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What is Type 2 Diabetes?

It's the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 means that your body doesn't use insulin properly. And while some people can control their blood glucose (blood sugar) levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to manage it. (Source: https://diabetes.org/diabetes/type-2)

FAQs

How are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes different?

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disorder.  The body destroys its insulin producing cells so it cannot convert glucose to energy. Because the insulin producing cells are destroyed, people with Type 1 take insulin to live. Type 2 diabetes can develop slowly over several years. It can be the result of many different factors.  The most common are genetics, excessive weight and a sedentary lifestyle. It can also be the result of the body’s insulin producing cells being unable to produce enough insulin to convert glucose to energy.  

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than they should be. If not properly managed, prediabetes can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Your health care provider can check your blood sugar levels.

If I’m prediabetic will I get Type 2 Diabetes?

No. Not necessarily. Prediabetes can be reversed. Many who are diagnosed as prediabetic are able to adjust their lifestyle and bring their blood sugar levels down to the right level. 

 

What are the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include increased thirst and hunger, blurry vision, frequent urination, numbness in hands or feet.  If these symptoms persist, get your blood sugar level tested. 

Type 2 diabetes runs in my family. Will I get it?

No. Not Necessarily.  While genetics can definitely be a factor, having a family history of type 2 diabetes does not mean you will get it.  A healthy lifestyle also plays a vital role. For example, families often share the same eating habits.  If those eating habits include significant carbohydrates, such as sugars and starches Type 2 diabetes can be the result of those shared eating habits.

 

Can a person with Type 2 diabetes lead a normal life?

In most cases, yes. Changes to your lifestyle will depend on the progression of your Type 2 diabetes. You will find that you are able to enjoy the kind of exercise that works for you. It may be walking, bike riding or something else. New approaches to preparing and eating delicious foods will help you to manage Type 2 diabetes. Smaller portions and food with less fat are key. Making the right adjustments pays dividends down the road. Adopting and adhering to a few lifestyle changes allows Type 2 diabetics to lead healthy normal lives. 

I have Type 2 diabetes. How can I deal with my stress?

The emotional burden of dealing with Type 2 diabetes can be daunting. Stress or fear are common emotions that many people with Type 2 diabetes face. It is normal to be concerned about your health. If you find that you are unable to cope with your emotions, discuss the problem with your health care provider. Talk to your family members, a friend or someone else that you know who is dealing with the problem.  All can help you to ease the stress.

 

Will my type 2 diabetes worsen over time?

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition. It can worsen over time. If diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes turn out to be insufficient as time progresses, your health care provider may prescribe medicine to augment your life style changes. And you may need to incorporate insulin into your treatment plan. These changes can help you to continue on a healthy path as your needs evolve. Everything depends on the individual and there is no single right approach for everyone dealing with the disease.

 

Are there other diseases associated with Type 2 diabetes?

Yes.  Type 2 diabetes can be linked to other serious health problems. Unmanaged Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease and other issues. This is why it is so important to deal with the problem as early as possible and help avoid other health problems.  

Is there a cure for Type 2 diabetes?

Researchers are working to find a cure for type 2 diabetes.  There is some evidence that suggests that Type 2 diabetes may be reversible. Stay tuned to our newsletters and blog for more on this subject. 

The Hard Truth

23%

of adults with diabetes were not aware they had it 

38%

of the adult population have prediabetes

48%

of adults over 65 have diabetes

Mythbusters

It doesn’t run in my family, so I’m not at risk.

False- while genetics can be a factor, many people have T2D without a family history.  

I’m not overweight, so I’m not at risk.

False- even at the right weight range, other factors, such as BMI (body mass index) increase risk.

I’m 35, so I’m not at risk.

False- In the past age 45 was the age to watch but today’s trend shows more T2D in people under 45-including teenagers! 

I can only eat foods I don’t like.

False- the food options available to those at risk or with T2D is wide ranging and delicious!

 

T2D doesn’t lead to other health problems.

False- T2D can lead to other health problems including heart disease and stroke.

I need a doctor to manage my T2D

False- while a health professional is vital, you are responsible for managing your T2D.

I won’t die from T2D

False- Left untreated, T2D can lead to serious health complications, including death.

Risk Factors

Are you at risk?

  • ​Overweight or obese 

  • Family history of diabetes

  • African American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander.

  • Not physically active

  • Are prediabetic

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