Type 2 diabetes | Sanitas magazine

Type 2 diabetes: from old age diabetes to common lifestyle disease

Type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic in today's society. Once a disease associated with older people, now more and more people under 40 are affected by it with the biggest risk factors being lack of exercise and being overweight.

Symptoms: Slow deterioration

The progression of type 2 diabetes is slow and it tends to go unnoticed for a long time. The pancreas either releases less and less insulin or the body develops insulin resistance: Insufficient insulin is produced for the body's demands and, little by little, the body becomes less efficient at filtering sugar out of the blood and converting it into energy.

It's common for sufferers to remain symptom-free for a long time. The disease is often only diagnosed when the complications start – poorly healing wounds which are prone to infection, loss of sensation in the feet or legs and impaired vision as a result of permanently elevated bloody sugar levels damaging the nerves and blood vessels.

Test to assess your risk of type 2 diabetes

It doesn't have to be like this. A free risk assessment will give you a better insight into your risk of type 2 diabetes.

To the risk assessment

How your health coach can help

The good news: If diagnosed early, type 2 diabetes can be treated without medication – lowering blood sugar simply by losing weight, eating healthier and moving more. The Sanitas health coach can help you to change your lifestyle for the better.

Ask us for advice Even relatively simple measures can make a huge difference:

  • Lose weight: as little as four to five kilos will significantly reduce your blood sugar levels. Losing ten kilos will cut your risk of developing diabetes by half.
  • Exercise: walking 10,000 steps a day lowers the blood sugar levels by 1.2 percent. As little as 6,000 steps a day will make a difference - a goal that is easily achievable in everyday life.


If a change in lifestyle is not enough to lower blood sugar levels, then your doctor may consider tablets. And if all of the above don't lead to the desired result, you can always consider insulin therapy.

The following threshold values apply:

  Normal Possible indicator of diabetes Diabetes diagnosis
Fasting1 blood sugar levels (glucose) Under 5.6 mmol/L
6.1–7 mmol/L
Over 7 mmol/L
HbA1c2   Under 5.7%
Over 6.5%

1Fasting = no food or drink (except water) for 8 hours.

2HbA1c = Long-term blood glucose level (3 months).