Diabetes type 2 is a serious condition caused by the inability of the body to use insulin properly. Insulin is produced by special cells in the pancreas and moves glucose from the bloodstream into the cells where it is used for energy. However, insulin-resistant individuals do not allow glucose to enter the cells, resulting in hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and other symptoms of the disease.
People with diabetes should check their blood sugar levels regularly, even if they feel well. Even a common cold can interfere with insulin levels and cause blood sugar levels to spike. Therefore, they should make a plan for their “sick days” with their health care provider, so that they can know how to monitor their blood sugar levels and what medications to take. If the blood sugar level remains high for more than 24 hours, a doctor should be consulted. People with diabetes should also monitor their blood pressure regularly.
Treatment for diabetes type 2 typically involves diet modification and exercise. The NICE guidelines state that the approach should be individualised, so people should be able to choose the best treatment for their needs. People with type 2 diabetes should aim for a diet high in fibre and low in GI carbohydrates. Low-GI foods include beans, pulses, and vegetables.