Type 2 diabetes (T2D)
T2D is a chronic disease that occurs when your body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces, where insulin is the hormone that regulates our blood sugar. Normally insulin helps to transport glucose from our blood to our cells, where it is used for energy. If the body is insulin resistant then the resulting elevated blood sugar levels can over time damage our bodies, in particular our blood vessels and nerves.
Globally more than 50% of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease, and diabetes is the sole cause of end stage renal disease (requiring dialysis or transplantation). It is also the major cause of blindness due to retinal damage and there is an increased risk of lower limb amputation. Despite these dangers, general knowledge surrounding diabetes care via diet and lifestyle in patients is low.
If you have recently been told by your GP that you have elevated blood glucose or that you may be pre-diabetic then this is the idea time to work with a nutritionist or dietitian, as changes to your diet at this stage can reverse/halt the progression into T2D.
If you are already diagnosed as having T2D then making changes as soon as possible is important too, as longer term T2D resolution will not respond as well to weight loss (1). NICE guidelines (2019), state that people diagnosed with T2D should receive personalised and ongoing dietary advice, where a weight loss of >10kg can result in an 80% remission rate and a 15kg loss can return you to your pre-diabetes life expectancy (1). Long term maintenance strategies are also crucial to ensure continued remission.
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