Most people who have diabetes have type 2 diabetes. The condition is caused by various factors and causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes can affect you in different ways based on your age.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a medical condition that develops when the cells in the body cannot make glucose, the sugar naturally found in the blood, to use for energy. It causes excess sugar in the blood and can lead to potential complications if it’s not under control.
When Do Most People Develop Type 2 Diabetes?
Many people first develop type 2 diabetes in adulthood. Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is usually first diagnosed in childhood, type 2 often manifests between 45 to 64 years old. People within that age range are five times more likely to be diagnosed with the condition than adults between 18 and 44.
Individuals 65 and older are at an even greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Sadly, many people have the condition and don’t even know it until they experience certain complications.
Diabetes in children is possible if a child is obese and doesn’t get enough physical activity. As a result, doctors have begun screening kids at least 10 years old for diabetes if they are overweight, as it’s a significant risk factor.
How Does Type 2 Diabetes Affect Age Groups?
When they’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the younger a person is, the more likely they’ll suffer harm from the disease.
People who develop it before age 40 are at risk of the following:
- Cells that produce insulin are more likely to suffer damage faster
- More complications due to living longer with diabetes
- Shortened lifespan
Adults 45 and older are more likely to have other medical conditions that might make it more challenging to keep their type 2 diabetes under control. High blood pressure and high cholesterol can exacerbate the condition and lead to further complications such as heart disease. This puts a person at greater risk for heart attack or stroke.
Seniors with diabetes are more likely to suffer from low blood sugar. This condition can lead to confusion, dizziness, and weakness, worsening as they grow older.
Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?
Sometimes, type 2 diabetes can be reversed. For example, suppose you don’t have genetic risk factors that caused the disease to develop, such as gestational diabetes in your mother when she was pregnant. In that case, it’s possible to use natural methods to reverse the condition. However, certain ethnic groups are also more prone to the disease and might be genetically predisposed.
Developing a healthier lifestyle can help you keep the condition under control and possibly even reverse type 2 diabetes. However, you can work toward losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. This is especially relevant if you have significant belly fat.
Changing your diet is important. It would help if you ate plenty of lean protein, fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains. Dark, leafy greens are essential. Limit your sodium and sugar intake and avoid saturated fats and processed foods loaded with salt and calories. Aim to get healthy fats such as those from fish and avocado.
If you aren’t physically active, now is to incorporate an exercise routine into your daily life. Even if you take a walk for 30 to 60 minutes per day, it can help. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as well. Quit smoking if you’re a smoker.
All age groups can benefit from a healthier lifestyle. Even if you don’t reverse diabetes, you can manage it much better. If you ever have any doubts, visit the Tandem Diabetes website for helpful tips.