Who Is More Likely To Develop Type 2 Diabetes
You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, type 2 diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are age 45 or older, have a family history of diabetes, or are overweight or obese. Diabetes is more common in people who are African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.
Physical inactivity and certain health problems such as high blood pressure affect your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. You are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you have prediabetes or had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant. Learn more about risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Getting Started With Type 2
To use glucose as energy, your body needs insulin. But with type 2 diabetes, your body doesnt make enough insulin or doesnt use it welland your bodys cells cant use glucose for the energy it needs. When glucose stays in your blood, it can cause serious problems.
While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, there are ways to manage your conditionthrough a balanced diet, an active lifestyle and medicine.
Set Up Your Diabetes Healthcare Team
Your diabetes health care team is made up of a number of different health professionals who you can turn to for advice, support, medical treatment and annual cycle of care checks.
While your journey with diabetes may start with your GP there are also a number of other professionals that can assist you with your diabetes management and overall wellbeing.
Find out more about your diabetes healthcare team.
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What Health Problems Can People With Diabetes Develop
Following a good diabetes care plan can help protect against many diabetes-related health problems. However, if not managed, diabetes can lead to problems such as
- heart disease and stroke
- gum disease and other dental problems
- sexual and bladder problems
Many people with type 2 diabetes also have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease . Losing weight if you are overweight or obese can improve NAFLD. Diabetes is also linked to other health problems such as sleep apnea, depression, some types of cancer, and dementia.
You can take steps to lower your chances of developing these diabetes-related health problems.
Prognosis Of Type 2 Diabetes
Dont lose hope, though. You dont have to be a statistic. Receiving a prompt diagnosis can help you get your health on track and reduce your risk for complications.
Indeed, if you take care to manage your blood sugar by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, taking your prescribed medication, and losing weight, you may find your quality of life to be better with diabetes than it was before your diagnosis.
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Treatment For Type 1 Diabetes
Insulin given by injection is the central treatment for type 1 diabetes. There are fast acting and long acting insulin formulations. It is important to understand when to use these different formulations and the concepts behind choosing the right insulin dose. There is one other injected medication for type 1 diabetes, Symlin, that may be given in addition to insulin.
Finally Lean On Your Community
It is often said that the diabetes club is one you never want to join, but is such an amazing group of people once you find yourself in it. You can find a community of people living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes through the Beyond Type 1 and Beyond Type 2 community platforms. In-person community meetups are often posted on each community platform.
You dont need to do diabetes alone, and even if you tend to be independent, never underestimate the power of knowing someone who can listen and understand what youre going through.
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Editors Note: People who take insulin require consistently affordable and predictable sources of insulin at all times. If you or a loved one are struggling to afford or access insulin, you can build custom plans based on your personal circumstances through our tool, GetInsulin.org.
If you just got diagnosed with diabetes, you may be overwhelmed, exhausted, or scared of what your future looks like.
First, take a deep breath and know thatwhile it may not feel like it right nowyou will get through this, you will learn what you need to learn to stay healthy, and this will get more manageable over time.
Second, know that youre not overreacting and youre not alone. Managing diabetes is fairly new in the history of humanity. Just a little over one-hundred years ago, we hadnt yet discovered and isolated insulin. Just a little over forty years ago, we had no way of accurately checking our blood sugar at home. Everything youre currently learning to do to take care of your health is new, not only for yourself, but for humans as a whole.
But since youre on a steep learning curve, its a good idea to get support to help you manage. RememberBeyonce? Lebron? Oprah? Nick ? They have teams. You dont need to do this alone.
High And Low Blood Sugar
Blood sugar levels change often during the day. Youll need to notice if your blood sugar drops too low and be prepared to treat it right away.
If your blood sugar spikes very high and your insulin is low, you can develop diabetic ketoacidosis , a serious complication of diabetes that can be life-threatening. Youll need medical care immediately if you develop DKA.
Your health care team will let you know how to identify and treat high and low blood sugar and related health problems. Be sure to get in touch with your doctor or diabetes educator if you have any questions.
