Do I have it?
You may (or may not) have noticed some relatively covert signs and signals in yourself or a loved one that may be deserving of more than your casual attention. Hungrier than usual? Can’t get enough to drink? Have to use the restroom to urinate often? These symptoms share commonalities with the more serious type 1 diabetes, and are worth taking a trip to the doctor’s office to have them take a look at it.
How did this happen?
Rest assured that, even if the diagnosis comes back positive, 90% of most cases of diabetes are proclaimed to be the weaker type 2 version, but sadly, the characteristics and causes leading to the disease are increasingly common in today’s society. While many factors can contribute to one contracting type 2, the most common are the lifestyle choices we make every day. Obesity is thought to be one of the most common contributing factors, and with over 72% of Americans overweight or obese as of 2013, there is more than cause for concern. Other aspects of one’s life that are known to be linked to the development of type 2 include common afflictions like high blood pressure, lack of exercise, low HDL cholesterol, and taking certain medications for other ailments, not to mention the more uncontrollable parts of our lives such as advancing in age (being over 45), being part of a certain racial group, or genetic predisposition. Take a close look at your lifestyle and those of your family members around you, and always be weary of the signs and symptoms.
Don’t panic at the thought of sticking needles into yourself on a daily basis; type 2 is possible to control simply by making the necessary lifestyle changes one should have observed in the first place, such as participating in a routine exercise regimen, and monitoring foods eaten for quality and quantity. Should one not be willing or able to regain control of these aspects of their lives, it may be necessary to take further measures utilizing common medications to balance the sugar levels in the body, such as routine blood sugar level checks coupled with the use of metformin or insulin to maintain safe levels.
Should healthy lifestyle choices and minor medications fail, it may be necessary to progress towards surgical options to keep this disease under control. While there currently is no cure, there are some medical procedures commonly associated with gaining control over type 2 diabetes. In those who are obese, weight loss surgery can be effective in both handling the disease and reducing mortality rates. In cases where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin naturally in the body, or when diabetes has damaged the kidneys so irreparably that they have lost function, organ transplantation may be necessary. Considering the alternatives of leaving type 2 untreated, such as heart disease, strokes, eye damage, limb amputation, heart attacks, comas and death, it is worthwhile to take the time to have someone take a look at the symptoms you or a loved one may be experiencing.