Understanding type 2 diabetes

Understanding type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body isn't able to use insulin properly, resulting in high blood glucose levels.

This can lead to a wide range of health problems if not treated, including poor vision, heart disease or stroke, and kidney damage.

Eighty percent of all type 2 diabetes is preventable if people keep to a healthy body weight, eat healthier foods and keep physically active.

Symptoms and risk factors 

About 50% of people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms or have not been diagnosed. Others may: 

  • Feel very thirsty.
  • Pass a lot of urine.
  • Feel very tired.
  • Have blurred vision.
  • Have urinary infections or skin infections.
  • Find that cuts and grazes heal slowly.

If you are overweight for your height, have a family member with diabetes or have any of the symptoms above, see your doctor or nurse for a check-up. It’s a good idea for Maori, Pacific and Asian people aged 35 and over to get tested as well as other people aged 45 years and over.

Diagnosing and treating type 2 diabetes

Your doctor will send you for a blood test or you can get a blood glucose test done at a participating Life Pharmacy. Your Life Pharmacist can give you more information on type 2 diabetes, including how to keep your blood glucose and blood pressure within the healthy range. They can also offer advice on taking medicine or insulin if that’s what your doctor prescribes.


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