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  • Writer's pictureThe Ideal Team

Type 2 Diabetes

According to Diabetes Canada, "Ninety per cent of Canadians with diabetes are living with type 2 diabetes".

Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which your body cannot make enough insulin (a hormone that helps control the amount of glucose or sugar in your blood), or does not properly use the insulin it makes.

Risk Factors

There are a number of risk factors, being over the age of 40 with a parent or sibling with diabetes ranking as highest, that would account for the high percentage of Canadians with type 2 diabetes.

  • Some risk factors include:

  • high blood pressure

  • high levels of cholesterol or other fats in the blood

  • a high BMI or are overweight

  • prediabetes

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

  • psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder)

  • obstructive sleep apnea

  • darkened patches of skin

If you or someone you know may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, speak to your doctor about testing for diabetes and discuss prevention options your can start today!

Symptoms and Treatments

As with type 1 diabetes, symptoms and treatments may vary from person to person. The information we present here is to be used as a guideline only. Always seek advice and options from your medical practitioner.

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes share similar symptoms, however, the difference lies in the onset of such symptoms (how rapidly symptoms occur).

The following type 1 symptoms may develop over several weeks.

  • Increased thirst and urination

  • Increased hunger

  • Blurred vision

  • Tiredness and fatigue

  • Unexplained weight loss

Whereas, similar and additional symptoms of type 2 diabetes may appear over several years.

  • Increased thirst and urination

  • Increased hunger

  • Blurred vision

  • Tiredness and fatigue

  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feetSores or wounds that take a longer time to heal

  • Weight changes

Unlike type 1 diabetics that are more insulin-dependent, type 2 treatment is more lifestyle-related in its efforts to manage symptoms and diagnosis.

You can manage type 2 diabetes by:

  • eating healthy meals and snacks

  • enjoying regular physical activity

  • monitoring your blood sugar with a home blood glucose meter

  • aiming for a healthy body weight

  • taking diabetes medications including insulin, if prescribed by your doctor

  • managing stress effectively

Visit the Diabetes Canada website for information on basic meal planning, recipes, and physical activity tips and ideas!


Complications brought on by the onset of type 2 diabetes do not vary greatly from those of type 1 diabetes. One difference is the absence of Celiac disease.

In today's blog we provide more information on each of the complications below (adapted from its original source):

Kidney disease (nephropathy)

If the kidneys are damaged due to high blood glucose (sugar) levels and high blood pressure, they can no longer filter blood properly and may fail completely.

Eye damage (diabetic retinopathy)

Diabetic retinopathy can lead to vision changes or blindness. By regulating and controlling your blood sugar, getting regular eye exams and early treatment, the risk or worsening of eye damage can be reduced.

Heart disease & stroke

Individuals with diabetes may develop heart disease 15 years earlier than those without diabetes. The most common form of heart disease in diabetes is coronary artery disease.

High blood pressure

People with diabetes are much more likely to develop heart disease and/or experience a stroke at an earlier age than people without diabetes. High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) along with diabetes puts added stress on your body. This can cause damage to your heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.

Mental health challenges

Many people living with diabetes experience distress, decreased mood, and disabling levels of anxiety. Mental health disorders can affect your ability to cope with and care for your diabetes. It's just as important to look after your mental health as it is your physical health.

Nerve damage & amputation

Nerve damage or diabetic peripheral neuropathy is one of the long-term complications of diabetes. If left untreated, the damage caused by neuropathy can potentially lead to infection and limb amputation.

Looking ahead to next week: We will provide you with information on prediabetes and how a healthy lifestyle can help manage the risks.


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