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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.


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.


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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