Medical IDs for Diabetes
The confidence to live with type 2 diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 37 million Americans have diabetes, and between 90-95% of cases diagnosed are type 2 diabetes. Living with type 2 diabetes presents daily challenges. Managing a healthy diet and constantly trying to balance blood sugar levels is stressful, especially when living an active and hectic life.
Knowing how to manage type 2 diabetes is important to avoid the long-term complications it can cause, such as problems with the circulatory and neurologic systems of the body. It’s also crucial to prevent medical emergencies from happening due to blood sugar problems.
If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you’ll need to learn about diet, exercise, the correct medication for your situation, and what to do in a diabetic emergency.
This is where medical IDs for diabetes play a key role in protecting people living with this condition.
How MedicAlert protects those living with type 2 diabetes
One thing you shouldn’t worry about is what could happen if diabetes causes a health emergency. MedicAlert’s protection plans offer benefits that extend beyond the ID, providing safety and peace of mind for people living with diabetes, their families and caregivers.
24/7 Emergency Response
Our team provides first responders the information they need to provide fast, accurate care.
Digital Health Profile
All your vital information, all in one place for you and your caregiver.
Emergency Contact Notification
In an emergency, we connect families so that no one is alone in a crisis.
Share the information that’s important to your care, such as use of rescue medications or contraindication for tests like MRIs.
Pair a medical ID for type 2 diabetes with the protection plan that’s right for you.
What exactly is type 2 diabetes?
Diabetes is the name for a medical condition where a person’s body cannot properly regulate blood glucose (also called blood sugar). This results in chronically high blood glucose levels. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
According to the Mayo Clinic, type 2 diabetes involves two problems in blood glucose regulation. First, the hormone insulin is needed to help lower blood sugar levels. The pancreas, an organ that produces insulin, fails to make enough to properly control blood sugar.
Secondly, there is difficulty with cells reacting to insulin and taking in sugar from the bloodstream. The combined effect of these two problems is blood sugar that is too high.
Type 2 diabetes is commonly preceded by prediabetes. In prediabetes, blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be defined as diabetes. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), many people with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Prediabetes also increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. With modest weight loss and moderate physical activity, people with prediabetes can often delay or prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.
What to engrave on MedicAlert medical IDs for diabetes:
MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our type 2 diabetes bracelets and other medical ID products. The engraving on medical IDs for diabetes should include any critical medical information that can protect and save lives in case of an accident or a medical emergency, for example:
- Type 2 Diabetes – can abbreviate as T2D
- Implanted devices such as a CGM
- Any additional medical information that needs to be communicated to first responders
Sample engraving. Consult our team if you need help engraving your medical ID for diabetes.
What causes type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of factors. Genetics plays a role, as well as lifestyle and even the environment we live in. For a percentage of people, these factors can lead to chronic problems with insulin and blood sugar regulation.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
- Age – people age 45 or older are at higher risk for diabetes
- Family history of diabetes
- Being overweight and/or not exercising regularly
- Race and ethnicity. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native American populations
- Pregnancy and/or history of gestational diabetes, or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- Low-level HDL (high-density lipoprotein–the “good cholesterol”)
- High triglyceride levels
What are the symptoms and complications of type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes can impact the body in several ways. When diabetes first develops, the symptoms are often ignored or overlooked, so it’s important to be aware of the common symptoms of type 2 diabetes:
- Urinate (pee) frequently, many times waking up at night
- Being more hungry than usual
- Increased thirst
- Blurry vision
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Feeling more tired than usual
- Excessively dry skin
- Noticing that sores that heal slowly
- Frequent infections
- Unexplained weight loss
Long-term, type 2 diabetes can cause many complications, some of them serious. Because of this, it’s important to take steps to control diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can affect your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, and eyes, among other parts of the body.
Possible complications include:
- Poor wound healing- this can lead to infections and even limb amputations in serious cases.
- Heart and blood vessel disease- this increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
- Nerve damage- damage to nerves can cause neuropathy (pain, numbness, and tingling in hands and feet), digestive problems, heart arrhythmias, or even erectile dysfunction in men
- Kidney disease- diabetes is one of the most common causes of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.
- Eye problems- eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal damage leading to blindness are more common with diabetes
- Dementia- increased risk of decline in memory and cognitive function have been linked to diabetes
- Hearing loss- people with diabetes more commonly experience hearing difficulties
- Skin problems- skin conditions like bacterial and fungal infections happen more frequently in people with diabetes
In addition to these problems, two serious complications of type 2 diabetes can lead to a life-threatening medical emergency:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)– excessively high blood sugar levels lead to acids called ketones building up in the body. DKA is a medical emergency and should be treated immediately.
- Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar– often caused by too much insulin or eating the wrong amount of carbohydrates, hypoglycemia happens when blood sugar falls below 70 mg/dl, or in severe cases, below 54 mg/dl. When this happens, people can become confused, pass out, or even have seizures.
It’s easy to see how wearing a MedicAlert ID provides first responders with critical information about diabetes in a medical emergency. In these situations, the people providing your care can make decisions quickly based on your history of diabetes, treat complications correctly, and even save your life.
The American Diabetes Association supports all those living with diabetes. Through advocacy, support and education – they’re dedicated to finding a cure.
How do you diagnose type 2 diabetes?
There are a few ways that doctors can diagnose type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association:
- A1C– this blood test measures average blood sugar over the past 2-3 months, with a level of 6.5% or greater indicating diabetes
- Fasting plasma glucose (FPG)– a blood test measuring blood sugar after 8 hours without food or water. A level higher than 126 mg/dl indicates diabetes.
- Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)– measures blood sugar two hours after a special sweetened drink. Blood glucose higher than 200 mg/dl indicates diabetes
- Random or casual plasma glucose test– done at any time of day when severe diabetes symptoms are present. A level of 200 mg/dl or higher can indicate diabetes.
How do you treat, manage, and live with type 2 diabetes?
Treatment for type 2 diabetes will depend on your doctor’s recommendations for your situation. For both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, there are some common recommendations:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Lose weight, if you are overweight or obese
- Exercise regularly
If making these lifestyle changes does not control your type 2 diabetes, your doctor may recommend medications. Some people can take oral medications to control blood sugar, and other people may need to take insulin.
Wearing a medical ID like the ones available from MedicAlert is an important part of living with type 2 diabetes as well. You can rest easy knowing that your everyday life is protected by the kind of support a high-quality medical ID provides in an emergency.
How medical IDs for diabetes combined with MedicAlert Membership provide peace of mind
During a diabetic emergency, you may feel confused, shaky, sluggish, or dizzy; you might even pass out. You may not be able to communicate what’s happening.
One thing you shouldn’t worry about is what could happen if diabetes causes a health emergency. Because of this, it’s important to wear a medical ID at all times. A MedicAlert ID with personalized details engraved on it can share important medical information for fast, accurate care in an emergency.
In addition, MedicAlert’s Protection Plans offer benefits that extend beyond the ID, providing safety and peace of mind for people living with diabetes, their families and caregivers. These include features such as:
- A 24/7 Emergency Response Team that can relay detailed medical info to first responders
- A digital health profile that contains your medical and surgical history, a list of any allergies, medications, vaccinations, and more
- Patient care instructions, including the use of medications like insulin
- Emergency contact notification so your loved ones can be with you quickly in an emergency
- Additional information including a record of your advance directives and DNR if applicable, and medical document storage