Diabetes is a chronic health disease that affects how the body uses sugar. Type 2 diabetes is linked to being overweight or sedentary, as well as genetic factors. The chronic metabolic disorder is characterised by insulin resistance, a hormone released by the pancreas that ensures your body can use sugar for energy. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes over the long term can lead to complications with the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and blood vessels. Bariatric surgery can form part of the treatment for type 2 diabetes.
The development of type 2 diabetes is influenced by genetic factors, insulin resistance and hormone and/or pancreas dysfunction. It can also be affected by excessive weight and a lack of physical activity.
Additionally, people over 45 have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as women who experience gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
The symptoms of diabetes are fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing wounds, increased thirst, and hunger. People experiencing type 2 diabetes may also have unintended weight loss, frequent infections, dry skin, tingling hands and feet, and frequent urination.
The test for diabetes is called a glycated haemoglobin (A1C) test and detects the average glucose level in the blood over a two to three-month period. There are various other tests available, such as a random blood sugar test and fasting blood sugar test, should A1C be inconclusive.
If the A1C yields a result of 6.5 percent or higher on two or more separate tests, this is an indication that a person has diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes can be managed with dietary changes, weight loss, exercise, blood sugar monitoring, and medication. For patients who are obese, bariatric surgery is an evidence-based approach to managing diabetes and reducing its symptoms over the long term.