Type 2 Diabetes: 5 Thing You Should Know
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common health conditions in older adults. Nearly 30% of adults 65 and older are currently living with type 2 diabetes. As the population continues to increase in age, so does the number of people who are diagnosed with this condition. While continued medical advancements are producing better care management treatments, self-care remains a key part in managing how you feel.
Here are five things you should know about type 2 diabetes.
1. It is a Chronic Condition
There currently is no cure for type 2 diabetes, meaning that once someone is diagnosed with it, it is not reversible, it remains for life. Diabetes occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin or does not use insulin properly, resulting in blood sugar levels that can be either too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). However, despite the chronic nature of type 2 diabetes, people can still live their normal lifestyle through proper management.
2. Symptoms May Not Appear for Years
People who have type 2 diabetes may have the condition for years before they begin to show symptoms. Because of this, it is important for people to speak with their healthcare provider about their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and create a plan for how often they should be tested. The most common symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst, wounds and cuts that are slow to heal, blurred vision and fatigue. People who experience any of these symptoms should speak with their Primary Care Provider immediately.
3. Serious Complications Can Occur if Not Properly Managed
People who do not properly manage their type 2 diabetes are at a risk of developing health complications, including nerve damage, kidney disease and diabetic eye disease among other complications. Not managing type 2 diabetes also places people at a greater risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular diseases than people who work with a Primary Care Provider to manage their type 2 diabetes.
4. Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Managed
While a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can cause anxiety and stress, the good news is that it can be managed with proper care. Two of the most important things a person with type 2 diabetes can do is add exercise and a healthy diet as part of their routine. Incorporating these changes can be difficult at first, but the important thing is sticking with these changes. Do not try to make large changes in diet and exercise all at once. Instead, try to make gradual changes such as three ten minute walks instead of one thirty minute walk.
5. Take Medication as Prescribed
The most important step a person can take in managing their type 2 diabetes is taking their medication exactly as prescribed by their Primary Care Provider. This means taking the prescribed amount at the prescribed time. Some people may struggle to practice medication adherence due to financial or physician barriers. A Primary Care Provider, like the ones at Reliance Medical Centers will work with their patients to resolve any barriers to care by helping them locate more cost-effective medications and working with the patient to create a medication adherence routine.
Type 2 Diabetes, while a chronic medical condition, does not mean people who are diagnosed cannot live a healthy, active and happy lifestyle. Reliance Primary Care Providers are happy to provide their patients with education about type 2 diabetes, along with management options and resources to help them live their fullest lives.
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