December 1, 2014
Lessons for People New to Type 2 Diabetes, Part 13
The last topics can be real problems for people new to diabetes. The first reference is my blog on the summary of diabetes basics which will take you the topics you may wish to read. It even has many of the topics covered in this series.
If you are new to diabetes, learn about hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. I know many people will say that people on most oral medications, except the class sulfonylureas, do not have to worry about hypoglycemia and in general they could be right. But add insulin or some of the other injectable medications to just about any oral medication without a reduction in oral medication dosage could cause hypoglycemia. If you are on insulin, hypoglycemia is a real and dangerous possibility.
Hyperglycemia is the unreasonable elevated level of blood glucose and if your blood glucose does not stay elevated for an extended period, you may not have any adverse results. However, if the level remains elevated for several weeks, then you will be promoting the complications of diabetes.
Both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia can both be the cause of death if diabetes is not managed. Hypoglycemia, if severe, is the cause of more deaths, but hyperglycemia, if not managed, can also cause death.
So what are the complications? Retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, atherosclerosis, and deafness are the most common, and many don't include deafness. The first three and deafness are grouped together under the term microvascular complications because they result from damage to the small blood vessels. The macrovascular complication is atherosclerosis, which is caused by damage to the large blood vessels. Retinopathy affects the eyes, neuropathy affects the nerves, nephropathy affect the kidneys, and deafness affect the small blood vessels in the inner ear.
Medical alert jewelry is something many people with type 2 diabetes just do not want. This I do not understand. Some on insulin do have the jewelry and are happy they do. However, most on oral medications do not because they don't see the necessity. If you are involved in an accident, at work or in an automobile, think of what might happen if you are unable to speak for yourself. Oh, you don't think any harm will happen. Well, guess again, as the emergency medical technicians may just hook you up to an IV containing glucose and your blood glucose may rise significantly. What may happen if you are unable to speak for yourself for a week or longer?
I wear a necklace with my information on it. I have had to show it only once and that was overseas. Once they looked at it, there was no further problems. I have heard some horror stories about people with type 2 diabetes being involved in auto accidents that did not have diabetic or medical alert jewelry and were harmed because of this.