Type 2 diabetes: Stories from the community
Katie Carpenter, Interactive Producer for Transforming Health | 10.01.13
Type 2 diabetes is caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors. It can be controlled by diet, exercise and medication. Without control, complications - heart attack, blindness, stroke, amputations, kidney failure - are inevitable.
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by diet, exercise and medication.
Diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the U.S. That's 8.3% of the population. To look at the big picture, explore this interactive atlas of diabetes cases across the country.
We asked the community to provide perspective on type 2 diabetes through our Public Insight Network, and we'd like to share some of the responses with you.
Stephanie; Ulster, PA
"I watched my mother live with Type 2 for most of my live and she passed away from complications in 2009. So I know what this disease does and can do. I, myself, was diagnosed with Type 2 in 2012 after having a hysterectomy. Since knowing what my mother went through, I know what I had to do to. So I am taking better care of myself, eating better and exercising."
"I have learned to eat better...portion and moderation is the key. And I learned to exercise. I walk at least 25-30 minutes a day or I try unless the weather is bad or I decide not to walk that day. My mother tried her best to do what she could but it was not easy for her."
Have you experienced any complications as a result of the disease?
So far, I have not had any problems. My mother however, had heart problems, breathing problems, kidney problems, eye problems...to name a few.
Melissa; Lancaster, PA
"As a pediatrician, the childhood obesity epidemic has lead to an unprecedented number of kids and teens being diagnosed with what was once exclusively an adult disease.
Some patients are able to modify their lifestyle to change the disease course."
Learn more about diabetes in children.
Cynthia; McAlisterville, PA
"My Aunt Mary, 93 years old, was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes about 10 years ago. She immediately increased her physical activity and completely changed her diet to what her physician recommended. She is doing great.
But, I can't believe what most people are eating.
"Glance at most any grocery cart at the check out and see it filled with only processed food, high in sugar, fats, salt, and hundreds of non-food additives... No wonder diabetes is an epidemic."
Have you or the person you know with Type 2 Diabetes experienced any complications as a result of the disease? "Some eye problems."
Edmund; Upper Darby, PA
"I am 74 years of age and come from parents both of which had Type 2, as did 2 uncles, 1 brother, I nephew (type 1) My doctor has been forewarned. For years, I have told him about numbness in my feet and legs and how I feared diabetes. He did nothing. On my last physical, I was borderline diabetic. I am to go back for more testing in 4 months.
My father refused to make lifestyle changes, continued to eat the wrong stuff, consumed alcoholic beverages. Now. He is dead form kidney failure after losing both legs."
Melanie; Lancaster, PA
"Type 2 Diabetes contributed to both of my parents dying fairly young. My father died at 59. My mother died at 66. A friend whom Id been dating now has it at 36.
Most people I've known with Type 2 Diabetes make such superficial changes, and with such confusion and disdain, they may as well keep their old lifestyle.
My father died of heart failure. My mother died of pancreatic cancer. My friend is experiencing a myriad of complications."
Please help inform our coverage of this topic by telling us about your experience with Type 2 Diabetes. We may include your insights in our upcoming stories or contact you to find out more.
What is your experience with type 2 diabetes? Share your story here.
Learn more about Type 2 diabetes:
Part I: Living with diabetes: Too late to change?
Part II: Education is most important weapon in fighting diabetes
Part III: When ignored, diabetes can cause serious harm
Part IV: Diabetes affects families, hitting youth
YDR health reporter Leigh Zaleski was a guest on Radio Smart Talk, which featured Type 2 diabetes