Type 2 Diabetes & Its Complications

Diabetes Is Bad, Its Complications Are Worse

You Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes find themselves at higher risk for numerous bad health outcomes. These include increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and impaired peripheral circulation, among others. Impaired peripheral circulation in tiny arteries leads to serious complications, such as amputations and blindness. Happily, effective interventions can blunt the risk of these terrible complications. Researchers with the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group demonstrated that either intensive lifestyle intervention or drug treatment with the drug metformin predicted reduced risk of microvascular outcomes in the kidneys, nerves, retinas.

Starting around 1990, the risks of many diabetes-related outcomes fell dramatically in the US. But around 2010, the tide began to turn. Nearly one-third of the improvements over the previous 20 years disappeared. What might account for this unfortunate turn of events? Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control offer four possible explanations.

First, the diabetic population is changing. Higher body mass index, higher rates of smoking, and higher blood pressure of millennials may increase their risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, older Americans with diabetes are living longer than before. They’re experiencing complications of diabetes more frequently. Second, preventive care may be stagnating especially among young people. Third, the proliferation of high-deductible health insurance policies, especially among young people, may deter them from making regular doctor visits to deal with diabetes and its complications. Fourth, the rising prevalence of obesity and increasing lifespan mean that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes likely won’t decline for the foreseeable future. The potential increase in diabetes-related medical complications has huge implications for both you and our medical care system.

There’s a silver lining to this sad prospect. First, if you are willing to adopt better lifestyle choices, your risk of type 2 diabetes will drop drastically to near zero. Focus on Keep Moving and Eat Better. Second, if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for four years or less, you may be able to reverse your diabetes completely by embracing these two healthy choices. But if you’ve been diabetic for longer than four years, work by British researcher Roy Taylor shows that you may still be able to reverse type 2 diabetes completely.

If you or have a friend or relative has type 2 diabetes does, do yourself and your friend or relative a favor. Spread the word that type 2 diabetes is potentially reversible by making better lifestyle choices.

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