Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Managed Without Medication
Although there’s no cure for type 2 diabetes, studies show it’s possible for some people to reverse it. Through diet changes and weight loss, you may be able to reach and hold normal blood sugar levels without medication. This doesn’t mean you’re completely cured. Type 2 diabetes is an ongoing disease.
Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems. It’s the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people of working age.
Everyone with diabetes aged 12 or over should be invited to have their eyes screened once a year for diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetes is also responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation, other than accidents.
Read more about the complications of type 2 diabetes
Maybe It’s A Different Type
If you or someone you know is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but isnt responding well to the typical treatments for type 2 diabetes, it may be worth a visit to an endocrinologist to determine what type of diabetes is happening. Generally, this requires antibody tests and possibly the measurement of a C-peptide level.
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What Is Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes was previously called non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus , or adult onset diabetes mellitus . People who have type 2 diabetes can still produce insulin, but do so relatively inadequately for their body’s needs. Type 2 diabetes typically occurs in individuals over 30 years of age, and its incidence increases with advancing age. In contrast, type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed in young people.
Genetics plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, and having a family history and close relatives with the condition increases your risk however, there are other risk factors, with obesity being the most significant. There is a direct relationship between the degree of obesity and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for both children and adults. It has been estimated that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes doubles for every 20% increase over desirable body weight.
Can Obesity Cause Type 2 Diabetes
How we understand and type 2 diabetes matters as they are the most widespread metabolic disorders. Though theyre separate conditions, they often overlap.
Weight and nutrition specialist Caroline Apovian, MD, explains, Although lifestyle is very important for both obesity treatment and diabetes, there are people who never develop obesity, and there are people who do have obesity for whom lifestyle changes dont always work, because obesity is a disease and the body defends a higher body weight set point. Even after weight loss, the hormonal changes involved in obesity can force a patient to regain the weight.
Type 2 diabetes patients did not bring it on themselves, emphasizes diabetes and metabolism expert Elena Christofides, MD. This is not a moral failing.
But both the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes is increasing. Why? Researchers believe its our environment. There has been an increased availability of high-fat, high-sugar, highly processed foods. These foods often contain other non-food items.
Some of these ingredients have been found to act as endocrine disrupters and change the way our bodies store fat and process energy. While there have not been sufficient studies to prove a causal relationship, most doctors and nutritionists recommend avoiding them.
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Which Is Worse Type 1 Or 2 Diabetes Topic Guide
- Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder involving insufficient or no insulin, or not using insulin properly, which causes blood sugar levels to rise . Type 1 diabetes has no cure, but other types can be managed with diet, taking insulin, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and healthy lifestyle choices, depending on the diabetes type.
Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes Different
The first symptoms of type 1 diabetes appear when blood sugar gets too high. Symptoms include thirst, hunger, fatigue, frequent urination, weight loss, tingling or numbness in the feet, and blurred vision. Very high blood sugar can cause rapid breathing, dry skin, fruity breath, and nausea.
Meanwhile, the first symptoms of type 2 diabetes may not show up for many years meaning the disease can ravage a persons body without them realizing it. Early symptoms include frequent infections, fatigue, frequent urination, thirst, hunger, blurred vision, erectile dysfunction in men, and pain or numbness in the hands or feet. Drincic notes that “symptoms of type 2 diabetes don’t start as suddenly as symptoms of type 1 diabetes.”
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What Problems Can Happen With Type 2 Diabetes
Sometimes, kids and teens with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, or obesity might develop thick, dark, velvet-like skin around the neck, armpits, groin, between fingers and toes, or on elbows and knees a cosmetic skin condition called acanthosis nigricans. This skin darkening can lighten over time with improvement in insulin resistance.
Polycystic ovary syndrome in girls is also often associated with insulin resistance. This hormone problem can make the ovaries become enlarged and develop cysts . Girls with PCOS might have irregular periods, might stop having periods, and may have excess facial and body hair growth. It also can cause fertility problems.
People with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes are also more likely to develop hypertension or abnormal levels of blood fats . When these problems cluster together, its called metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome are at risk for heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
Diabetes also can cause heart disease and stroke, as well as other long-term complications, including eye problems, kidney disease, nerve damage, and gum disease. While these problems dont usually show up in kids or teens whove had type 2 diabetes for only a few years, they can affect them in adulthood, particularly if their diabetes isnt well controlled.
