Living with type 2 diabetes is no easy feat: there’s regular blood sugar monitoring, restrictive diets and meal plans and often glucose-lowering medicines to stay on top of. Luckily, there are ways to cope and products available to help make managing your diabetes easier.
Diabetes is now recognised as the world’s fastest-growing chronic condition. According to government statistics, about 1 million Australians have type 2 diabetes — and thousands more undiagnosed Aussies are believed to be living with the condition.
Type 2 diabetes affects the body’s ability to process insulin correctly. It’s a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin or the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. This causes glucose (sugar) to stay in the blood, leading to a higher-than-normal level of glucose in the body, which can lead to serious health problems down the track.
The cause of type 2 diabetes is not known, however, you’re more likely to develop the disease if you have a family history of diabetes, low levels of physical activity, a poor diet or are overweight.
Because type 2 diabetes can develop slowly, many people with the chronic condition don’t have symptoms at all or have signs that go unnoticed for a long time. When signs and symptoms are present, however, they may include:
Diabetes can lead to an array of health complications if not managed correctly. For example, people with poorly managed diabetes are at an increased risk of tooth decay and gum infections.
Some medications used to treat diabetes can cause dry mouth or taste disturbance. Oral thrush is also more common in people with diabetes as the high glucose levels in your saliva provide a breeding ground for the bacteria that causes thrush. Diabetes can also lead to periodontal, more commonly known as gum disease. Read more on diabetes and oral health here.
The condition has also been known to lead to long-term eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts. Read more about the link between diabetes and your eyes here.
Poor blood glucose management can cause nerve damage to feet. Symptoms may include numbness, cold feet, a tingling, pins and needles sensation in the feet and burning pains in the legs and feet. Due to the nerve and vascular damage caused by the condition, bunions, calluses, corns, fungal infections, and ingrown toenails are also more common.
Another condition that diabetics should be aware of is dementia. A study published in Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2015 found diabetics who experience high rates of complications are more likely to develop dementia as they age.
While there’s currently no cure for type 2 diabetes, the condition can be managed through healthy eating and exercise. It can also be managed with medication or insulin. The good news is, there are many products and devices that can help you manage your diabetes — and we stock a range on our Marketplace.
Blood sugar testing is the most important thing you can do to manage type 2 diabetes. You’ll be able to see what makes your numbers go up and down, which can help you and your practitioner develop a diabetes management plan.
The check you blood glucose levels, you need a blood glucose meter, a lancet device with lancets and blood glucose strips. All you have to do is then prick your finger with the lancent and add a small drop of blood onto a blood glucose checking strip. The strip is then inserted into the meter, which reads the strip and displays a number. You can find Glucology lancets for sale on Starts at 60’s Marketplace.
It’s also important to maintain a stable and balanced blood sugar level, which can be particularly hard for someone with diabetes. While some people can control their blood sugar levels with health eating and exercise, others may need a little extra help. In this instance, some diabetics may be advised to turn to a supplement like NutriKane D, which is made up of a wide range of essential micronutrients that have been shown to “nourish the gut microbiome, reduce systemic inflammation and ultimately help control blood sugar levels”. However, before purchasing, we’d recommend chatting with your doctor first.
If you’ve been fitted with an insulin pump or carry an insulin pen with you, we also have products on our Marketplace that may be of interest, including an Insulin Pump Belt, which is designed to hold your insulin pump snugly while you go about your day-to-day activities, and a Patterned Insulin Cooling Pouch, which is designed to keep your insulin cool for up to 36 hours.
As you know, when you have diabetes taking care of your feet is also important. Our Marketplace has a Footcare and Prevention Bundle, which is designed to moisturise and protect your feet. The bundle consists of three pairs of thick, copper socks and a tube of foot cream. Infused with copper, the socks are designed to help promote better circulation.
Q: What are the primary symptoms of diabetes?
A: Constant hunger, a lack of energy, fatigue, weight loss, excessive thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, itchy skin and blurry vision.
Q: Can you cure type 2 diabetes?
A: There is no known cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can be controlled.
Q: Who is at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes?
A: You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you have a family history of diabetes, low levels of physical activity, a poor diet or are overweight.