November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Some people with Type 2 Diabetes may wonder why they need to wear medical ID jewelry, as T2D that is not treated with insulin is often seen as being fairly “stable”. However, with any type of diabetes, you need to be careful to correctly balance exercise, carbohydrate intake, and in some cases, medicine or insulin, to ensure that your blood sugar stays in a safe range, and does not go too low or too high.
People with T2D should wear a type 2 diabetes medical ID bracelet or necklace to alert others in an emergency that they have diabetes and may require medical treatment—and at the very least, alert paramedics or emergency room staff to check their blood glucose level during treatment. For insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, their medical ID bracelet should state that they are taking insulin, because this may make a person more prone to both hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), that if too far out of range, can cause loss of consciousness. As well, some other injectable medicines for type 2 diabetes can also cause hypoglycemia, which medical personnel need to be aware of.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, extreme hunger, irritability, rages/anger, fainting/loss of consciousness or seizures in severe cases. Low blood sugar must be treated with fast-acting carbohydrates, or in emergencies, a glucagon injection.
Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, symptoms include extreme thirst, frequent urination, tiredness, nausea, vomiting and in extreme cases (diabetic ketoacidosis) altered consciousness or coma. Long term damage to your body can be done by high blood glucose levels that remain elevated for a long time, such as kidney, eye or nerve damage.
Type 2 diabetes is a manageable condition, although it does take work. There is no cure for any type of diabetes, and it will require monitoring of blood sugar levels and nutrition as instructed by your doctor, to ensure that you stay as healthy as possible, and feel your best, without the symptoms of high or low blood glucose.
Wearing medical ID jewelry for type 2 diabetes can help you to feel safer in your everyday activities, knowing that if you do unexpectedly experience problems with your blood glucose level, you will be treated correctly and quickly. Carrying a wallet card stating your type 2 diabetes medicines, which may change, is a good idea as well. Download a free medical alert wallet card here.