Can Type 1 Diabetics Take Pills Instead Of Insulin
Only people with type 2 diabetes can use pills to manage their diabetes, people with type 1 diabetes must use insulin. These pills work best when used with meal planning and exercise. This way you have three therapies working together to lower your blood glucose levels. Diabetes pills don’t work for everyone.
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Where Can I Find Help And Support For Managing My Type 2 Diabetes
Certified Diabetes Educators. The American Diabetes Association has a diabetes education finder, where you can find diabetes counseling in your zip code. You may also want to work with a diabetes dietitian to clarify questions about carbs, eating schedules, and more. A diabetes dietitian falls under the umbrella of medical nutrition therapy and is covered by Medicare and many insurance policies. Exercise is another crucial part of care, and you may be eligible for physical therapy as part of your diabetes medical management plan. You can find more information on state-by-state coverage here.
Type 2 diabetes isnt a solo condition. Its largely influenced by our culture and community health practices. Expanding your community to a healthy support system can also be an important part of managing your type 2 diabetes.
Family and friends. Get them on board by creating new food habits together. Often, we feel pressure to maintain the status quo for our families while adjusting our own diets. The changes youre making to improve your health will also improve the health of your family. Choose healthful meals that you can all enjoy together and try to resist making separate meals for yourself.
can cause myriad problems, with the primary complications being:
Tingling or numbness in your lips, tongue, or cheeks
What Are The Complications Of Diabetes
“Whether it’s type 1 or type 2,” Drinsic says, “the big picture for diabetes is all about preventing complications,” which are mostly related to nerve and blood vessel damage. For example, if you have either type of diabetes, you have twice the risk of heart attack or heart disease as compared with someone without the disease. Other complications include eye problems, kidney disease, foot infections, skin infections, stroke, high blood pressure, cognitive decline, and high cholesterol.
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How Is Type 1 Diabetes And Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed
Despite very distinct symptoms, both types of diabetes can be mistaken for lingering flu symptoms or other ordinary illness that doesnt require treatment. Its crucial that anyone displaying signs of diabetes have their blood sugar levels tested and urine tested for ketones.
According to the American Diabetes Association, the following blood sugar and A1c results are used to diagnose prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
The life expectancy of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes depends on a number of factors such as the individual, the length of the disease, lifestyle measures adopted, medications and drugs were taken, complications which diabetes might lead to, amongst others.
On an average, patients who have type 1 diabetes have reduced life span by as much as 20 years, while those suffering from type 1 have their average life reduced by around 10 years. Also, results of one of the studies conducted by the University of Pittsburgh suggest that those born after 1965 and having type 1 diabetes have a life expectancy of around 69 years.
Here, you need to remember that the above figures are just an average of those who suffer from diabetes. These estimates might include those who might not have taken care of the disease and might not have taken any type of medical assistance as well. Today, there are a lot of treatments available that can go a long way in prolonging the life span of diabetes patients.
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A1c Goals For Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
People living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are all encouraged to achieve an HbA1c level at or below 7.0 percent for the best prevention of diabetes-related complications.
A crucial part of diabetes management for both type 1 and type 2 is testing your blood sugar. Using a glucometer or continuous glucose monitor each day is the only way to know if your choices around food, insulin, exercise, and other medications are keeping your blood sugar within a safe range.
For some people with diabetes especially those who have hypoglycemia unawareness or the elderly aiming for an A1c of 7.0 may present too much risk and stress.
Determining the right A1c goal for you based on your current diabetes management, your goals , and other stressors in your life can mean that tighter blood sugar management isnt realistic.
Instead, focus on doing the best you can with an A1c goal that is realistically achievable and safe for your life at this time.
- Read more on how to lower your A1c in Diabetes Strongs A1c Guide.
Is Type 2 Diabetes Genetic
Over 75% of kids with type 2 diabetes also have a relative with the condition. But this could be due to similar lifestyles in the family rather than genetic factors. Like any condition, some people have a genetic predisposition towards both insulin insensitivity and type 2 diabetes, but the primary factor governing type 2 diabetes is lifestyle.
