Just as there are many blood vessels in your kidneys, there are also many in your eyes that can be affected by the presence of diabetes. A symptom of type 1 diabetes is blurry vision, which is caused by the blood vessels attached to your retinas being damaged. This condition can only worsen over time as the diabetes is left mismanaged or untreated. Your feet—the furthest parts of your body from your heart—can be affected by diabetes from poor blood flow and nerve damage. This can result in amputations of toes, feet, or even parts of legs.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases , but it is also the most preventable and treatable form of diabetes if blood sugar levels are caught and managed before they reach too high of a level during the prediabetic stage.
This form of diabetes occurs when your body stops using insulin the right way. This can have severe effects on your health. Unlike those with type 1 diabetes, who typically feel the symptoms of their diabetes come on relatively quickly, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes are more likely to gradually onset as blood sugar levels rise over a lifetime to dangerous levels.
The symptoms are similar, though, because both forms of diabetes revolve around not processing sugar in your blood the right way. These include:. As we discussed in its earlier section, prediabetes later develops into type 2 diabetes if untreated. That means the causes for type 2 diabetes are the same as prediabetes: age plays a role, and so do your weight and activity levels.
Genetics have some role, too, as you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if close family members suffer from it as well. In addition to the symptoms of type 2 diabetes being similar for type 1 diabetes, the long-lasting health effects are similar, too. However, patients with type 2 diabetes often have a higher chance of developing severe health issues and have higher rates of mortality from their condition than patients with type 1 diabetes. This can partially be explained by the number of people who have type 2 diabetes being much higher than those with type 1. It can also be explained by treatment plans not being followed at an older age not eating right or exercising or just a simple lack or diagnosis.
According to the CDC , diabetes—mostly type 2—is the leading cause of:. Additionally, more than 70 percent of adults with diabetes have to be treated for hypertension, a high blood pressure syndrome, that can lead to other issues with the heart. Those with type 2 diabetes are also twice as likely to suffer from strokes or heart attacks as those without diabetes.
If you fear you may be have diabetes, bring it up to your doctor.
Typically, your doctor will be on top of your blood sugar levels whenever you go in for an appointment, and if they notice anything is off, they will suggest you get tested. There are several tests your doctor may run, either using one test multiple times or trying multiple different tests to confirm a diagnosis. These tests include:. A1C test This test takes a look at your average levels of blood sugar over the past three months, which helps give doctors an idea if your current high blood sugar levels are just a blip or a trend.
This test is most commonly used when discovering prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. The test reports in a percentage, and the higher the percentage, the higher your blood sugar levels are. A normal percentage is below 5. Levels above 6. These tests are scheduled well in advance, and for best results, you should fast for at least eight hours before taking the test. But this test is done without fasting, usually if you are showing severe diabetes symptoms and doctors want to know your blood sugar levels right away.
There is no cure for diabetes. If caught in time, there are preventative steps you can take in the prediabetic stage, as discussed earlier. This can be done two separate ways:. As one study points out , it may be more difficult for older adults to manage their type 1 diabetes because of the lack of mobility or cognition needed to help keep blood sugar levels in check. The study also noted that the earlier in life you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the longer of a burden the disease can have while opening the door to other diabetes-related complications.
The primary step in type 2 diabetes treatment is getting your lifestyle and eating habits in order. When you have type 2 diabetes, you should be taking aforementioned A1C tests several times a year, so you can see how your blood sugar levels are progressing at a very detailed measure. This will help keep blood sugar levels low and minimize the damage done from the previous years. The subjects exercised for at least minutes a week about 25 minutes a day , ate between 1, and 1, calories a day, and continuously received therapy and information about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Ten percent of the people with diabetes were able to get off their medication after a year and had blood sugar levels that were no longer in the diabetic range.
This Is The Shocking Cost Of Type 1 Diabetes
Alcohol abuse among seniors in the United States may be a bigger problem than you think. Educate yourself and find out how it can be treated. Around 25 percent of those 65 and older have diabetes, the CDC says, meaning about 12 million seniors have Diabetes. Glucose — a sugar — is a main source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues. In type 2 diabetes, this process doesn't work well. Instead of moving into your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. As blood sugar levels increase, the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas release more insulin, but eventually these cells become impaired and can't make enough insulin to meet the body's demands.
In the much less common type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly destroys the beta cells, leaving the body with little to no insulin.
Common tests & procedures
Type 2 diabetes can be easy to ignore, especially in the early stages when you're feeling fine. But diabetes affects many major organs, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys.
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Controlling your blood sugar levels can help prevent these complications. Although long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually, they can eventually be disabling or even life-threatening. Some of the potential complications of diabetes include:. Nerve damage neuropathy. Excess sugar can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Eventually, you may lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. Damage to the nerves that control digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.
For men, erectile dysfunction may be an issue. Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent type 2 diabetes, and that's true even if you have diabetes in your family. If you've already received a diagnosis of diabetes, you can use healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent complications. If you have prediabetes, lifestyle changes can slow or stop the progression to diabetes.
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Sometimes medication is an option as well. Metformin Glucophage, Glumetza, others , an oral diabetes medication, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. But even if you take medication, healthy lifestyle choices remain essential for preventing or managing diabetes. Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.
For Candace Clark, bariatric surgery meant the difference between struggling with weight issues, including medical problems triggered by obesity, and enjoying renewed health and energy. When Debbie Hundley learned she had diabetes and realized what it was doing to her body, she was determined to make the adjustments needed to get the disease under control and keep it that way.
For Debbie Hundley, the shift was gradual.
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