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You’ve come to the right place to get answers to your diabetes questions. Please browser through our FAQ library, and if you don’t see your question on this page; please submit your question to the Parkland Hospital team.

  • Am I going to live a shorter life now that I have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes?

    There is no way to answer the question of how long you will live because life expectancy depends on a number of factors. How soon diabetes was diagnosed, the progress of diabetic complications and whether there are other existing health conditions that can impact your life span.

    However, there are certain things that can cause a shorter life in diabetics. Higher blood sugars over a period of time can cause diabetic complications such as:

    • Eye problems
    • Kidney disease
    • Heart disease

    Higher blood sugars can often be accompanied by conditions such as:

    • Higher blood pressure
    • High cholesterol

    The good news is that there are also things diabetics can do to help increase life expectancy, such as:

    • Keeping blood sugar levels within the recommended blood sugar level ranges.
    • Adopt a healthy lifestyle of a well-balanced diet and regular activity to help keep blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels and promote good blood circulation.
  • Can I drink alcohol?

    If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol may cause your blood sugar to either rise or fall. Alcohol also has a lot of calories. If you choose to drink, do it occasionally and only when your diabetes blood sugar levels are well-controlled. 

  • Can I get rid of diabetes? Will it ever go away?

    There is no cure for diabetes. However, if insulin, medication, weight, physical activity and diet are well-managed, the risk of developing diabetes complications is much lower.

  • Can your menstrual cycle and/or going through menopause affect blood sugar levels?

    Menstrual cycle: In essence, female hormones have a direct link with insulin and can be responsible for altering blood sugar level. As the hormones change during the menstrual cycle, these reactions produce spikes and drops of the blood sugar level. They can also make the body more resistant to insulin. As a result, many women may experience an increase in blood sugar level three to five days before and after menstruation.

    Menopause: The female hormones in your body can affect how your body responds to insulin. After menopause, changes in your hormone levels can trigger changes in your blood sugar level. If your blood sugar gets out of control, you have a higher risk of diabetes complications. Menopause can also lead to other issues like weight gain, infections and sleep problems, which can all lead to poor management of your diabetes.

  • Does a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes mean I will have to go on insulin?

    People with Type 1 diabetes do need insulin. If you have Type 2, you may not need insulin. Of adults with diabetes, only 14 percent use insulin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Talk to your provider about the right treatment plan for you.

  • How often should I replace my glucose meter?

    Replace your blood glucose meter for diabetes every one to two years. That's how long a typical glucose monitor will last if you take care of it properly.

  • I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Do I need to see an endocrinologist?

    An endocrinologist is a doctor who has specialized training in hormone imbalances. You should consider seeing an endocrinologist when you’re having problems controlling your diabetes. Ask your primary care physician to find out if they also recommend that you see a specialist for managing diabetes. 

  • Is it normal to get tired of taking care of my diabetes?

    One issue that many diabetics face on a regular basis is becoming tired of dealing with diabetes. It is normal to feel burnt out sometimes, but it can become a bad habit that leads to poor care. Here are some tips to get back the motivation to take care of yourself.

    • Make friends. It’s important to keep in touch with someone who also has the type of diabetes that you do. Whether you meet someone from school or church or social media communities—find a way to connect with someone who you can relate to.
    • Doctor visits. Another way to stay motivated is to think about upcoming appointments. Doctor visits can be a way to hold yourself accountable. Your care team is ready to help you with all aspects of managing diabetes to talk to them about getting tired of diabetes.
    • Make a commitment. Commit yourself to something that will benefit your diabetes management like a 30-day healthy-eating challenge, testing your blood sugar after every meal, or even walking 20 minutes before breakfast every day. You may also be more effective in sticking to your goal if you make it public. Tell your friends and family about it, post your goals on the bathroom mirror, or mark it on your calendar.
  • Is it true that complications of diabetes can be delayed and even prevented?

    Diabetes does put a person at a greater risk for unwanted complications. Over time, high blood sugar can affect or damage other parts of the body like the heart, eyes, kidneys, feet and limbs (arms and legs). However, people with diabetes are living longer and healthier lives than ever. Complications are becoming less common because of new treatment. But you play an important role in prevention. You can reduce your risk of all potential damage by keeping your blood sugar levels in control and leading a healthy lifestyle.

  • Should I always carry glucose tablets?

    Many people who have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are at risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Glucose tablets can help with that. Keep glucose tablets in convenient places such as your car, handbag and pocket. They treat hypoglycemia without extra calories. Avoid hypoglycemia by regularly checking your blood sugar levels. 

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