Type 2 Diabetes—The Silent Killer

86 million U.S. adults (1 in 3) are considered to be pre-diabetic—blood sugar levels are higher than a normal rate but not quite high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetes. The problem is, its onset is more often a slower process, and therefore, its victims are not aware that they are in danger of being affected by this insidious disease. In fact, according to the CDC, more than 29 million people in the U.S. have Type 2 diabetes, and 1 in 4 people do not know they even have it! The CDC also notes that 15 to 30 percent of people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. [1]

Unfortunately, many people are symptom free, hence, they continue to live their lives unaware of the serious changes going on in their bodies; cells and tissue are affected that can ultimately cause potentially permanent damage.

So what are the effects of this devastating disease?

Here are a few examples:

Amputations: Because diabetes wreaks havoc on the circulatory system, the ability for the body to provide normal blood flow is impeded. The lower extremities then suffer, resulting in gangrene and amputation. Intense rehab is necessary to readjust to the new ‘normal.’

Dry Cracked skin– Due to the lack of proper blood flow, the healing process for a diabetic can be quite slow. Often a simple cut can result in a hospital stay due to severe infections, such as cellulitis—a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin.[2] Wound care then becomes necessary, often delaying ones ability to get back to their life’s activities. Proper skin treatment is essential to preventing the cracks and cuts that often occur with severely dry skin.

Feet Neuropathy –Poor blood flow is also the culprit for causing damage in the feet, ultimately increasing the risk of complications—nerve damage that produces tingling or burning pain in the feet. This can also make it difficult to walk and more importantly increase the risk of falling due to the lack of feeling in the feet.

Gum Infections: It is not uncommon for a person with Type 2 diabetes to suffer from gum infectionsthey are at a higher risk of suffering from chronic inflammation of the gums. This is, in part, due to the lack of blood sugar control, as well as being at a higher risk of developing infections.[3] It is therefore, critical to be proactive to engage in a healthy oral hygiene regimen.

There are several other ramifications that occur as result from Type 2 Diabetes—heart disease, eye problems, organ failure, strokes and dementia. The list goes on…so be proactive…schedule a visit with your physician to get your blood sugars levels checked!

[1] CDC.gov

[2] Medicinenet.com

[3] Mouthhealthy.org