infections frequently
- Getting infections which are hard to heal
- Poor eyesight or blurred vision
- Often feeling hungry
If you have any of the above symptoms, discuss these with your doctor.
Key health messages Are:
Take the right steps and stay healthy
- Manage blood glucose levels
- Eat healthy food
- Do regular physical activity
- Be smokefree
- See your GP regularly
Diabetes can lead to complications
- Heart and blood vessels
- Gums, teeth and mouth
Although most people are shaken by a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes many people come to see the diagnosis in a more positive light, as a wakeup call. It is often an incentive to become more active, to eat healthier food and to manage your body weight.
It can also be an opportunity for you to make a positive difference to those around you, be they your friends or your immediate and larger family. You taking a positive and active approach to living with your diabetes can sometimes act to improve the health and happiness of your entire family group.
You can make a very practical difference too. The skills you learn to manage your diabetes may be the very skills your children or other family members need to prevent them developing type 2 diabetes at all.
This month is Diabetes Action Month. The month will raise awareness about the different types of diabetes, what symptoms to look out for, and what people should do if they notice symptoms of the disease in themselves or others.