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Want to give the ketogenic diet a whirl to better manage diabetes? This pioneering program from the Cleveland Clinic offers a way to do just that, with trained counselors who can help you adjust your diet and medication along the way.
The FOMO on diabetes products ends now. This feature by the magazine and website Diabetes Forecast rounds up the best of the best in CGMs , glucagon kits, insulin pens, and more.
Who Gets Type 2 Diabetes
What makes people more likely to develop type 2 diabetes? No one knows for sure. But experts have a few ideas about what puts a person at greater risk:
- Most people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight.
- People with family members who have diabetes get diabetes more often.
- People who are older than 10 are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than younger kids.
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Watch Your Portion Sizes
This will help you lose weight and keep your blood sugar steady. Your CDE will teach you how to adjust your meal sizes and timing.
Don’t skip meals though. When you haven’t had lunch, you’re much more likely to be extra-hungry and then overeat at dinner. Consistency is key.
Coming To Terms With Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes can be a tough condition to accept but the good news is that it is a condition which, with a bit of dedication, can be well controlled.
Its fair to say that there are a good number of people with type 2 diabetes that have actually been pleased to have got a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes because it has explained why they were feeling less than well and has given them the chance to take achievable steps to feel better than they have in a long time.
The Diabetes Forum has thousands of posts from people with type 2 diabetes and there is no better place to find support and share your experiences.
- If you are finding the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes to be a shock, or are struggling to come to with your diagnosis, read our guide on accepting a diagnosis of diabetes
It is relatively common for people with diabetes to be also going through a period of depression.
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Test Your Blood Sugar
That’s the way you’ll find out how food, exercise, and medicine affect your glucose level so you get better at controlling your diabetes. Not testing is like never stepping on a scale when you’re trying to lose weight.
You need some tools: a blood sugar meter, lancets , and test strips. Talk to your CDE about how to get these supplies and how to use them.
Your doctor will let you know what your target blood sugar range should be and when to check. At first, you might do it a couple of times a day after meals.
Keep a log of your numbers and show them to your doctor at your next visit.
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Treated
People with type 2 diabetes have to pay a little more attention to what they’re eating and doing than people who don’t have diabetes. They may need to:
- Eat a healthy diet, as determined by the care team.
- Get regular physical activity to achieve a healthy weight and allow insulin to work more effectively.
- Check their blood sugar levels on a regular basis.
- Get treatment for other health problems that can happen more often in people with type 2 diabetes, like high blood pressure or problems with the levels of fats in their blood.
- Have regular checkups with doctors and other people on their diabetes health care team so they can stay healthy and get treatment for any diabetes problems.
People with type 2 diabetes might have to eat smaller food portions and less salt or fat, too. Those who eat healthy foods, stay active, and get to a healthy weight may bring their blood sugar levels into a healthier range. Their doctors may even say they don’t need to take any medicines at all.
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What You Need To Know
A doctor and the diabetes management health team might treat your loved ones disease with lifestyle changes including dietary choices and exercise. But sometimes, medicine is required.
As a caregiver, make sure you understand the side effects of any medicines the care team prescribes. If insulin is prescribed, know how to recognize symptoms that require intervention.
Most importantly , symptoms of low blood sugar . And then, plan how you can help when blood sugar levels go too low.
Signs And Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
- Frequent urination and extreme thirst
- Sudden or unexpected weight loss
- Increased hunger
- Dark, velvety patches of skin
- Wounds that wont heal
If you have one or more risk factor for type 2 diabetes and notice any of these signs, its a good idea to call your doctor, as you may have type 2 diabetes.
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How Can I Lower My Chances Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Research such as the Diabetes Prevention Program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, has shown that you can take steps to reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes if you have risk factors for the disease. Here are some things you can do to lower your risk:
- Lose weight if you are overweight, and keep it off. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your current weight.1 For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose about 10 to 14 pounds.
- Move more. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, such as walking, at least 5 days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional about which activities are best. Start slowly and build up to your goal.
