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The number of people in the UK suffering from Type 2 diabetes increases sharply each year. Of the 2.8 million people with diabetes in this country, up to 80% have the Type 2 strand of the disease. However, there are also estimated to be several hundred thousand people with the condition who have yet to be diagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when not enough insulin is produced by the body, or there is resistance to the action of insulin in the body's cells. This condition was often referred to as maturity-onset diabetes because it predominantly appeared in those over the age of forty.

However, more and more younger adults, and even children are developing the condition. Experts believe that this increased circumference of the illness is largely due to our ever-worsening obesity problem. As a nation we are getting fatter. From children to pensioners, our collective waistlines are growing year after year. A poor diet and a lack of exercise are major contributing factors to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

The main symptoms of Type 2 diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst, severe tiredness, and involuntary weight loss. Other warning signs include blurred vision, itchy skin (particularly around the genitals), a lack of energy, and a tingling sensation in your hands, feet or legs.

There is no cure for Type 2 diabetes, nor is there any magic pill to control the condition. The disease can only be managed through the adoption of a carefully designed, diet, exercise, and insulin injection program.

Education forms a large part of the treatment of diabetes. Successful treatment will depend on the patient gaining a full understanding of the condition. Unless the individual accepts responsibility for her own treatment, there is very little that doctors and hospitals can do. The NHS can't monitor your 24 hours a day to make sure you're eating the right foods, getting the right exercise, and following the recommended insulin injection plan.

If Type 2 diabetes is managed in the right way, and the individual makes the recommended diet and lifestyle changes, the condition should not present too many serious health issues. However, complications do often arise, particularly when insufficient efforts are made to control the disease. Possible issues that may result from Type 2 diabetes include impotence, nerve damage, eye problems, kidney damage, and hardening of the arteries. The presence of diabetes is a factor in a significant number of deaths each year.

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