Goals for People with Type II Diabetes

With Type II diabetes, you can enjoy a healthy, normal life by maintaining control of your condition. Keep the following goals in mind:

• Learning about your diabetes and how to take care of yourself

• Keeping your body healthy by achieving your ideal weight

• Sticking to your meal plan

• Strengthening your heart and lungs through exercise

• Minimizing the risk of complications by maintaining good blood sugar levels

If you have Type II (non-insulin dependent) diabetes, your body has a "relative" deficiency of insulin.

The beta cells in your pancreas are producing some insulin, but the insulin is either too little or isn't working properly to let glucose get into your cells to produce energy.

If your Type II diabetes is not controlled, excess glucose accumulates in your blood, resulting in hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar. Your symptoms have come on so slowly that you may not have noticed them. You may have experienced some of the following: more tired, increased thirst, frequent urination, dry, itchy skin, blurred vision, slow-healing cuts or sores, more infections than usual, numbness and tingling in feet.

If you ignore these symptoms for several days, dehydration may result, leading to low blood volume.

If Type II diabetes remains uncontrolled for a long period of time, more serious symptoms may result. These include severe hyperglycemia (blood sugar over 600 mg) lethargy, confusion, shock, and ultimately what doctors call "hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic coma".

These symptoms are more common in elderly people with diabetes and in people suffering from an illness or infection.

You can avoid these symptoms by keeping your Type II diabetes in good control, and by calling your doctor when your blood sugars are persistently high.

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