- Eat healthy foods. Eat smaller portions to reduce the amount of calories you eat each day and help you lose weight. Choosing foods with less fat is another way to reduce calories. Drink water instead of sweetened beverages.
Ask your health care team what other changes you can make to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
Most often, your best chance for preventing type 2 diabetes is to make lifestyle changes that work for you long term. Get started with Your Game Plan to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
Newly Diagnosed With Diabetes Where Do I Start
With so much information to take in at once and all the misconceptions about diabetes and food that youll probably hear it can be hard to know what to do. Diabetes is serious. If you are referred to a dietitian or diabetes educator, dont wait to see them before you make changes to your diet. You can start to make adjustments as soon as you are diagnosed. Choose ones that are realistic, so youll stick with them. Even small changes matter.
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Get The Support You Need
Diabetes Canada is here to help provide information and support so that you can live a healthy life. A positive and realistic attitude toward your diabetes can help you manage it. Talking to other people with diabetes is a great way to learn, and to feel less alone.
Your health-care team is there to help you. Depending on your needs and the resources available in your community, your team may include a family doctor, diabetes educator , endocrinologist, pharmacist, social worker, exercise physiologist, psychologist, foot-care specialist, eye-care specialist. They can answer your questions about how to manage diabetes and work with you to adjust your food plan, activity and medications.
What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes
Symptoms of diabetes include
- numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
- sores that do not heal
- unexplained weight loss
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowlyover the course of several yearsand can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Many people have no symptoms. Some people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes-related health problems, such as blurred vision or heart disease.
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Practical Ways Of Dealing With An Emergency As A Caregiver
Severe hypoglycemia can lead to serious problems, including seizures or unconsciousness, that require emergency care.If you’re with someone who loses consciousness or can’t swallow due to low blood sugar:
- Don’t inject insulin, as this will cause blood sugar levels to drop even further
- Don’t give fluids or food, because these could cause choking
- Give glucagon a hormone that stimulates the release of sugar into the blood through injection or nasally
Note to the Patient: If you have symptoms of hypoglycemia several times a week or more, see your doctor. You may need to change your medication dosage or timing, or otherwise adjust your diabetes treatment regimen.
First Find A Diabetes Specialist You Trust
No matter the type of diabetes, people experience dramatically different levels of care at diagnosis. Many people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes are provided almost no information at all, but instead are sent home with the directive to watch what you eat. People with Type 1 diabetes also sometimes experience this, which can be fatal since insulin is an absolute requirement for those with Type 1 or LADA .
No matter the type of diabetes, this lack of information and guidance can be dangerous at worst, but also extremely unhelpful and causing more stress than necessary. Finding a diabetes specialist you trust will change your entire experience of the disease, keep you healthier now and in the future, and lower your stress levels.
What do we mean by diabetes specialist? There are levels. Some primary care physicians are well-versed in managing diabetes, and your primary care provider may be a good resource for you. Many people with diabetes choose to see an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in hormones and works with people who have all types of diabetes.
As a person living with diabetes, you have or will become the leading expert on your own body. You spend the most time with your body, and only you can know what is going on with it day to day. A great diabetes specialist will honor this, and work with you to manage your diabetes, knowing that treatments and solutions are never one size fits all.
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Take Steps Towards A Healthier Lifestyle
Regular exercise and healthy food choices are the cornerstone of diabetes management. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to support the management of your blood glucose levels and general diabetes health.
Regular physical activity keeps your blood glucose levels within a healthy range by increasing your bodys response to insulin and reducing circulating glucose. Speak with your GP or an exercise physiologist to find activities that are safe and effective for you.
Making healthy food choices assists with managing blood glucose levels. There is no diabetes diet to follow, but it is important to understand how carbohydrate foods can impact blood glucose levels. An Accredited Practising Dietitian or Credentialled Diabetes Educator can provide you with individualised advice about label reading, portion sizes, and healthy food swaps.
Group education programs are run in many locations across Queensland ask your GP or health professional about what is available in your area.
Diabetes Australia has a free app that may help you keep track of specialist appointments, meal planning, as the latest news.