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FAQS for type 2 diabetes

Who is most likely to get type 2 diabetes?

The development of type 2 diabetes (and pre-diabetes) is influenced by a mix of factors including genetics, age, lifestyle factors including food intake and physical activity, weight, use of some medicines, and other medical conditions. These are called risk factors. Some risk factors can be modified, and some cannot.

Risk factors which cannot be changed

People who are most likely to get type 2 diabetes often have these risk factors:

  • A family history of diabetes.
  • Over 45 years old—the risk increases as we get older.
  • Are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.
  • Are from ethnic backgrounds that are more likely to have type 2 diabetes such as Melanesian, Polynesian, Chinese or people from the Indian sub-continent.
  • Women who have:
    – given birth to a child over 4.5 kgs (9 lbs) or had gestational diabetes when pregnant
    – a condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Risk factors which can be changed

  • lifestyle
  • weight
  • level of physical activity
  • blood pressure
  • type of food we eat
  • cholesterol
  • smoking

Can type 2 diabetes be prevented?

Yes. People at risk of type 2 diabetes can delay and even prevent getting it by following a healthy lifestyle. This includes regular physical activity, making healthy food choices and not putting on a lot of weight, especially around the waist and even more importantly if they have been told that they have pre-diabetes.

Is there a cure for type 2 diabetes?

There is a lot of research into type 2 diabetes, but at the moment there is no cure. However, you can manage your diabetes by following the advice and guidance of your doctor or diabetes educator.

Do people with type 2 diabetes need insulin?

When a person with type 2 diabetes no longer makes enough of their own insulin, they will need insulin treatment to manage their blood glucose levels, sometimes with tablets as well.

Will I need tablets and/or insulin every day?

Adopting a healthy lifestyle may avoid or delay the need for tablets and/or insulin if you have type 2 diabetes. By taking tablets and/or insulin as soon as needed to manage your blood glucose levels, you can reduce your risks of diabetes-related complications.

Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

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