3 Things That May Surprise You About Type 2 Diabetes
Last updated: March 2022
Diabetes information seems to be everywhere.
3 management tips for type 2 diabetes
But, here are three things about type 2 diabetes which may surprise you!
1. You’re not alone if your body needs medication
Messaging about diabetes medications and the need for them come from many different places (the medical world, media, family or friends). Sometimes this messaging can be supportive. Other times it can be negative and give the impression that needing medication is a result of not managing your diabetes well. Some messaging can even be false and state the need for medication lessens over time (“if you’re just diligent enough to take good care of yourself”). The negative messaging can leave you feeling a sense of failure or guilt around needing medications. You may also feel you’re one of the few that needs medication to manage diabetes well.
The reality? You’re not alone. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4 out of 5 people with diabetes use medication to manage it well.1 Why? The cells in your body that make insulin (called beta cells), slowly lose their ability to do so over time. Ultimately, that means medications are a normal part of diabetes care for most people.
2. You CAN reduce your risk of diabetes complications
One of the really scary pieces of diabetes is hearing or reading about complications related to diabetes. It can be almost paralyzing for some. Unfortunately, we don’t do a great job of overriding that fear of diabetes complications in the medical world. Instead, it’s more common to hear, “if you don’t take care of yourself, you’re gonna lose your leg.” Or something of that kind. Terrifying statements to someone who already may feel overwhelmed, hopeless, or scared to begin with.
The reality? You are not guaranteed to get diabetes complications! More and more research shows well-managed diabetes significantly limits your risk of diabetes complications. And you’re more powerful than you may realize. Just doing routine checkups can have a huge impact on your complication risk and how complications may affect you. For example, the National Institutes of Health estimate early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy (an eye complication of diabetes), can decrease your chance of blindness by 95%!!!2 Wowza.
3. Seeing a diabetes educator or endocrinologist (diabetes doctor) is not just for those with type 1 diabetes
I’ve spoken with a number of people with type 2 diabetes lately, who were surprised to learn there was additional support beyond their primary care provider (PCP) for diabetes care. They’re not alone. Less than 10% of people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes attend diabetes self-management training (DSMT).3 Missing out on this extra support may make it more difficult to feel confident in your diabetes self-care.
The reality? If you have type 2 diabetes, these are resources for you, too! DSMT has been shown to reduce your risk of complications, help you build tools and coping skills for diabetes self-care, improve your blood sugars and more!3 Diabetes is a condition that requires your time, money, and attention to live well. Using supports like a certified diabetes educator or endocrinologist can help you feel confident and be successful.
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