You walk into the doctor’s office, take a seat, and then hear them say what to them is more or less an everyday chat, but to you it can feel like a swift kick in the nether regions.
“I’m really sorry to tell you this, but the results of your blood tests have come back, and it shows that you have got type 2 diabetes”.
OK, so now you’ve been what’s termed as newly diagnosed, the next step is how you manage living with type 2 diabetes.
Why do I have type 2 Diabetes?
Because type 2 diabetes is such a complicated disease there are a number of reasons why you might have developed it.
Let me tell you about some of the most common ones.
The condition develops when the pancreas isn’t able to produce enough insulin in the body, or when the body becomes resistant to the insulin that is being produced.
Doctors and Scientists aren’t completely sure why this happens, although such things as factors of the environment, our genetics, being overweight and not getting any exercise seem to have a bit to do with it.
You don’t necessarily have to be overweight to get diabetes but it is known to be a contributing factor.
Other factors that contribute to developing the disease are:
If you’re a bit big round the middle: As I mentioned earlier, being overweight doesn’t mean you will definitely develop diabetes.
But carrying more inches around your belly seems to increase the risk.
If you suffer from high blood pressure: Get it checked frequently, because this is one of those issues that doesn't have any symptoms to let you know you have got it.
That’s why it is commonly referred to as the silent killer.
If you sit down for long periods of time: If this is the case, try to get up and move around at least every half an hour, for a few minutes.
Your Ethnicity: Although due to environment and lifestyle conditions just about anyone can develop the disease.
People of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean and black African origin are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Is Type 2 Diabetes Deadly?
In a nutshell, yes it can be.
In the early stages it is quite easy to ignore, because like high blood pressure you might not be experiencing any symptoms, and so might be feeling ok.
But gradually over time if you don’t do anything to help with controlling your diabetes, it could end up affecting many of your major organs, such as your kidneys, eyes, nerves, blood vessels and even your heart.
There are more potential complications that could come about from diabetes and these can include:
Blood vessel disease.
Eye damage (Diabetic retinopathy).
Heart disease and stroke.
Nerve damage (neuropathy).
Sexual dysfunction (both men and women).
That’s not all of them, but it’s enough to show how deadly this disease can be if it is left to continue untreated.
If you have already been told by your doctor that you have type 2 diabetes then it is possible that by switching to healthy lifestyle choices, you might be able to help prevent developing some of these complications.
How long can You Live with Type 2 Diabetes?
When people are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is understandable that they are deeply concerned about what is happening to them and what the implications are.
As well as all the health risks and future lifestyle questions they have starting to come to mind, a lot of people worry about if it will have any effect on the length of their lifespan.
While diabetes can have health implications that can seriously affect one’s life expectancy, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration.
These range from how quickly the condition is picked up on, to how well they, their doctor or their healthcare team manage the condition.
Other influential aspects to consider are, if there are any progressions or severity in the symptoms that initially alerted the doctor or health professional to the condition.
Or how the body is responding to any treatments, and are there any complications.
Living with type 2 diabetes could be a complicated condition with quite a few variables.
When initially diagnosed, a doctor wouldn’t be able to immediately say how the condition was going to affect the patient’s life expectancy.
But don't get too stressed, it's not all doom and gloom, and in most cases it's managable.
Is There a Treatment For Type 2 Diabetes?
There are medications that your doctor can prescribe for you.
But that will probably come about during you consultation where they will take into consideration factors such as, where your blood sugar level is at and any other health problems you may currently have.
These can also include various diabetes medications or even insulin therapy.
For a lot of people, they will be able to reach their target blood sugar levels through altering their lifestyle and incorporating a change in their diet and adding some basic exercise regimes.
This will also be focused on improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as reducing any body fat if it is needed.
Lifestyle Changes for Living with Type 2 Diabetes
You need to make sure that you make some positive lifestyle changes in order to keep your diabetes problem under control, or even aim to try to reverse it.
Diet and exercise for type 2 diabetes is important.
By keeping yourself active and eating the right diet, you will be able to help keep your blood glucose in the right target area, improve your overall health and even shed a bit of weight in the process.
If you decide you are going to get on top of your diabetes, either while you are pre-diabetic or just been newly diagnosed, it can pay off not only in the short term but in the future as well.
Look, developing type 2 diabetes is not a death sentence by any means, but you have to realise that it is a serious disease that requires immediate attention whether you have just been diagnosed or are borderline.
As long as you control and manage this disease well, make sure the changes you make are individual to you and fit comfortably into your daily schedule.
You should expect to be able to continue to live a happy, independent and active life.