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What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes develops when the insulin producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin. It can also be when the insulin that is produced does not work properly.
This can lead to raised blood sugar levels that can lead to serious complications including stroke, heart and kidney disease and amputations, if not well managed.

Type 2 diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40. People from South Asian communities are at greater risk and can start developing the condition when they are 25 years of age.
It is becoming more common to see Type 2 diabetes in children, adolescents and young people of all ethnicities.

What is insulin?

Insulin is a hormone. It helps your body use the glucose in your blood to give you energy.

There are certain risk factors that influence your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

The three main risk factors are:


Being over the age of 40 (or 25 from South Asian communities).


If you have a close relative with the condition, such as brother, sister or parent.


If you are overweight or obese. Fat around your tummy particularly increases your risk. This is because it releases chemicals that can upset the body.

Other risks
If your blood glucose level is higher than normal but is not yet high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes, you will be at greater risk of developing the condition. This is sometimes called pre-diabetes. We have a specialist programme in Sandwell to help people with pre-diabetes. We help you to take preventative steps to reduce the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes in the future.

Women who have gestational diabetes during pregnancy also have a greater risk of developing diabetes in later life.


We can all reduce our risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through maintaining a healthy weight, being active and eating a healthy diet. Find out more here.

Still need help?

Send an enquiry to our friendly Healthy Sandwell team.

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