The doctor has told you that you have diabetes. Now what?
What should you know and what should you do? The first question should be what type of diabetes you have and what that means for you.
Knowing what type - Type 1 or Type 2 - you have will not only help your medical team create a treatment plan but also help you prevent complications that can range from mild to severe. All complications left untreated end up severe.
Type 1 Diabetes
- This type is typically genetic or contributed to a failure in the body to be able to use the insulin properly. While people with Type 1 might become obese and have similar issues as those with Type 2 - it is usually a result of the insulin deficiency. According to current statistics - Type 1 diabetes only affects about 10% of the population that has diabetes. It is usually diagnosed in 20's or even earlier as Juvenile Diabetes. Type 1 is almost always treated with insulin injections or some form of insulin treatment. Type 2 Diabetes
- This type is typically attributed to medical factors in the body and diagnosed in older people such as 40's and up. With the current population rate gaining in obesity at earlier ages, Type 2 is being seen much earlier than 40. Depending on the diagnosis, your doctor could treat your Type 2 with simply a diet/exercise change and weight management. More severe cases are treated with insulin treatment. Treatment goals for Type 2 are to prevent further damage and prevent the diabetes from progressing.
What are the most common complications from diabetes? Some of the most common are:
Retinopathy (blurred vision to complete blindness) which should be monitored by an opthamologist to prevent blindness.
Neuropathy (nerve damage) tingling in feet and other extremities should be reported to your doctor even before your next visit.
Nephropathy (kidney disease) is severe damage to your kidneys - blood pressure also plays a part in this because it can make kidney disease worse.
Other long-term may complications include:
Eye problems including glaucoma and cataracts
High blood pressure
Following your treatment plan is essential to living a normal, healthy life.