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Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes Onset In An Infant Or Child
The young child who is urinating frequently, drinking large quantities, losing weight, and becoming more and more tired and ill is the classic picture of a child with new-onset type 1 diabetes. If a child who is potty-trained and dry at night starts having accidents and wetting the bed again, diabetes might be the culprit.
Although it is easy to make the diagnosis diabetes in a child by checking blood sugar at the doctors office or emergency room, the tricky part is recognizing the symptoms and knowing to take the child to get checked. Raising the awareness that young children, including infants, can get type 1 diabetes can help parents know when to check for type 1 diabetes.
Sometimes children can be in diabetic ketoacidosis when they are diagnosed with diabetes. When there is a lack of insulin in the body, the body can build up high levels of an acid called ketones. DKA is a medical emergency that usually requires hospitalization and immediate care with insulin and IV fluids. After diagnosis and early in treatment, some children may go through a phase where they seem to be making enough insulin again. This is commonly called the honeymoon phase. It may seem like diabetes has been cured, but over time they will require appropriate doses of insulin to keep their blood sugar levels in the normal range.
Can Type 2 Diabetes Turn To Type 1
It is not possible for type 2 diabetes to turn into type 1 diabetes. However, a person who originally receives a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes may still get a separate diagnosis of type 1 at a later date. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, so a doctor might initially suspect that an adult with diabetes has type 2.
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When Should I Call My Doctor
Its important to monitor diabetes very closely if youre sick. Even a common cold can be dangerous if it interferes with your insulin and blood sugar levels. Make a sick day plan with your healthcare provider so you know how often to check your blood sugar and what medications to take.
Contact your provider right away if you experience:
- Confusion or memory loss.
- Nausea and vomiting for more than four hours.
- Problems with balance or coordination.
- Severe pain anywhere in your body.
- Trouble moving your arms or legs.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Type 2 diabetes is a disease where your body doesnt make enough insulin and cant use sugar the way it should. Sugar, or glucose, builds up in your blood. High blood sugar can lead to serious health complications. But Type 2 diabetes is manageable. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you manage your blood sugar. You may also need medication or insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugar at home regularly and stay in close communication with your healthcare provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/25/2021.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes
An absolute lack of insulin, usually due to destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas, is the main problem in type 1 diabetes.
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Can Diabetes Be Prevented Or Cured
“As of now there is no way to prevent or cure type 1 diabetes,” Drincic notes. “There is lots of promising research, but it is still in the early stages.” Some of the initiatives involve targeting the cells in the immune system that cause the autoimmune response. Other possibilities include the use of stem cells or pancreas transplants.
Another area of research is diet and its effects on both prevention and diabetes maintenance. A study published in March 2017 in the British Journal of Nutrition reported that following a diet high in plant nutrients and low in meat consumption lowers a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The results indicated that certain compounds found in meat, rather than specific proteins, increased the risk of type 2 diabetes. Aside from eating healthy foods rich in plant nutrients, a large number of studies indicate that exercise is paramount not only for weight control, but also for maintaining a healthy, optimistic outlook.
Concerned That You Might Have Type 1 Or Type 2 Diabetes Please Come See Us
If you have diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, or are worried that youre at risk of developing it and would like guidance about managing this condition, please call 232-1919 to make an appointment with one of our Westchester Health endocrinologists. Well examine you, evaluate your symptoms, possibly perform some tests, and together with you, decide on the best course of treatment and lifestyle changes that can improve your health and reduce your risk of complications. Whenever, wherever you need us, were here for you.
By Mindy Sotsky, MD, FACE, an endocrinologist with Westchester Health, member of Westchester Health Physician Partners
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How Is Type 1 Diabetes Treated
Type 1 diabetes needs lifelong treatment because there is no cure yet. Doctors treat type 1 diabetes using a diabetes care plan. The care plan tells you and your child the things to do every day to help keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
Each childs diabetes care plan is made just for them. But all plans have the same 4 basic parts:
- take insulin
Does Type 1 Or Type 2 Diabetes Need Insulin
People with Type 1 diabetes are considered to have insulin-dependent diabetes as they will always require insulin to manage their blood sugar levels. Some people with Type 2 diabetes are dependent on insulin, but others manage it by following a healthy lifestyle and using medication without insulin.
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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.