Over 25 million of Americans have type 2 diabetes—and each year, that number rises. It’s a serious medical condition that, at this point, unfortunately has no cure.
However, with diet, exercise, and the right medication, type 2 diabetes can often be managed.
Our bodies make insulin (a hormone that lets the cells in your body use blood sugar for energy) in the pancreas. With type 2 diabetes, your cells don’t respond in a normal way to insulin, and your pancreas responds by making more and more insulin to try to get your cells the blood sugar they need. Over time, your pancreas gets overworked and can’t handle the sugar in your blood, causing levels to rise—and high blood sugar can cause many problems by damaging many parts of your body, including your heart, eyes, kidneys, and more.
Who’s at risk?
Type 2 diabetes develops over years and often has no early symptoms, or is not noticed by people. Because it can be hard to know if you have it, it’s important to get your blood tested by your doctor during check-ups and to know if you are at a higher risk. According to the American Diabetes Association, risks go up if you:
- Are 45 years old or older
- Are Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
- Have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
- Are overweight
- Are physically inactive
- Have high blood pressure or take medicine for high blood pressure
- Have low HDL cholesterol and/or high triglycerides
- Had diabetes during pregnancy
- Have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
The big picture.
It’s important to understand that unmanaged type 2 diabetes can cause many other serious health problems as it damages the body—and that this is what really puts us in serious danger. It can help to think of diabetes as a chain reaction that causes problems as it goes, affecting organs that then cause other problems in our bodies as they get damaged. Diabetic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and neuropathy, just to name a few, are some of the most serious examples of this.
Healthy living—a good diet, keeping active, managing stress, and regular check-ups—can go a long way to successfully managing type 2 diabetes.
You can live well with type 2 diabetes—and listening to your doctor’s advice, and a medicine like INVOKANA®, could really help. Make an appointment with your doctor today.
If you want more type 2 diabetes info and resources, check out the following sites:
American Diabetes Association
Find more resources and information about living with type 2 diabetes
American Heart Association
The type 2 diabetes–heart disease connection is something you should really know about—and this is a great place to get more information
A helpful resource geared toward women who want to connect with other women living with type 2 diabetes
Another great resource for women with type 2 diabetes to learn all about heart health