Type 2 Diabetes

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Understanding Type 2 Diabetes: Causes, Risk Factors, and Treatment

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Although the end result is similar, Type 2 diabetes is quite different from Type 1. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes desensitised to insulin. This type accounts for up to 90% of all diabetes cases.

Risk Factors

Certain ethnic backgrounds have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, including:

  • Southern Asian
  • Chinese
  • African-Caribbean
  • African

People from these backgrounds are also more likely to develop the condition at a younger age, even if they were born in the UK. Having a close relative with Type 2 diabetes increases the likelihood of developing the condition. Additionally, being overweight or obese significantly raises the risk, which is why doctors often recommend dieting and exercise for those who are not at a healthy weight.

Treatment Options

Insulin Injections

Treatment for Type 2 diabetes is more complex than for Type 1, as the body becomes desensitised to insulin. While some cases do require insulin injections, this is not the primary treatment method.

Lifestyle Changes

The main way to treat Type 2 diabetes is through lifestyle changes. By controlling sugar intake, individuals can maintain healthy blood glucose levels. This often involves a balanced diet and regular exercise.


Many people with Type 2 diabetes also take medication to lower their blood glucose levels. The most commonly used medication is metformin, although other medications may be prescribed depending on individual needs.