Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that affects one in ten people over the age of forty in the UK1. In type 2 diabetes, the levels of sugar or glucose in the blood are too high, which can impact your health, wellbeing and longevity.
The experienced doctors at Virtually Healthcare can provide expert investigation, support and treatment to help you control your diabetes, prevent complications and protect your future health.
Type 2 diabetes is a common long-term condition that increases the level of glucose in the blood.
Diabetes affects the way the body uses energy from the food you eat. Carbohydrates in your diet are broken down into glucose. This is absorbed into the blood and distributed around your body, providing cells in your organs and tissues with the fuel they need to function.
A hormone called insulin controls glucose levels in your blood. It acts like a key, unlocking cells so that they can burn glucose for energy. It also ensures that any excess glucose is safely stored for future use.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body either can’t produce enough insulin for its need, or your cells can’t respond properly to the insulin produced. As a result, the cells are starved of the energy they need to live and work, and glucose builds up in your bloodstream.
If you have diabetes, the high levels of glucose can affect your body’s fluid balance. You may notice that you’re very thirsty and have to pass water more frequently. The lack of fuel to the cells can make you feel tired and weak. Over time, diabetes can progressively damage your body, increasing your risk of having problems with your eyes, kidneys, heart, and nerves.
Many people living with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms at all; the condition is picked up on routine screening or a health check. However, some symptoms can indicate diabetes. These include:
If you are worried about diabetes, make an appointment with a doctor at Virtually Healthcare for assessment, advice and investigation.
Virtually Healthcare is an innovative GP practice, providing expert care in the comfort, safety and privacy of your home. The Virtually Healthcare service is designed to fit with modern lives. Consultations are easy to access, discreet and convenient, with virtual appointments available seven days a week.
The highly skilled team includes more than 40 clinicians working together to investigate and treat disease and help you optimise your health and wellbeing. As well as experienced GPs, the team includes sexual health specialists, physiotherapists and practice nurses to offer a comprehensive primary care service.
During the pandemic, many patients are finding it more challenging to access healthcare. Virtually Healthcare provides rapid access video or telephone appointments, with consultations available the same day if you contact us before 3 pm. Our clinicians can provide professional assessment and advice, arrange investigations, prescribe treatment or arrange for a face-to-face review.
At Virtually Healthcare, our focus is on you. Our clinicians take an individual holistic approach to diabetes treatment. They can arrange investigations, provide support and advice, follow NICE best-practice treatment guidelines2 and guide you to reliable information that will help you manage your blood glucose and reduce complications.
Type 2 diabetes can affect your body from top to toe. The chronically raised blood glucose levels can damage your eyes, kidneys, blood vessels, heart and feet. Regular screening can identify problems at an early stage so that you can have effective treatment and protect your health.
We recommend a programme of annual screening for all adults living with type 2 diabetes. Screening should include:
The experienced GPs at Virtually Healthcare can diagnose most people with diabetes based on their symptoms, clinical history and investigations. Tests can include:
Type 2 diabetes is connected to several factors, including obesity, inactivity, and having a family history of the disease3. Anyone could potentially develop diabetes, but some things can put you at increased risk:
It can be worrying if your genetic or ethnic heritage makes you vulnerable to diabetes, but it’s important to realise that you can make a difference. The WHO says:
‘A healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.’6
The GPs at Virtually Healthcare provide holistic and supportive care for all our patients with diabetes. They follow NICE guidelines and work with you to control your blood glucose, maintain your health and reduce the risk of long-term complications. The team will:
Many people can control type 2 diabetes with changes to diet and daily activity. However, you may need medication to control glucose levels down and keep you healthy. Medications include:
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, with insulin production slowly decreasing over time. Your doctor may need to modify your medication, increase the dose, prescribe a combination of drugs, or recommend injections with insulin to adequately control blood glucose levels.
Many people with type 2 diabetes can return their blood sugar levels to the normal range by changing their diet and lifestyle.
Diabetes is in remission when your blood sugar stays at a healthy level without medication. Studies have shown that many overweight people living with diabetes have restored their blood glucose to normal levels by achieving a sustained weight loss of around 15 kg. This is important because achieving remission not only means reducing the risk of developing complications but also improves life expectancy.
Insulin resistance is thought to be caused by fat in the muscles, pancreas and liver. Studies have shown that a low-calorie diet can put type 2 diabetes into remission.
Research at Newcastle University showed that participants had reduced fat levels in their liver and pancreas after eight weeks on a low-calorie diet. This increased their bodies’ insulin production and put their type 2 diabetes into remission. Find out more:
Saxenda is an innovative drug used for weight loss and diabetes treatment. It’s also known as Liraglutide and is part of the GLP1 agonists. These drugs are injected daily or weekly, acting to mimic your natural incretin hormones. They stimulate insulin release, reduce glucagon release and slow down stomach emptying. These medications can improve glucose control and help you lose weight.
The doctors at Virtually Healthcare can prescribe Saxenda for adult patients who are overweight or obese and also have additional health risk factors. They can also prescribe GLP 1 agonists for people with type 2 diabetes in:
We offer written, telephone and video consultations with a range of male and female clinicians from GPs, nurse practitioners, and primary care specialists such as physiotherapy.