Type 2 Diabetes: Living With the Disease (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Now that you have had type 2 diabetes diabetes for a while, you already know how important it is to keep your blood sugar as close to your target range as you can. Doing so can help you delay or prevent more serious health problems later.
If your diabetes gets worse, your pancreas may make less and less insulin, which can make it harder for you to control your blood sugar. When your pancreas makes too little or no insulin, you will need to give yourself shots of insulin.
It can be hard to find the right balance of insulin and blood sugar levels. So even if you take insulin or other diabetes medicines, there may still be times when your blood sugar is too high or too low. It's important to know the symptoms of both of these and to treat them early. For more information, see the Symptoms section of this topic.
High blood sugar emergencies
A hyperosmolar state is life-threatening and can occur when your blood sugar level is very high (400 to 500 mg/dL or higher) and you get dehydrated. You are more likely to have this problem if your blood sugar stays above 200 mg/dL.
Hyperosmolar state is treated in a hospital. You'll have frequent blood tests for glucose and electrolytes. Insulin will be given to you through a vein (intravenous, or IV) to lower your blood sugar level. You'll get fluids through the IV to get rid of the dehydration. The fluids will make you urinate, removing the excess sugar from your body.
Over time, high blood sugar that is not controlled can lead to problems with your:
If you have had high blood sugar levels for years, you may already have one or more of these complications. For more information, see Type 2 Diabetes: Living With Complications.
Other health problems
People with diabetes often already have other health problems, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Or they may get them as diabetes gets worse. These health problems can make it harder to avoid complications from diabetes.
Living with diabetes
Uncontrolled high blood sugar is the main reason why complications occur. So if you work closely with your doctor to keep your blood sugar within your target range, you may be able to avoid or prevent these problems. You may also feel better and be more in control of your life. For more information, see the Preventing Complications section of this topic.
Even if you have done all you can to keep your blood sugar under control, you may still get a diabetes-related health problem. You may feel sad, angry, and confused that you have to deal with something new along with your diabetes.
Talking with others who have diabetes can help. Call your local hospital, and ask if it has a support group or classes for people with diabetes. Or visit the Web site of the American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org.
For more information, see the What Increases Your Risk of Complications section of this topic.
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