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Type 2 Diabetes

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Published: 9 June 2021

Person with a diabetes needle

This week, the Health and Wellbeing team are talking about diabetes. This life-altering disease can affect your day-to-day, which includes your studies and how you do at the University.

Read on to get the basics and find out what help you can access.

“According to Diabetes UK (the country’s leading support charity), there are currently 4.9 million people who have the disease.

90% of those have Type 2, and 13.6 million more are at risk of developing it.

There is plenty in common with the two forms of the disease, but some clear differences that you should know about.

The first kind attacks the cells in your pancreas, meaning you can’t make insulin (the hormone that lets you absorb blood sugar). It’s like not having a key.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, makes it so your body can’t respond to the insulin it’s making. Similar to having a broken key.

In this article, we’ll focus on the more common second version, but if you think you might have either form it’s important you go speak to your doctor straight away.

Type 2 diabetes risk factors include:

  • Being over the age of 40 if you’re white or 25 and African-Caribbean, Black African or South Asian.
  • Having a parent, sibling or child with it.
  • Being a person of African-Caribbean, Black African or South Asian heritage.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Being overweight, particularly around your middle.

You can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through a healthy, balanced diet, regular exercise and keeping your weight within a safe range.

Although it can feel overwhelming to read the statistics and think about the risks, you’ll know as a University student that knowledge is the key to your future.

Finding out as much as possible will let you take ownership of your health and empower your future.

If you’ve already been diagnosed with either form of diabetes, there’s plenty of support out there for you. You are definitely not alone.

It’s important to talk about how you’re feeling because, although it’s a disease that has a physical impact, it also affects your emotional wellbeing.

Speak with your GP or a diabetes practitioner for support. They should be able to direct you to specialist groups and information centres.

Plus, take a look at the Diabetes UK website and speak to your Health and Wellbeing team. We’re here to help too.

If you’ve been diagnosed with the disease, you could be entitled to extra help during your studies.

Visit the University of Sunderland’s Diabetes Support website or ask us about them.

Plus, consider applying for the DSA (Disabled Student’s Allowance) to help cover your study costs.

It’s not a loan, so you won’t have to pay it back either.