Type 2 Diabetes
About 15% of people over age 70 have type 2 diabetes mellitus. This is a disorder in which blood levels of glucose (a sugar) are abnormally high because the body doesn’t release or use insulin adequately. Insulin allows glucose to be transported into cells to produce energy or be stored until needed. Diabetes is a serious illness because, over time, elevated blood sugar levels damage blood vessels and nerves and potentially lead to heart attacks, blindness, kidney disease, and other life-threatening conditions. It is treatable through meal planning, exercise and medication.
Approximately half of all Diabetes cases occur in persons 55 and older. Certain ethnic groups are also more susceptible, especially black and Hispanic persons, who have a two- to threefold increased risk. Type 2 diabetes also tends to run in families.
Do you have one of these risk factors?:
- Over age 45
- A family history of Diabetes
- currently overweight
- Do not exercise regularly
- Low HDL or triglycerides
- Belong to one of these racial or ethnic groups:
(African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans)
- Female and have had gestational diabetes, a form of Diabetes that occurs in 2 – 5 percent of all pregnancies, or have had babies weighing more than 9 pounds at birth.
If you have one or more of the risk factors above you need to recognize the signs of diabetes. The following classic symptoms may be subtle, increasing gradually over months or even years:
- Increased frequency of urination.
- Increased thirst.
- Weight loss despite increased appetite.
- Blurred vision.
- Weakness and fatigue.
- Infections, especially yeast infections.
It is very important to see your physician if you are experiencing these symptoms to begin treating type 2 Diabetes before complications have time to develop.
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