Health Problems Linked To Type 2 Diabetes
If your blood sugar is frequently imbalanced, you may be at a greater risk for the following type 2 diabetes complications:
Diabetic Retinopathy In diabetic retinopathy, high blood sugar weakens the capillaries that supply the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye.
The capillaries then swell, become blocked, or leak blood into the center of the eye, blurring vision. In advanced stages, abnormal new blood vessels grow.
Diabetic Neuropathy Neuropathy, or nerve damage, can affect any nerve in your body. Most commonly, it affects the nerves in the feet, legs, hands, and arms this condition is called peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy can cause tingling, burning, pain, or numbness in the affected areas.
The pain of peripheral neuropathy is difficult to control, though some find topical products that contain capsaicin to be helpful.
Diabetic Nephropathy In diabetic nephropathy, the nephrons in the kidneys become damaged from chronic high blood sugar.
High blood pressure compounds the problem, and high cholesterol appears to contribute to it as well.
In the early stages of diabetic nephropathy, you may not notice any symptoms, but standard blood and urine tests can detect early signs of dysfunction, and early treatment can stop or slow its progression.
Diabetic Ulcer People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing foot ulcers .
Is There An Age Where Im More At Risk Of Type 2
Type 2 diabetes used to be known as adult-onset diabetes as it was primarily seen in middle-aged adults over the age of 40.
However, in recent years, cases of type 2 diabetes have become more common in young adults, teens and children. This increase has been connected to climbing levels of obesity
- See our guide on diabetes risk factors for more information.
Your Body Mass Index Matters
Body mass index is a number calculated from a persons weight and height. Most health professionals rely on BMI to assess whether their patients are overweight or have obesity . All adults who are overweight should talk to their doctor about getting tested for type 2 diabetes.
People of Asian heritage in the normal weight range may have too much visceral fat and be at risk of type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI. Researchers now suggest that people of Asian heritage get tested if their BMI is 23 or more.
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Type 2 Diabetes In Children And Teens
Childhood obesity rates are rising, and so are the rates of type 2 diabetes in youth. More than 75% of children with type 2 diabetes have a close relative who has it, too. But its not always because family members are related it can also be because they share certain habits that can increase their risk. Parents can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by developing a plan for the whole family:
- Drinking more water and fewer sugary drinks
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Making favorite foods healthier
- Making physical activity more fun
Healthy changes become habits more easily when everyone makes them together. Find out how to take charge family style with these healthy tips.
What Are The Possible Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes
Even with careful management, type 2 diabetes can put your child at risk of some serious complications that require prompt medical attention. These include hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is a risk if your child is on insulin. Hypoglycemia can result from too high an insulin dose, a missed meal or snack, more physical activity than usual, or illness that causes vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, sweating, weakness, blurry vision and rapid heartbeat.
- If left unchecked, hypoglycemia can result in a medical emergency. Your child could lose consciousness or have a seizure.
- If your child has any of these symptoms, measure their blood glucose level and give them a fast-acting carbohydrate, such as fruit juice, hard candy or raisins if they are awake and able to swallow food safely. If not, call 911 and administer glucagon if your child has been prescribed this medication. Seek medical attention right away.
Hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, happens when blood sugar is too high and builds up in the blood stream. It can be caused by not having enough insulin, eating too much food or the wrong kinds of food, too little physical activity, or illness.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition that can result from low insulin and high blood sugar. It is more common in children with type 1 diabetes but can occur with type 2 diabetes.
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About Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is usually a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood glucose level to become too high.
The hormone insulin produced by the pancreas is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood
There are two main types of diabetes:
- type 1 where the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin
- type 2 where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin
This topic is about type 2 diabetes.
Read more about type 1 diabetes
Another type of diabetes, known as gestational diabetes, occurs in some pregnant women and tends to disappear after birth.
What Is The Life Expectancy When You Have Type 2 Diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, it is important to be aware of your life expectancy and what you can do to improve it. Diabetes, also called diabetes mellitus, is a serious disease that can lead to medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, and even death if not managed properly. The good news is that with proper treatment and management, most people with type 2 diabetes can live a long, healthy life. In this article, we will discuss the life expectancy for people with type 2 diabetes and what you can do to improve it.
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Can You Get Life Insurance If You Are In Remission For Type 2 Diabetes
Yes, you can get life insurance if you are in remission for type 2 diabetes. The insurance company may ask a few additional details, such as when your treatment stopped, and what your most recent blood sugar levels were. Having this information handy can make your application process move faster.
Ready to shop for life insurance for people with diabetes?
What Medicines Do I Need To Treat My Type 2 Diabetes
Along with following your diabetes care plan, you may need diabetes medicines, which may include pills or medicines you inject under your skin, such as insulin. Over time, you may need more than one diabetes medicine to manage your blood glucose. Even if you dont take insulin, you may need it at special times, such as during pregnancy or if you are in the hospital. You also may need medicines for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other conditions.
Learn more about medicines, insulin, and other diabetes treatments.
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Diabetes And Brain Health
If you have diabetes, your doctor may screen you for depression or cognitive impairment. Older adults with diabetes are at higher risk for these conditions, compared with others their age who do not have diabetes. Having depression or cognitive impairment can make diabetes self-care challenging.
Your diabetes management plan will cover how to:
- Track your glucose levels. Very high glucose levels or very low glucose levels can be risky to your health. Your plan will show how often you should check your glucose and how often to get the A1C test. If you are managing your diabetes without taking insulin, you may not need to check your glucose as often.
- Make healthy food choices. The food you eat affects glucose levels, so its important to learn whats best for you to eat, how much, and when. If you are overweight, work with your health care team to come up with a plan to lose weight.
