Diabetes is caused by having too much glucose (sugar) in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. Glucose in the body is converted into energy and comes from such starchy foods as potatoes, bread and pasta as well as sweet foods such as cakes and sweets. In addition to what we eat, the liver also produces glucose.
Previously type 2 diabetes used to be called `maturity onset’ diabetes as it generally appeared in middle aged and elderly people. It is usually caused by either the body not producing enough insulin or by the body no longer responding normally to its own insulin.
Type 2 diabetes tends to be hereditary and can be more prevalent among members of the African-Caribbean and Asian communities.
Type 2 diabetics need to eat a diet that contains the right balance of healthy foods. However if diet alone is not keeping the condition sufficiently under control, there are several types of drug available. Some help the pancreas to produce more insulin whilst others help the body make better use of the insulin that the pancreas does produce. Another tablet slows down the speed at which glucose is absorbed from the intestine.
As with type 1 diabetes, a doctor or diabetic nurse will provide guidance on how to monitor blood or urine glucose levels and by following medical advice and eating a healthy diet the disease can be kept under control without developing additional complications.
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