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Diabetes is a condition that comes in two different forms; type 1 and type 2. Both affect your blood sugar levels, but type 1 diabetes is usually genetic and type 2 diabetes is typically linked to lifestyle factors. Symptoms of diabetes include feeling thirsty, urinating more often, feeling tired and having blurred vision.
With the right lifestyle changes and prescribed medication, Diabetes is a condition that can be controlled and managed. Explore our range of treatments for effective and reliable results.
Think you might have Diabetes? Try our 'Do I Have Diabetes' quiz.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that affects the sufferer's blood sugar levels, causing them to remain high for long periods of time. The condition is lifelong and can be split into two distinct versions; type 1 and type 2. Symptoms of both types are very similar, with sufferers experiencing increased thirst, fatigue, weight loss, and infections taking longer than normal to heal.
However, if the Diabetes is type 1, these symptoms tend to come on very quickly and be much more severe, while type 2 symptoms can develop mildly over time. This means that diagnosis of type 1 is usually much faster, with some people living for several months (sometimes even years) with undiagnosed type 2 Diabetes.
The difference between the two types is that type 1 is an autoimmune disease, where the body doesn’t produce any insulin at all. Type 1 Diabetes is not dependant on lifestyle and there is no way to prevent it, unlike Type 2. This is when the body is no longer able to respond correctly to insulin or when your body is not producing enough, which is often a result of being overweight.
What causes Diabetes?
In a healthy person’s body, glucose (a sugar used for energy) is absorbed into the bloodstream and then enters the body’s cells with the help of insulin. Because Diabetes patients’ bodies do not produce insulin (or don’t produce enough), the glucose that is absorbed through food and the liver remains in the blood. Having extremely high levels of sugar in the blood can lead to life-threatening complications, hence why those with Diabetes need medication to control it.
Type 1 diabetes is not preventable and is usually all down to genetics. The exact cause is not known, however the risk is higher if you have a family history or another autoimmune disease. There also appears to be a pattern in that type 1 diabetes is more prevalent as you travel further away from the equator. And although the disease can appear at any age, it’s more common for people to develop it as children.
In contrast, type 2 diabetes is usually caused by lifestyle factors. Being overweight, having high cholesterol or high blood pressure or not doing enough exercise can all lead to the body ceasing to respond to insulin. High alcohol consumption and smoking can also be habits that increase your risk. Although it’s not a direct cause, you will also notice more prevalence of type 2 diabetes in those who are over 40 (possibly due to prolonged lifestyle choices) and those of South Asian descent. Because the body is required to make enough insulin for 2 when a woman is pregnant, type 2 diabetes can occur when you don’t manage to make enough, and type 2 diabetes can also carry an increased risk if your parents have the condition.
Because of the causes, type 2 is much more common, affecting approximately 90% of people with diabetes overall.
How can I treat Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
It’s important to effectively manage your diabetes with various treatment options, as not doing so can carry serious health risks. High blood sugar levels can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, miscarriage and stillbirth.
There are many aspects to managing and controlling your diabetes, the first one being prescription medicine. There are plenty of medications based on controlling your blood sugar levels and your body’s reception to glucose, available to purchase safely and conveniently on UK Meds. Specifically for type 1 diabetes, you will also need insulin injections, for which your doctor will able to prescribe you.
As well as medicine, you will also need to make a conscious effort to change your lifestyle, as certain factors can have a big impact. As well as eating healthily and exercising a sufficient amount, it’s also advised to quit smoking and reduce your alcohol intake (or give it up completely).
Effectively managing your illness will not only help to reduce blood sugar levels, lower your risk of heart problems and help you to avoid potential diseases, but it will also slow down the worsening of diabetes. Because it’s a progressive condition, it can continue to get worse over time so controlling your symptoms is important to decelerate the process.
Can Weight Loss Medication Treat Diabetes?
Weight loss medication has been shown as effective in treating type 2 diabetes. There was a study showing that Orlistat (Xenical) is effective in dropping weight and blood sugar in diabetics.Orlistat (Xenical) does, in fact, seem to be effective for reducing the chance of heart disease by lowering cholesterol, especially in overweight people with type 2 diabetes, the most common type of the blood sugar problem that frequently affects overweight people.
You can buy Orlistat from UK Meds in branded and unbranded versions. Orlistat, which is prescribed in 120mg capsules, is a prescription only medication in the UK. However, there is an over-the-counter variant called Alli which can be purchased in 60mg capsules. These weight loss medications are only effective if used along with the prescribed low-fat diet.
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