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What is Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition where your blood glucose level is too high. This is because your body doesn't make enough of a hormone called insulin, or the insulin doesn't work properly.

Around 90 per cent of people living with diabetes in the UK have Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes starts gradually, usually later in life, although people are being diagnosed at a younger age. It is the most common type of diabetes in adults.

What causes Type 2 diabetes?

We don’t know exactly what causes Type 2 diabetes. But we do know that your family history, age and ethnic background affects your risk of developing it, and we know you’re more likely to develop it if you’re overweight.

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body doesn't produce insulin properly. We need insulin to help move glucose out of our blood and into our cells, so we can use it for energy. Without enough insulin, blood glucose levels get too high.

In people who don’t have diabetes, the pancreas makes a normal amount of insulin.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin or the insulin made doesn’t work properly.
Insulin acts like a key, helping glucose move into our cells. In Type 2 diabetes, the key doesn't work properly.
Without enough insulin, the level of glucose in the blood gets too high.



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Join our online forum and chat to other people with Type 2 diabetes

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Get your free printed guide about Type 2 diabetes

Join a support group

Meet other people with Type 2 diabetes at a local Diabetes UK group
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