What long term damage can Type 2 Diabetes cause?

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What long-term damage can Type 2 Diabetes do?

This is where we get really serious…

 

If you are at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, we encourage you to do all that you can to avoid it.

If you are Pre-Diabetic, then we encourage you to make dietary and lifestyle changes to reverse the trend.

If you are a diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic, (perhaps recently or living with it longer-term) we encourage you to learn how to manage your condition through improved dietary and lifestyle choices, and to not just rely on medication to control your blood sugars. Actively working towards remission and reverse is also a great goal to aim for – your body will thank you for it.

Regardless of where you might be with Type 2 Diabetes, why do we encourage you either make changes yourself or to reach out for help?

Because the potential consequences for taking action are serious, really serious.

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So let’s look at a case study. We will call him, for the purpose of anonymity, Mr Smith.

10 years ago, Mr Smith was only 35 years old. He used to be fit in his 20’s, but as he reached his 30’s he became more sedentary and he started to eat more junk and processed food than he would he liked to, washed down with a bottle or two of wine a week.

He noticed he was getting up in the night 3 or 4 times a week to go to the toilet, and thought it might be a prostate problem and so consulted his doctor. His doctor took a blood sugar reading and diagnosed Mr Smith as being pre-diabetic. No medication was prescribed at that point, his doctor gave him basic guidance on improving diet and lifestyle instead.

For a couple of weeks, Mr Smith tried to eat a bit more healthily and exercise more, but ultimately old habits are hard to beat when you have no-one to be accountable to, and so he was back to his old ways by the end of that month. The regular nighttime visits to the toilet continued, and he figured it was no big deal and kinda got used to them.

A year later, at age 37, Mr Smith started to feel some numbness in his feet and fingers, and very occasionally his vision would go blurry for a split second. He’d long forgotton about the warnings given to him by his doctor two years previous, and thought he might have some sort of neurological problem developing.

He saw his doctor. It wasn’t good news. Mr Smith now had full Type 2 Diabetes. He’d had the chance to come out of the pre-diabetic range and had even good intention of doing so, but was not something he could do by himself, and so he continued with his bad habits. And now the disease had taken full hold.

Medication was prescribed, which Mr Smith due took. And the medication did it’s job. It didn’t make any attempts to reverse his Type 2 Diabetes, nor was it its purpose. The medication simpy offset Mr Smith’s less than ideal diet and lifestyle choices. Afterall, he felt it was much easier to pop a few pills every day than go through the effort of changing his habits. He hadn’t even considered the prospect of reversal – everyone he spoke to told him he would now have Diabetes for the rest of his life. 

And so the symptoms developed and the medication increased. It was a downward spiral, but it didn’t have to be that way.

8 years on, at age 45, Mr Smith is in a far worse position health-wise than he was at 35. He could have made better choices back then, but sadly he didn’t.

Mr Smith’s health is deteriorating due to his Type 2 Diabetes. His eyesight is beginning to fail, and he has cataracts developing in both eyes and might need surgery soon. He had a TIA (mini stroke) last year, and now has some cognitive and memory problems and issues with his speech. Due to the increased sustained levels of glucose in his blood, he now has severe kidney damage and may be looking to go on to the transplant list in the coming years. And 6 months ago, due to damage done by the sustained Diabetic Neuropathy in his feet (the numbness he had spotted 8 years previous), he had to have his left foot amputated above the ankle.

And what does the future hold for Mr Smith? Well, there are now irrefutable links between long term Type 2 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease (often referred to now as Type 3 Diabetes) – not a prospect anyone could wish for…

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The moral of the story

Of course, Mr Smith in this story is purely fictional but it is not uncommon to hear elements of his tale being told by countless people living with Type 2 Diabetes. The intent is not to scare you in any way, but to encourage you to TAKE ACTION (whatever your definition of that might be, either on your own or with the help of professionals like i-Nutrition) while you still have time. It is never too late to make positive changes in your life…  until one day it will be too late.

Make positive changes NOW. Your future self will thank you for it!

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In summary

Type 2 Diabetes can(often) lead to a range of longer-term health problems if not managed properly.

These include:

  1. Cardiovascular damage and disease (CVD): sustained high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, putting strain on the heart and leading to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.
  2. Nerve damage (Diabetic Neuropathy): sustained high blood sugar levels can damage nerves throughout the body, causing numbness, tingling, and pain, particularly in the hands and feet.
  3. Kidney damage (Diabetic Nephropathy): sustained high blood sugar levels can damage the tiny  blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to kidney disease and potential kidney failure.
  4. Eye damage (Diabetic Retinopathy): sustained high blood sugar levelscan damage the blood vessels in the retina, which can cause vision loss and blindness.
  5. Foot damage: Nerve damage and poor circulation can increase the risk of foot ulcers and infections, which can sometimes require amputation. If yu have the stomach to, search the web using the term “diabetic ulcers”. I warn you now, it is not pleasant in any way.
  6. Cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease: The link between a degradation in cognitive function as well as the development of Alzheimer’s disease is now pretty irrefutable. That does not mean that every Type 2 Diabetic will develop Dementia as they age, but research shows that having Type 2 Diabetes seems to increase the risk.

 

Please, take action TODAY!

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