diabetes, a person’s blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels are too
high. This is because the body fails to produce enough of a
sugar-regulating hormone, insulin (type 1 diabetes), or because it
doesn’t use insulin efficiently (type 2 diabetes).
seniors, type 2 diabetes (also called adult onset diabetes because
it usually appears after age 30) is most common. It occurs in as
many as one in ten people over age 65.
II diabetes is most likely to develop in people who are overweight
and sedentary, and who have a family history of the disease. Women
are more likely to have it than men.
While diabetes effects others, those characteristics listed above
are among the highest risk factors.
prescription drugs also appear to raise one’s risk of developing
type II diabetes, especially if they are used for many years. These
include thiazide, diuretics, and furosemide.
of diabetes can include:
urination, especially at night
- constant thirst
or excessive hunger
- fatigue or
- poor tolerance
- blurry vision
- sores that are
slow to heal
a doctor suspects you might have diabetes, he or she will order one
or more tests to evaluate your blood glucose level or ability to
tolerate rises in blood sugar.
does not just affect your body's ability to process sugars. If not treated, it can eventually
lead to complications in various body systems, including the heart,
arteries and blood vessels, kidneys, nervous system, eyes, skin and
connective tissues. Heart attack and stroke, kidney failure,
blindness, and tissue problems leading to amputation are among the
grave health problems that can develop over time.
II diabetes can be prevented or delayed in some cases. If you are showing early signs of the
condition (your doctor may call this “insulin resistance”) you
may be counseled to follow a lifestyle program. Making healthy
changes to your diet (less fat and more fiber, for example) and
getting regular exercise to help take off extra pounds are very
effective preventive measures against diabetes (and a lot of other
health problems, too!).
you have developed type II diabetes, you will still need to follow a
lifestyle program – you may be able to avoid taking medication if
you are careful and consistent in making these lifestyle changes. But many people with this condition still
require prescription drugs to help keep their blood glucose (sugar) at a
people with type II diabetes do not need to inject insulin, but take
oral drugs designed to help the body use its insulin effectively.
Some of the medications available are: glipizide, glyburide,
tolbutamide, chlorpropamide, metformin, and acarbose. Recently,
other drugs have also demonstrated their usefulness in preventing
long-term complications of diabetes. These include a type of
blood-pressure lowering agent, called an angiotensin-converting
enzyme (ACE) inhibitor.
doctor will decide whether you will need to take one of these or
other medications to help control your diabetes.
2 diabetes can be insidious: it can exert its damaging effects on
your system even though you are feeling just fine. If your doctor
tells you that you have it, or that you are at risk, it is important
to follow his or her recommendations for prevention and treatment.