Diabetes in the United States has reached critical mass, and diabetic researchers suggest that more than half the population may have diabetes without knowing it. Meanwhile, the youngest-ever victim of type 2 diabetes (a three-year-old Hispanic-American girl) has been successfully treated with diet and metformin – a diabetic drug that helps the body rid itself of excess sugars (or glucose) in the bloodstream. High blood glucose is the cause of all forms of diabetes, from types 1 and 2 through prediabetes and gestational diabetes.
Also known as adult-onset diabetes, because it tends to occur in older individuals, type 2 diabetes is the result of overeating combined with increasingly inactive lifestyles, as when the middle-aged morph into mid-level corporate managers and C-level leaders.
Fortunately, Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with diet, exercise, and/or medications (including injectable insulin). Unfortunately, people who don’t know they have diabetes generally continue with their destructive lifestyles, ignoring the increasingly uncomfortable symptoms of type 2 diabetes, which include:
Frequent urination – if you are getting up more than once or twice a night to pee
Excessive thirst – if your water bottle is always empty
Excessive hunger – if the intervals between breakfast, lunch and dinner are always too long
Blurry vision – if you are having difficulty reading the fine print, or any print
Tiredness – if hallway to the men’s restroom seems longer every day
Irritability – if finding a smile is almost impossible
Numbness and tingling – if it’s in your hands or feet, it is not a good sign
Left untended, these symptoms of diabetes can lead to life-threatening complications like kidney failure, strokes, and heart attacks. And, because type 2 diabetes is typically a disease of aging populations and sedentary lifestyles, the complications come with complications of their own. Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.
If you have not been diagnosed diabetic, but both your weight and your body mass index (BMI) are off the charts – literally, see your doctor. Knowing is the first step toward the cure.