- Be active. Walking and other forms of daily exercise can help improve glucose levels in older people with diabetes. Set a goal to be more active most days of the week, and create a plan for being physically active that fits into your life and that you can follow. Your health care team can help.
- Take your medicines. You should take medicine as prescribed even when you feel good. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects or cannot afford your medicines. Also, let your doctor know if you have trouble taking your medicine or keeping track of your medication schedule.
What Risk Factors Can Increase My Chance
There are a few risk factors that have been associated with type 2 diabetes that will increase your risk for diabetes and its complications and also shorten your life expectancy if you already have it too. These common risk factors include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Physical inactivity and not getting enough exercise
- Not getting enough sleep
- Having an unhealthy diet that is low in fiber and high in fat, particularly saturated fat and trans fat, and high in salt
- Lack of sleep or rest
- Lipid disorders that produce high levels of LDL, or the bad cholesterol
- High blood sugar levels
The above risk factors can contribute to diabetes and also lower your life expectancy. If you have type 2 diabetes or are at risk for it you should talk to your doctor about how to eliminate this excess risk if possible.
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You Can Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Before developing type 2 diabetes, most people have prediabetes, where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. People who have prediabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
If you have prediabetes, losing a small amount of weight if youre overweight and getting regular physical activity can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. A lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program can help you make those changesand make them stick. Through the program, you can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58% .
Take the 1-minute test to see if you may be at risk of prediabetes.
How Has Type 2 Diabetes Changed Over Time
Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes because it was diagnosed mainly in adults who did not require insulin to manage their condition. However, because more children are starting to be diagnosed with T2D, and insulin is used more frequently to help manage type 2 diabetes, referring to the condition as adult-onset or non-insulin dependent is no longer accurate or used.
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How Much Does Life Insurance Cost If You Have Diabetes
Life insurance is more expensive for people with diabetes because insurance companies view the condition as a health risk. Some people with diabetes need to take insulin or other medication. If untreated, people with diabetes might experience diabetic complications such as heart disease, neuropathy, or vision loss. What youll actually pay will depend on the type and scope of your diabetes, your treatment plan, and how long youve been in treatment.
Some insurance companies offer more affordable life insurance rates for people with diabetes than others. When they review your application, you will be assigned a health classification. With type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to qualify for a lower rate if you are following your treatment plan from your doctor and your blood sugar levels are below 7.5. With type 1 diabetes, you are more likely to qualify for coverage if you are taking fewer than 50 daily units of insulin and your blood sugar levels are below 8.
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Managed
Theres no cure for Type 2 diabetes. But you can manage the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medication if needed. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your:
- Blood sugar: A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring can help you meet your blood sugar target. Your healthcare provider may also recommend regular A1c tests, oral medications , insulin therapy or injectable non-insulin diabetes medications.
- Blood pressure: Lower your blood pressure by not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood pressure medication such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors.
- Cholesterol: Follow a meal plan low in saturated fats, trans fat, salt and sugar. Your healthcare provider may recommend statins, which are a type of drug to lower cholesterol.
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What Is The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, people produce little or no insulin, as the insulin-producing cells have been destroyed by the bodys immune system. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease.
In type 2 diabetes, the body may make enough insulin early in the disease, but doesnt respond to it effectively. As type 2 diabetes progresses, the pancreas gradually loses the ability to produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is associated with inherited factors and lifestyle risk factors such as being overweight or obese, poor diet, and insufficient physical activity.
Causes Of Type 2 Diabetes
Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. It helps your cells turn glucose, a type of sugar, from the food you eat into energy. People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their cells don’t use it as well as they should.
Usually, a combination of things causes type 2 diabetes. They might include:
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Insulin Resistance And Insufficient Insulin Production
Insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes means the signal insulin gives to a cell is weakened. This results in less glucose uptake by muscle and fat cells and a reduction in insulin mediated activities inside cells. Compounding this problem of resistance, there is additional defect in insulin production and secretion by the insulin producing cells, the beta cells in the pancreas.
As a group, everyone with with type 2 diabetes has both insulin resistance and an inability to overcome the resistance by secreting more insulin. But any given individual with type 2 may have more resistance than insulin insufficiency or the opposite, more insulin insufficiency than resistance. And the problems may be mild or severe. It is believed that the wide range of clinical presentation is because there are many, many genetic causes and combinations of genetic causes of type 2 diabetes. At present there is no single genetic test for type 2 diabetes. The diagnosis is made on the basis of the individual having clinical features consistent with type 2 diabetes, and by excluding other forms of diabetes.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented for some people. While unchangeable things like genetics, age, and family history can affect your risk for developing diabetes, there are a few things you can do to help keep your risk as low as possible:
Eat healthy. Eating a lot of red meats, processed meats , and sugar is linked to higher rates of type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends increasing your consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains to help reduce your risk.
Be active. Consistently remaining inactive is another risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The ADA recommends at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week to help lower your risk of developing diabetes. Discuss exercising with your doctor before starting any new routines.
Lose weight if youre overweight. Being overweight is also linked with a higher risk of diabetes. The more you weigh, the higher your risk. Talk to your doctor about how to safely lose weight before starting any diets.
If youre worried about your risk of developing diabetes, make an appointment to see your doctor and talk to them about making some of these healthy changes. Taking charge of your health now will only benefit you in the long run.
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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes tend to develop slowly over time. They can include:
- Urinary tract infections and bladder infections.
Rarely, Type 2 diabetes leads to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis . DKA is a life-threatening condition that causes your blood to become acidic. People with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to have DKA.
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Overweight Obesity And Physical Inactivity
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index charts.